- 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: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Decision Management Systems: A Practical Guide to Using Business Rules and Predictive Analytics (IBM Press) 1st Edition
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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 www.jtonedm.com 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Part two covers discovering and modeling decisions, designing and implementing decision services, and monitoring and improving decisions.
Part three cover the different decision management system enablers which includes people, process, and technology enablers. One of the things I liked in this section is the author introduced the Agile Business Rule Development (ABRD). The ABRD is a practice to implement business application using business rule management system and rule engine technology.
Another thing I really liked is that the author has an awesome web site that provides additional material. It includes some nice white papers and webinars. I can't include links on Amazon, so just Google "decision management solutions". Check out the material their for a preview of what you'll find in the book.
The author's writing style makes these a really easy cover to cover read. The book is very practical and realistic. It is the way systems should be thought about.
Over all if you are in IT, I highly recommend reading this book.
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. Taylor discusses three in Chapter 4: strategic ("high-value, low-volume"), tactical ("focused on management and control"), and operational ("(of lower value and usually involve a single situation). He suggests four principles that address the characteristic capabilities of a Decision Management System: Begin with the decision in mind; Be transparent and agile; Be predictive, not reactive; and finally, Test, learn, and continuously improve). These principles will guide and inform decisions made both by individuals and groups.
In Tom Davenport's latest book, Judgment Calls, he and co-author Brooke Manville offer "an antidote for the Great Man theory of decision making and organizational performance": [begin italics] organizational judgment [end italics]. That is, "the collective capacity to make good calls and wise moves when the need for them exceeds the scope of any single leader's direct control." In all organizations, individuals at all levels and in all areas must make dozens (if not hundreds) of decisions each day, most of less but nonetheless (at least potentially) significant value. Whatever their nature and impact, the best decisions are based on the best information, especially information gained from prior experience.
As Taylor explains, a repeatable decision "is one that is made more than once by an organization following a well-defined, or at least definable decision-making approach." Of course, non-repeatable decisions cannot be automated according to any system, including the one Taylor proposes. However, it is also true that circumstances change. In this context, I am reminded of an incident that occurred many years ago when one of Albert Einstein's colleagues at Princeton pointed out to him that he always asked the same questions on his final examination. "Yes, that's quite true. Each year, the answers are different."
A brief commentary such as mine cannot possibly do full justice to the scope and value of the information, insights, and advice that Taylor provides. Also, presumably he would agree with me that it would be a fool's errand to attempt to apply all of that material immediately. It remains for each reader to select whatever is most relevant to the needs, objectives, resources, and culture of the given organization and then make whatever modifications may be needed.