Frequently Asked Questions
An introduction to decision management
What is Decision Management?
Decision management (DM) is a discipline and set of technologies for managing automated decisions in software applications and systems. DM platforms provide an environment where business analysts can define, test, and deploy decisions into your operations as decision services.
Once deployed, you can invoke a decision service from systems, processes, and other services. You can access it when you need to make a specific decision in the business application.
With DM, you can monitor and optimize the decisions that are made in your applications and systems. To do this, you define metrics and key performance indicators to measure the results of your deployed decisions.
By monitoring and measuring your decision results, you will better understand when and how to improve your decision strategy. DM encompasses not only the automation of decisions but also the cycle of monitoring and dynamically improving those decisions.
Decision management enables organizations to:
- First, automate costly and repetitive decisions
- Second, improve the quality of decisions – lower risk, higher return
- Third, ensure the consistency of decisions
- Fourth, rapidly adjust and improve decisions over time
Organizations in all industries use DM in applications related to risk, compliance, and configuration.
Why Use Decision Management?
Decisions are the central concept in decision management. Traditionally, software development has focused on the automation of processes and functions to gain operational efficiencies. Organizations paid little attention to the actual business decisions that guide those processes. As a result, the code responsible for making those decisions was scattered throughout databases, processes and user interfaces. Maintaining and evolving those decisions was challenging.
DM emerged as the key discipline to strategically manage automated business decisions. With DM, organizations treat the code responsible for making these decisions as a separate asset. It is to business decisions what business process management is to business processes and database management is to business data.
Today, organizations turn to DM in order to effectively manage risk and improve the customer experience. Companies using decision management benefit from agile, targeted, automated decisions that leverage data and analytics to improve their business outcomes.
Decision Management with SMARTS™
How Does Decision Management Deliver Business Agility?
In decision management, you separate decisions from the applications and processes that use them. Companies can bypass normal software development life cycle with DM. Subsequently, you can modify decisions on an independent lifecycle. This separation makes it quicker, easier, and less costly to adapt to market and regulatory changes.
Rather than waiting weeks or months on IT, business analysts and other subject matter experts can make updates themselves as needed. DM platforms also provide business-friendly decision logic representations so that non-technical users can easily define decisions. In addition, many DM platforms allow users to test and run simulations. These tools enable organizations to validate their decision strategy prior to deploying them into production.
How Does Decision Management Result in Targeted Decisions?
Today, most organizations want to apply data and analytics towards improving operational systems and processes. Data sources can include:
- Internet of Things (RFID, SCADA, geolocation/GPS, patient monitors, sensors)
- Transactions (orders, reservations, claims, banking transactions)
- Digital activity (news feeds, social computing, clickstreams)
Modern DM platforms provide a path for you to translate data insights into specific, targeted decisions. In a DM platform, you can combine predictive models with business rules to specify what action to take. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, DM helps organizations make more personalized, customer-centric decisions.
How Does Decision Management Improve Business Outcomes?
Decision management allows you to align your decision strategy with overall business goals. Examples include:
- An insurer desiring to increase straight-through processing of claims by 25%
- An equipment manufacturer desiring to decrease failures by 10%
- A health plan desiring to increase program participation by 15%
DM platforms like SMARTS™ allows users to define metrics and key performance indicators. Once you deploy a decision into an operational environment, DM you can monitor decision outcomes against your business objectives and make any necessary changes to your decision strategy.