Decision Management, revisited

Our Decision Management blog aims to provide educational materials to practitioners from business and IT. We share best practices, new trends and thought leadership pieces.

Take a look at SMARTS
Carole-Ann Matignon

Carole-Ann Matignon

CEO and co-founder
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Carlos Serrano-Morales

Carlos Serrano-Morales

CTO and co-founder
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Colleen McClintock

Colleen McClintock

VP Products
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Marc Lerman

Marc Lerman

VP User Experience
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My first ‘Hello World’ rule

Let’s go back to basics and explore how business rules work.  For that purpose, I am using the unavoidable ‘Hello World’ project.  I will show you today that agility can be obtained without a whole lot of complexity…  My first-grade son could do it, so it can’t be that hard ;-)

Before I start writing rules, let me take a very quick detour.  To make the exercise more concrete, it helps to have test cases so that we can see how the rules apply as we write them.

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What are Champion / Challenger experiments in Decision Management?

Coin TossHave you ever heard of Champion / Challenger?  If you are in the Financial Services industry, chances are you have and you might even have used this technique.  If not, I wouldn’t be so sure you have.

What is Champion / Challenger?

In a nutshell, the idea is to compare two or more strategies in order to promote the one that performs the best.

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What is Decision Management?

I am often asked what Decision Management is.  If you do not know what decision management is, and yet you too are wondering, this video is for you.

The purpose of this video is to explain through a use case what problem we solve and how.  And when I say ‘we’, I really mean the industry.  This is not a commercial about SMARTS, it is an educational video that could apply to any product.  We believe we do it better, but that is a completely different topic ;-)

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This video describes a use case — our traditional insurance underwriting example of course.  But keep in mind that these technologies can be used in any type of decision-making application where the logic is complex, owned by business analysts or business users, and changing often.

Feel free to contact me or post a comment if you have questions about Decision Management.  I love sharing what I know about my passions!

Decision Management Predictions for 2014

PredictionAs it is customary, let me share what I foresee as being big this new year…  I would like to focus on just three points that are striking me as important in no particular order.

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New Year, New Look

2014 has just started. We are foreseeing lots of activity this year in the decision management industry and want to mark its beginning with a new look.

Let us know how you like our new site and relocated Decision Management blog!

Decision CAMP 2013 – Shash Hegde – Giving machines a collective memory & intelligence

Shash HedgeShash is sharing an interesting business model his customer has developed. He figured out a way to guarantee a level of power while reducing the operational costs by augmenting the battery life. While manual inspection and industry knowledge has been the key to this business, automating maintenance allows the company to sustain their rapid growth and remain ahead of their currently nonexistent competition.

The change of format for this talk is really cool.  Shash assigned tasks to the audience!  They can ask any questions, but the idea is to brainstorm on a possible solution for the customer problem.  This is one of the most existing and productive exchange between attendees so far!

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Decision CAMP 2013 – CTO Panel

CTO PanelNeil Raden is the host for our CTO Panel at Decision CAMP.  His victims are:

  • our own Carlos – Sparkling Logic
  • Jacob Feldman – OpenRules
  • Gil Segal – Sapiens
  • Mark Proctor – Red Hat

The conversation goes fast to Business Rules and Analytics of course.

Carlos says that Analytics market is much bigger than Business Rules.  SAS only is a couple of billion $$.  The difficult part is the operationalization of analytics, and this is the opportunity for Decision Management.  Deployment of models is made easier.  That was a big discovery for the modelers.

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Decision CAMP 2013 – Dr. Charles Forgy – Writing Concise Rules

Charles ForgyIt is a great honor to have Charles join us for the very first Decision CAMP ever.  Charles does not need any introduction of course.

Today he is presenting a keynote on ‘writing concise rules’.  I will upload the slides after the presentation.  It contains detailed examples of techniques you can use for more elegant rules writing.  I think that Carlos is going to have his own blog about it too.

Rules become come interesting when dealing with collections as they ‘pattern match’ the characteristics that you are looking for.  Unfortunately, in the absence of set operations, the rule syntax can become complicated.  Charles is describing concrete examples that illustrate that point.  The beauty of set operations is that they allow to just describe what is needed and they ‘just do it’.

The point of this presentation is to show how set operations are more concise, easier to understand, and they remove the need for ‘markers’ that pollute the rules.  Set operators can have an impact on runtime performance as well.

I loved the plug for SMARTS :-)

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Writing simpler rules

Dr Charles Forgy delivered a  presentation at Decision Camp 2013 today on how to write simpler rules.

This is a new type of presentation from Charles – a presentation from the perspective of the user of rules rather than the implementer of a rules engine. This switch in perspective from the father of Rete is interesting.

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Hot Tech Trends for Machine Learning

I joined the Churchill Club this morning for an exciting breakfast on Machine Learning.  In May 2013, Steve Jurvetson of DFJ said on the Churchill Club stage that he believes machine learning will be one of the most important tech trends over the next 3-5 years for innovation and economic growth.  I was eager to hear what Peter Norvig and the other guys would say about that.

No surprise

What might be surprising is that none of them painted an ‘unfathomable’ picture of the future.  It was all about more power, faster modeling, more data…

Star Trek InnovationVision?

I can’t say that they shared a vision…  I wonder if we have all been dreaming in our young years, watching Star Trek, and super-computers fueled our imagination.  Super smart machine able to assist the crew, and eventually perform medicine or look for their ‘humanity’, is the vision.  We are all working hard at figuring out ways we can make it real, ways we can build technology that achieve the ideals we grew up dreaming about.

It has been a rocky road for Artificial Intelligence, but in the past few years, Watson, the self driving car and other wonders have made us believe that machine learning could actually live up to our expectations, and more.

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