Once again, I had to use my persuasion skills to convince our team of CTOs to meet on stage. It is funny how these guys need to be forced to meet in a panel when they have so much to share and can be so entertaining too!
In any case, once again, Carlos Serrano-Morales (Sparkling logic), Jacob Feldman (OpenRules) and Mark Proctor (Red Hat) shared their views on Decision Management. James Taylor is our moderator today.
Talking about their current interests, Carlos stressed again the importance of data. Data, and big data, is becoming increasingly more available as I was recently stressing too. Data is becoming more open than ever. Young companies, young engineers, young professionals have less reluctance to share data. Carlos’s point is that experts will have no choice but to take data into account for more insightful decisions.
Mark and Jacob preferred not to talk about big data. Jacob explored the use of rules and machine learning to prepare data.
One more point that is concerning Carlos is the ecosystem that youngsters are interested in. They don’t care about Java like we have been, they want Python and technologies like that. They want to go fast and integrate stuff dynamically. That allows them to go fast, and to add more data sources quickly. The impact for us is that we need to be declarative and dynamic.
Back to analytics, a fair comparison of business rules and predictive models is that models are extremely compressed. They embed a ton of knowledge in a single formula. They do not move fast though. They need to be refreshed on a regular basis, which is a difficult task that is performed by data scientists. In order to deal with the in-between state, as models start to age, companies use business rules that complement the models, and deal with situations the models do not know about. At refresh time, the many rules created in the meantime get compressed inside the model. And the cycle starts again.
We have been extracting rules out of data for a long time. We just did not call them rules, we called them decision trees or scorecards or something like that.
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