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Decision Management Systems: A Practical Guide to Using Business Rules and Predictive Analytics (IBM Press) [Paperback]

by James Taylor
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 10, 2011 0132884380 978-0132884389 1
"A very rich book sprinkled with real-life examples as well as battle-tested advice.”
—Pierre Haren, VP ILOG, IBM

"James does a thorough job of explaining Decision Management Systems as enablers
of a formidable business transformation.”
—Deepak Advani, Vice President, Business Analytics Products and SPSS, IBM

Build Systems That Work Actively to Help You Maximize Growth and Profits
Most companies rely on operational systems that are largely passive. But what if you could make your systems active participants in optimizing your business? What if your systems could act intelligently on their own? Learn, not just report? Empower users to take action instead of simply escalating their problems? Evolve without massive IT investments?

Decision Management Systems can do all that and more. In this book, the field’s leading expert demonstrates how to use them to drive unprecedented levels of business value. James Taylor shows how to integrate operational and analytic technologies to create systems that are more agile, more analytic, and more adaptive. Through actual case studies, you’ll learn how to combine technologies such as predictive analytics, optimization, and business rules—improving customer service, reducing fraud, managing risk, increasing agility, and driving growth.

Both a practical how-to guide and a framework for planning, Decision Management Systems focuses on mainstream business challenges.

Coverage includes
  • Understanding how Decision Management Systems can transform your business
  • Planning your systems “with the decision in mind”
  • Identifying, modeling, and prioritizing the decisions you need to optimize
  • Designing and implementing robust decision services
  • Monitoring your ongoing decision-making and learning how to improve it
  • Proven enablers of effective Decision Management Systems: people, process, and technology
  • Identifying and overcoming obstacles that can derail your Decision Management Systems initiative

Frequently Bought Together

Decision Management Systems: A Practical Guide to Using Business Rules and Predictive Analytics (IBM Press) + Knowledge Automation: How to Implement Decision Management in Business Processes + Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die
Price for all three: $81.84

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Taylor is the CEO of Decision Management Solutions, and is the leading expert in how to use business rules and analytic technology to build Decision Management Systems. James is passionate about using Decision Management Systems to help companies improve decision-making and develop an agile, analytic, and adaptive business. He has more than 20 years working with clients in all sectors to identify their highest-value opportunities for advanced analytics, enabling them to reduce fraud, continually manage and assess risk, and maximize customer value with increased flexibility and speed.

In addition to strategy consulting, James has been a keynote speaker at many events for executive audiences, including ComputerWorld’s BI & Analytics Perspectives, Gartner Business Process Management Summit, Information Management Europe, Business Intelligence South Africa, The Business Rules Forum, Predictive Analytics World, IBM’s Business Analytics Forum, and IBM’s CIO Leadership Exchange. James is also a faculty member of the International Institute for Analytics.

In 2007, James wrote Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions (Prentice Hall) with Neil Raden, and has contributed chapters on Decision Management to multiple books, including Applying Real-World BPM in an SAP Environment, The Decision Model, The Business Rules Revolution: Doing Business The Right Way, and Business Intelligence Implementation: Issues and Perspectives. He blogs on Decision Management at and has written dozens of articles on Decision Management Systems for CRM Magazine, Information Management, Teradata Magazine, The BPM Institute, BeyeNetwork, InformationWeek, and TDWI’s BI Journal.

He was previously a Vice President at Fair Isaac Corporation, spent time at a Silicon Valley startup, worked on PeopleSoft’s R&D team, and as a consultant with Ernst and Young. He has spent the last 20 years developing approaches, tools, and platforms that others can use to build more effective information systems.

He lives in Palo Alto, California with his family. When he is not writing about, speaking on or developing Decision Management Systems, he plays board games, acts as a trustee for a local school, and reads military history or science fiction.

Product Details

  • Series: IBM Press
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: IBM Press; 1 edition (October 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132884380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132884389
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James is the CEO and Principal Consultant of Decision Management Solutions. James is the leading expert in decision management and decisioning technologies. James is passionate about using decisioning technologies like business rules and predictive analytics to help companies improve decision making and develop smarter and more agile processes and systems. James has over 20 years developing software and solutions for clients and has led Decision Management efforts for leading companies in insurance, banking, health management and telecommunications. He is also an active speaker, blogger and author.

James delivers webinars, workshops and sales training for clients and vendors. He is a keynote speaker at conferences such as the Business Rules Forum, Predictive Analytics World and IBM's Business Analytics Forum. James was lead author of "Smart (Enough) Systems" (Prentice Hall, 2007) with Neil Raden, and has contributed chapters on decision management and business rules to multiple books including "Applying Real-World BPM in an SAP Environment", "The Decision Model", "The Business Rules Revolution: Doing Business The Right Way" and "Business Intelligence Implementation: Issues and Perspectives". James is a faculty member of the International Institute for Analytics.

James has experience at FICO, PeopleSoft R&D, and Ernst & Young.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found James Taylor's book to be enjoyable and inspiring. He has taken some challenging topics, applied clear-headed thinking, and provided a comprehensive vision of truly effective decisioning systems.

For starters, naming the subject after "decisions", rather than using words like "rules", "knowledge", or "AI", is very helpful. Business people "get" decisions. It's how their organizations and their best performers differentiate themselves.

I also like the methodology Taylor proposes of starting with a "decision inventory". This can be a daunting task, but he provides a number of strategies to get this process moving in a focused manner.

Another thing that stands out is this book's approach to planning for the full life cycle of a Decision Management System, identifying Key Performance Indicators early on, and putting the proper analytics in place to allow the automated rules to evolve with the business. As someone who has worked with rule-based and other intelligent systems since the 80s, I've seen many great systems that have quickly fossilized because they lacked the type of practical knowledge enhancement strategy that Taylor recommends.

Taylor has created a great framework for thinking about an important class of business problems, and for constructing robust Decision Management solutions. I look forward to using these ideas on future projects.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!!!! December 28, 2011
There are not too many systems being created today that I would consider more than interfaces to a data structure. Meaning most systems today rely on people to provide the intelligence behind them. The systems themselves are viewed as a necessary evil by the people who use them. I find this to be especially true in organizations with a long history. Their attitude is they were built by people, and people will continue to be their most valuable asset.

The author of this book challenges us to take our systems to the new level of existence. One where they are responsive partners in the company along with the people who use them. Responding in real-time to customers and users of the system. Decision Management Systems are intended to be active participants in optimizing your business.

The decisions focused on in the book are strategic, tactical, and operational. The decisions characteristics are they should be repeatable, non-trivial, measurable business impact, and a candidate for automation.

One of the things I really like about this book is that the author does a great job of providing real-world easy to understand examples that show you how the theory being explained can be applied.

The first part of the book builds the case for decision management systems. The second part of the book covers building decision management systems, and the last part of the book discusses the enablers for decision management systems.

Part one shows us what type of impact decision management systems can have on our businesses, and the characteristics of decision management systems. It gives a ton of real-world examples.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Opinions are divided, sometimes sharply divided about the nature and extent of what can be accurately predicted in a business world in which change often seems to be the only constant. In his latest book, Antifragile, for example, Nassim Nicholas Taleb asserts that "by grasping the mechanisms of antifragility we can build a systematic and broad guide to [begin italics] nonpredictive [end italics] decision making under uncertainty in business, politics, medicine, and life in general -- anywhere the unknown preponderates, any situation in which there is randomness, unpredictability, opacity, or incomplete understanding of things." I agree with Taleb that we cannot predict what is unpredictable but we [begin italics] can [end italics] formulate, establish, and then sustain the "system" to which he refers.

These are among the passages that caught my eye and of interest and value to me:

o Managing Risk (Pages 8-18)
o Real-Time Responsiveness (20-23)
o Maximizing Assets (41-44)
o Principles of Decision Management Systems (47-66)
o Characteristics of Suitable Decisions (72-81)
o Develop New Decision-Making Models (176-183)
o The Three-Legged Stool (191-197)
o Table 8-1, Center of Excellence Profile Attributes (198-204)
o A Culture of Experimentation (222-228)
o Business Rules Management System (235-238)
o A Service-Oriented Platform (255-281)

Taylor is convinced, as am I, that individuals as well as organizations cannot control everything but [begin italics] they can control how they respond to what happens [end italics]. The best responses are based on the best decisions and there are different types.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice & Simple November 30, 2011
The author tells a story without using the omnipresent vendor-terminology-soup, or being too technical; thus the book is quite readable and should appeal to wider audience.

For business people -- the clear value proposition and some insight into inner workings of (operational) decision management systems.

For geeks -- to gain an insight into design of these systems; grasp the overall picture of what business is trying to achieve, and learn some business speak along the way.

All nicely illuminated by a wealth of real-life implementation stories.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This is a good book. It is geared towards executives and managers to explain why these systems are needed and what they are for. Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book for any one in corporate world
Decision management system is the road map for most companies that are still in the old way of thinking; it is easy to read and very practical
Published 3 months ago by Hamidou Dicko
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Analytics
Attended this author's session at a conference. His talk motivated me in purchasing his book. I am new to analytics and I found the book a great introduction.
Published 4 months ago by Business Analysis Instructor
4.0 out of 5 stars High-quality, forgettable
On the plus side, this is an intelligent, well-organized, methodical book. On the minus side, it communicates insights that, in my opinion, can be found in many other books and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dimitri Shvorob
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Necessary Book for Some
James Taylor is a very smart guy, and a leader in the field of management systems. This book(2012)is very thought provoking and gives anyone interested in the area of "big... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dr. R. D. B. Laime
4.0 out of 5 stars Focus on business rules rather than analytics
As a data miner, I was interested by the subtitle of the book. Although, the book is really well written, I'm a bit disappointed regarding the content for someone in analytics. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Sandro Saitta
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about Decision Management Systems is not...
Thank you, James, for picking up where everyone else left off so many years ago. The language is clear, the examples cogent, and its application quite timely. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jon C. Farrar
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to James speak and then read book
I was privileged to listen to James speak at an IBM conference sponsored by Information week and he inspired
me to read his book. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Cliff Beiser
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple, looks to be written from experience, beware IBM kool aid
I threw this at a client and suggest they start at Part II: Building Decision Management Systems:
* It is simple and in layman's terms;
* The content of Part II and III... Read more
Published on March 5, 2012 by Nicholas Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars A great place to start... and finish
Where are your business' pain points and where are its golden opportunities? James Taylor's new book, Decision Management Systems, shows how to 1) formalize the the nitty gritty of... Read more
Published on December 16, 2011 by Eric Siegel
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