Form Structure — Start with Data

on May 30, 2024
form structure

Start with Data

Creating the form structure (aka data structure, data model, or data schema) is crucial to transforming requirements into business rules. In our Authoring Business Rules 101 post, we covered the “Keep it Simple Approach” from our presentation at BBC 2024. In this post, we will delve into this first step, Start with Data. Listen to the excerpt below. View the full “Authoring Business Rules 101” recording.


Car Insurance Example

When it comes to determining eligibility and pricing for car insurance, an insurance company typically deals with two sets of data. The first set of data revolves around the primary driver. Data includes name, date of birth, license number, and so forth. The second set of data revolves around the vehicle. Data includes make, model, year, etc. You must label and format each type of data so that you can process applications correctly. This is where the form structure comes in. The form structure provides the structure for the data.

Creating the Form Structure

When it comes to creating the form structure, you typically have two options:

  • Option 1 — Design it. If no form structure exists, you can design it from your business requirements. Go through the requirements and identify what data is needed and how it needs to be structured. Note if certain types of data are derived from others. For example, the primary driver’s age would be a calculation based on the primary’s driver’s date of birth and today’s date.
  • Option 2 — Import it. If your DBA or technical team has already defined a form structure, you can simply import it into your business rules management system or decision management platform like SMARTS™. This will be the most common option as you’re most likely dealing with data that is used enterprise-wide and thus must be handled and stored a certain way.

Rules in Context

SMARTS™ Data-Powered Decision Manager provides a third option which is a blend of the first two options. With SMARTS™, you can upload a spreadsheet of sample data from your database, such as 100 past car insurance applications and transactions. When historical data is unavailable, you can also use the same test data that your technical team is using for regression testing. SMARTS™ will automatically create the form structure from the sample data which you can review and manually make any changes. In addition, you can use that same sample data to author and test business rules (which we will cover more in a later post). By starting with data, you will ensure that you author business rules in context of your organization’s systems and databases.

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Sparkling Logic Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company dedicated to helping organizations automate and optimize key decisions in daily business operations and customer interactions in a low-code, no-code environment. Our core product, SMARTS™ Data-Powered Decision Manager, is an all-in-one decision management platform designed for business analysts to quickly automate and continuously optimize complex operational decisions. Learn more by requesting a live demo or free trial today.