Per definition, Dynamic Questionnaires generate user interfaces that collect data. Their main characteristics include the following:
- Primarily, they apply reflexive logic for dependencies between questions
- Additionally, they enforce validation rules to ensure quality of data input
- Finally, they collaborate seamlessly with back-end decision logic
As one expects, dynamic questionnaires have been leveraged primarily for business applications. However, we also leverage them quite often in other use cases that may surprise you.
#1 Use Case for Dynamic Questionnaires: Business Applications
In the Dynamic Loan Evaluation demo, we presented an example of business application that uses dynamic questionnaires. In no time, a business form turns into an online questionnaire that collects the borrower’s information, and renders the underwriting decision.
While this academic example is limited in complexity, we have seen real-life questionnaires for finance, insurance, and healthcare, that contain hundreds of questions.
Let’s say that you report past violations, we may ask, for each violation, if that was a ticket or an accident. If an accident, we may ask if it was at fault, and if there were fatalities. These nested questions, also called reflexive logic, justify the use of dynamic questionnaire technology.
#2 Use Case: Implementing / Testing Multi-Step Processes
In order to navigate from page to page, a sort of business process engine handles these transitions. This engine applies decision services when appropriate. All-in-all, it provides all that long-running transactions need. When questionnaires are pretty long, applicants may get interrupted mid-way through the paperwork. You certainly do not want to force your users to start from the top then. Whatever they have filled in already can be retrieved, and the applicant can continue filling the form at any point in time.
From time to time, we encounter a scenario in which a separate business process handles the overall orchestration. While there is no issue at all with integrating a separate business process, that business process is not always ready from the get-go. When the business process is not yet available, or when it cannot be easily tested, I use dynamic questionnaires for testing. That gives me a convenient environment to navigate the series of steps needed, and select the profile for the data that needs to be pulled.
#3 Use Case: Generating Business Rules
Last but not least, I use dynamic questionnaires for capturing business rules. Most decision projects author and maintain business rules in our SMARTS environment. Yet, we also encounter another scenario in which multiple rules configurations follow the exact same structure, activating or deactivating rules, and possibly setting up values.
In this example, I have several insurance products available. For each product, I can configure eligibility rules using point-and-click in the questionnaire. As product owner, the questionnaire constrains my options to only valid options. Note that I could also leverage business rules on the back-end to ensure that my configuration is valid!
We can design the questionnaire to reflect product specification sheets that you may use as a PDF for example.
I hope that these use cases will give you some ideas on how to leverage dynamic questionnaires.
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