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Predictive Models Ain’t Easy to Deploy

 

This is a guest blog post by Carole Ann Matignon of Sparkling Logic. You can see more on Sparkling Logic at http://my.sparklinglogic.com/

Decision Management is about combining predictive models and business rules to automate decisions for your business. Insurance underwriting, loan origination or workout, claims processing are all very good use cases for that discipline… But there is a hiccup… It ain’t as easy you would expect…

What’s easy?

If you have a neat model, then most tools would allow you to export it as a PMML model – PMML stands for Predictive Model Markup Language and is a standard XML representation for predictive model formulas. Many model development tools let you export it without much effort. Many BRMS – Business rules Management Systems – let you import it. Tada… The model is ready for deployment.

What’s hard?

The problem that we keep seeing over and over in the industry is the issue around variables.

Those neat predictive models are formulas based on variables that may or may not exist as is in your object model. When the variable is itself a formula based on the object model, like the min, max or sum of Dollar amount spent in Groceries in the past 3 months, and the object model comes with transaction details, such that you can compute it by iterating through those transactions, then the problem is not “that” big. PMML 4 introduced some support for those variables.

The issue that is not easy to fix, and yet quite frequent, is when the model development data model does not resemble the operational one. Your Data Warehouse very likely flattened the object model, and pre-computed some aggregations that make the mapping very hard to restore.

It is clearly not an impossible project as many organizations do that today. It comes with a significant overhead though that forces modelers to involve IT resources to extract the right data for the model to be operationalized. It is a heavy process that is well justified for heavy-duty models that were developed over a period of time, with a significant ROI.

This is a show-stopper though for other initiatives which do not have the same ROI, or would require too frequent model refresh to be viable. Here, I refer to “real” model refresh that involves a model reengineering, not just a re-weighting of the same variables.

For those initiatives where time is of the essence, the challenge will be to bring closer those two worlds, the modelers and the business rules experts, in order to streamline the development AND deployment of analytics beyond the model formula. The great opportunity I see is the potential for a better and coordinated tuning of the cut-off rules in the context of the model refinement. In other words: the opportunity to refine the strategy as a whole. Very ambitious? I don’t think so.

About Carole Ann Matignon

http://my.sparklinglogic.com/index.php/company/management-team

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Carole-Ann MatignonCarole-Ann Matignon – Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

She is a renowned guru in the Decision Management space. She created the vision for Decision Management that is widely adopted now in the industry.  Her claim to fame is managing the strategy and direction of Blaze Advisor, the leading BRMS product, while she also managed all the Decision Management tools at FICO (business rules, predictive analytics and optimization). She has a vision for Decision Management both as a technology and a discipline that can revolutionize the way corporations do business, and will never get tired of painting that vision for her audience.  She speaks often at Industry conferences and has conducted university classes in France and Washington DC.

She started her career building advanced systems using all kinds of technologies — expert systems, rules, optimization, dashboarding and cubes, web search, and beta version of database replication. At Cleversys (acquired by Kurt Salmon & Associates), she also conducted strategic consulting gigs around change management.

While playing with advanced software components, she found a passion for technology and joined ILOG (acquired by IBM). She developed a growing interest in Optimization as well as Business Rules. At ILOG, she coined the term BRMS while brainstorming with her Sales counterpart. She led the Presales organization for Telecom in the Americas up until 2000 when she joined Blaze Software (acquired by Brokat Technologies, HNC Software and finally FICO).

Her 360-degree experience allowed her to gain appreciation for all aspects of a software company, giving her a unique perspective on the business. Her technical background kept her very much in touch with technology as she advanced.

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Carole-Ann’s 2011 Predictions for Decision Management

Carole-Ann’s 2011 Predictions for Decision Management

For Ajay Ohri on DecisionStats.com

What were the top 5 events in 2010 in your field?
  1. Maturity: the Decision Management space was made up of technology vendors, big and small, that typically focused on one or two aspects of this discipline.  Over the past few years, we have seen a lot of consolidation in the industry – first with Business Intelligence (BI) then Business Process Management (BPM) and lately in Business Rules Management (BRM) and Advanced Analytics.  As a result the giant Platform vendors have helped create visibility for this discipline.  Lots of tiny clues finally bubbled up in 2010 to attest of the increasing activity around Decision Management.  For example, more products than ever were named Decision Manager; companies advertised for Decision Managers as a job title in their job section; most people understand what I do when I am introduced in a social setting!
  2. Boredom: unfortunately, as the industry matures, inevitably innovation slows down…  At the main BRMS shows we heard here and there complaints that the technology was stalling.  We heard it from vendors like Red Hat (Drools) and we heard it from bored end-users hoping for some excitement at Business Rules Forum’s vendor panel.  They sadly did not get it
  3. Scrum: I am not thinking about the methodology there!  If you have ever seen a rugby game, you can probably understand why this is the term that comes to mind when I look at the messy & confusing technology landscape.  Feet blindly try to kick the ball out while superhuman forces are moving randomly the whole pack – or so it felt when I played!  Business Users in search of Business Solutions are facing more and more technology choices that feel like comparing apples to oranges.  There is value in all of them and each one addresses a specific aspect of Decision Management but I regret that the industry did not simplify the picture in 2010.  On the contrary!  Many buzzwords were created or at least made popular last year, creating even more confusion on a muddy field.  A few examples: Social CRM, Collaborative Decision Making, Adaptive Case Management, etc.  Don’t take me wrong, I *do* like the technologies.  I sympathize with the decision maker that is trying to pick the right solution though.
  4. Information: Analytics have been used for years of course but the volume of data surrounding us has been growing to unparalleled levels.  We can blame or thank (depending on our perspective) Social Media for that.  Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have made it possible and easy to publish relevant (as well as fluffy) information in real-time.  As we all started to get the hang of it and potentially over-publish, technology evolved to enable the storage, correlation and analysis of humongous volumes of data that we could not dream of before.  25 billion tweets were posted in 2010.  Every month, over 30 billion pieces of data are shared on Facebook alone.  This is not just about vanity and marketing though.  This data can be leveraged for the greater good.  Carlos pointed to some fascinating facts about catastrophic event response team getting organized thanks to crowd-sourced information.  We are also seeing, in the Decision management world, more and more applicability for those very technology that have been developed for the needs of Big Data – I’ll name for example Hadoop that Carlos (yet again) discussed in his talks at Rules Fest end of 2009 and 2010.
  5. Self-Organization: it may be a side effect of the Social Media movement but I must admit that I was impressed by the success of self-organizing initiatives.  Granted, this last trend has nothing to do with Decision Management per se but I think it is a great evolution worth noting.  Let me point to a couple of examples.  I usually attend traditional conferences and tradeshows in which the content can be good but is sometimes terrible.  I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and attendance at *un-conferences* such as P-Camp (P stands for Product – an event for Product Managers).  When you think about it, it is already difficult to get a show together when people are dedicated to the tasks.  How crazy is it to have volunteers set one up with no budget and no agenda?  Well, people simply show up to do their part and everyone has fun voting on-site for what seems the most appealing content at the time.  Crowdsourcing applied to shows: it works!  Similar experience with meetups or tweetups.  I also enjoyed attending some impromptu Twitter jam sessions on a given topic.  Social Media is certainly helping people reach out and get together in person or virtually and that is wonderful!

A segment of a social network

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What are the top three trends you see in 2011?

  1. Performance:  I might be cheating here.   I was very bullish about predicting much progress for 2010 in the area of Performance Management in your Decision Management initiatives.  I believe that progress was made but Carlos did not give me full credit for the right prediction…  Okay, I am a little optimistic on timeline…  I admit it…  If it did not fully happen in 2010, can I predict it again in 2011?  I think that companies want to better track their business performance in order to correct the trajectory of course but also to improve their projections.  I see that it is turning into reality already here and there.  I expect it to become a trend in 2011!
  2. Insight: Big Data being available all around us with new technologies and algorithms will continue to propagate in 2011 leading to more widely spread Analytics capabilities.  The buzz at Analytics shows on Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a sign that there is interest in those kinds of things.  There is tremendous information that can be leveraged for smart decision-making.  I think there will be more of that in 2011 as initiatives launches in 2010 will mature into material results.
    5 Ways to Cultivate an Active Social Network

    Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

  3. Collaboration:  Social Media for the Enterprise is a discipline in the making.  Social Media was initially seen for the most part as a Marketing channel.  Over the years, companies have started experimenting with external communities and ideation capabilities with moderate success.  The few strategic initiatives started in 2010 by “old fashion” companies seem to be an indication that we are past the early adopters.  This discipline may very well materialize in 2011 as a core capability, well, or at least a new trend.  I believe that capabilities such Chatter, offered by Salesforce, will transform (slowly) how people interact in the workplace and leverage the volumes of social data captured in LinkedIn and other Social Media sites.  Collaboration is of course a topic of interest for me personally.  I even signed up for Kare Anderson’s collaboration collaboration site – yes, twice the word “collaboration”: it is really about collaborating on collaboration techniques.  Even though collaboration does not require Social Media, this medium offers perspectives not available until now.

Brief Bio-

Carole-Ann is a renowned guru in the Decision Management space. She created the vision for Decision Management that is widely adopted now in the industry. Her claim to fame is the strategy and direction of Blaze Advisor, the then-leading BRMS product, while she also managed all the Decision Management tools at FICO (business rules, predictive analytics and optimization). She has a vision for Decision Management both as a technology and a discipline that can revolutionize the way corporations do business, and will never get tired of painting that vision for her audience. She speaks often at Industry conferences and has conducted university classes in France and Washington DC.

Leveraging her Masters degree in Applied Mathematics / Computer Science from a “Grande Ecole” in France, she started her career building advanced systems using all kinds of technologies — expert systems, rules, optimization, dashboarding and cubes, web search, and beta version of database replication – as well as conducting strategic consulting gigs around change management.

She now tweets as @CMatignon, blogs at blog.sparklinglogic.com and interacts at community.sparklinglogic.com.

She started her career building advanced systems using all kinds of technologies — expert systems, rules, optimization, dashboarding and cubes, web search, and beta version of database replication.  At Cleversys (acquired by Kurt Salmon & Associates), she also conducted strategic consulting gigs mostly around change management.

While playing with advanced software components, she found a passion for technology and joined ILOG (acquired by IBM).  She developed a growing interest in Optimization as well as Business Rules.  At ILOG, she coined the term BRMS while brainstorming with her Sales counterpart.  She led the Presales organization for Telecom in the Americas up until 2000 when she joined Blaze Software (acquired by Brokat Technologies, HNC Software and finally FICO).

Her 360-degree experience allowed her to gain appreciation for all aspects of a software company, giving her a unique perspective on the business.  Her technical background kept her very much in touch with technology as she advanced.

She also became addicted to Twitter in the process.  She is active on all kinds of social media, always looking for new digital experience!

Outside of work, Carole-Ann loves spending time with her two boys.  They grow fruits in their Northern California home and cook all together in the French tradition.

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Filtering to Gain Social Network Value

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Social Networks Hype Cycle

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Challenges of Analyzing a dataset (with R)

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Analyzing data can have many challenges associated with it. In the case of business analytics data, these challenges or constraints can have a marked effect on the quality and timeliness of the analysis as well as the expected versus actual payoff from the analytical results.

Challenges of Analytical Data Processing-

1) Data Formats- Reading in complete data, without losing any part (or meta data), or adding in superfluous details (that increase the scope). Technical constraints of data formats are relatively easy to navigate thanks to ODBC and well documented and easily search-able syntax and language.

The costs of additional data augmentation (should we pay for additional credit bureau data to be appended) , time of storing and processing the data (every column needed for analysis can add in as many rows as whole dataset, which can be a time enhancing problem if you are considering an extra 100 variables with a few million rows), but above all that of business relevance and quality guidelines will ensure basic data input and massaging are considerable parts of whole analytical project timeline.

2) Data Quality-Perfect data exists in a perfect world. The price of perfect information is one business will mostly never budget or wait for. To deliver inferences and results based on summaries of data which has missing, invalid, outlier data embedded within it makes the role of an analyst just as important as which ever tool is chosen to remove outliers, replace missing values, or treat invalid data.

3) Project Scope-

How much data? How much Analytical detail versus High Level Summary? Timelines for delivery as well as refresh of data analysis? Checks (statistical as well as business)?

How easy is it to load and implement the new analysis in existing Information Technology Infrastructure? These are some of the outer parameters that can limit both your analytical project scope, your analytical tool choice, and your processing methodology.
4) Output Results vis a vis stakeholder expectation management-

Stakeholders like to see results, not constraints, hypothesis ,assumptions , p-value, or chi -square value. Output results need to be streamlined to a decision management process to justify the investment of human time and effort in an analytical project, choice,training and navigating analytical tool complexities and constraints are subset of it. Optimum use of graphical display is a part of aligning results to a more palatable form to stakeholders, provided graphics are done nicely.

Eg Marketing wants to get more sales so they need a clear campaign, to target certain customers via specific channels with specified collateral. In order to base their business judgement, business analytics needs to validate , cross validate and sometimes invalidate this business decision making with clear transparent methods and processes.

Given a dataset- the basic analytical steps that an analyst will do with R are as follows. This is meant as a note for analysts at a beginner level with R.

Package -specific syntax

update.packages() #This updates all packages
install.packages(package1) #This installs a package locally, a one time event
library(package1) #This loads a specified package in the current R session, which needs to be done every R session

CRAN________LOCAL HARD DISK_________R SESSION is the top to bottom hierarchy of package storage and invocation.

ls() #This lists all objects or datasets currently active in the R session

> names(assetsCorr)  #This gives the names of variables within a dataframe
[1] “AssetClass”            “LargeStocksUS”         “SmallStocksUS”
[4] “CorporateBondsUS”      “TreasuryBondsUS”       “RealEstateUS”
[7] “StocksCanada”          “StocksUK”              “StocksGermany”
[10] “StocksSwitzerland”     “StocksEmergingMarkets”

> str(assetsCorr) #gives complete structure of dataset
‘data.frame':    12 obs. of  11 variables:
$ AssetClass           : Factor w/ 12 levels “CorporateBondsUS”,..: 4 5 2 6 1 12 3 7 11 9 …
$ LargeStocksUS        : num  15.3 16.4 1 0 0 …
$ SmallStocksUS        : num  13.49 16.64 0.66 1 0 …
$ CorporateBondsUS     : num  9.26 6.74 0.38 0.46 1 0 0 0 0 0 …
$ TreasuryBondsUS      : num  8.44 6.26 0.33 0.27 0.95 1 0 0 0 0 …
$ RealEstateUS         : num  10.6 17.32 0.08 0.59 0.35 …
$ StocksCanada         : num  10.25 19.78 0.56 0.53 -0.12 …
$ StocksUK             : num  10.66 13.63 0.81 0.41 0.24 …
$ StocksGermany        : num  12.1 20.32 0.76 0.39 0.15 …
$ StocksSwitzerland    : num  15.01 20.8 0.64 0.43 0.55 …
$ StocksEmergingMarkets: num  16.5 36.92 0.3 0.6 0.12 …

> dim(assetsCorr) #gives dimensions observations and variable number
[1] 12 11

str(Dataset) – This gives the structure of the dataset (note structure gives both the names of variables within dataset as well as dimensions of the dataset)

head(dataset,n1) gives the first n1 rows of dataset while
tail(dataset,n2) gives the last n2 rows of a dataset where n1,n2 are numbers and dataset is the name of the object (here a data frame that is being considered)

summary(dataset) gives you a brief summary of all variables while

library(Hmisc)
describe(dataset) gives a detailed description on the variables

simple graphics can be given by

hist(Dataset1)
and
plot(Dataset1)

As you can see in above cases, there are multiple ways to get even basic analysis about data in R- however most of the syntax commands are intutively understood (like hist for histogram, t.test for t test, plot for plot).

For detailed analysis throughout the scope of analysis, for a business analytics user it is recommended to using multiple GUI, and multiple packages. Even for highly specific and specialized analytical tasks it is recommended to check for a GUI that incorporates the required package.

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Keynote: Five Ways Predictive Analytics Cuts Enterprise Risk  

Eric Siegel, Ph.D., Program Chair, Predictive Analytics World

All business is an exercise in risk management. All organizations would benefit from measuring, tracking and computing risk as a core process, much like insurance companies do.

Predictive analytics does the trick, one customer at a time. This technology is a data-driven means to compute the risk each customer will defect, not respond to an expensive mailer, consume a retention discount even if she were not going to leave in the first place, not be targeted for a telephone solicitation that would have landed a sale, commit fraud, or become a “loss customer” such as a bad debtor or an insurance policy-holder with high claims.

In this keynote session, Dr. Eric Siegel reveals:

- Five ways predictive analytics evolves your enterprise to reduce risk

- Hidden sources of risk across operational functions

- What every business should learn from insurance companies

- How advancements have reversed the very meaning of fraud

- Why “man + machine” teams are greater than the sum of their parts for enterprise decision support

Length – 00:45:57 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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Play video of session: Platinum Sponsor Presentation, Analytics: The Beauty of Diversity
Platinum Sponsor Presentation: Analytics – The Beauty of Diversity 

Anne H. Milley, Senior Director of Analytic Strategy, Worldwide Product Marketing, SAS

Analytics contributes to, and draws from, multiple disciplines. The unifying theme of “making the world a better place” is bred from diversity. For instance, the same methods used in econometrics might be used in market research, psychometrics and other disciplines. In a similar way, diverse paradigms are needed to best solve problems, reveal opportunities and make better decisions. This is why we evolve capabilities to formulate and solve a wide range of problems through multiple integrated languages and interfaces. Extending that, we have provided integration with other languages so that users can draw on the disciplines and paradigms needed to best practice their craft.

Length – 20:11 | Email to a Colleague

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Play video of session: Gold Sponsor Presentation Predictive Analytics Accelerate Insight for Financial Services
Gold Sponsor Presentation: Predictive Analytics Accelerate Insight for Financial Services 

Finbarr Deely, Director of Business Development,ParAccel

Financial services organizations face immense hurdles in maintaining profitability and building competitive advantage. Financial services organizations must perform “what-if” scenario analysis, identify risks, and detect fraud patterns. The advanced analytic complexity required often makes such analysis slow and painful, if not impossible. This presentation outlines the analytic challenges facing these organizations and provides a clear path to providing the accelerated insight needed to perform in today’s complex business environment to reduce risk, stop fraud and increase profits. * The value of predictive analytics in Accelerating Insight * Financial Services Analytic Case Studies * Brief Overview of ParAccel Analytic Database

Length – 09:06 | Email to a Colleague

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TOPIC: BUSINESS VALUE
Case Study: Monster.com
Creating Global Competitive Power with Predictive Analytics 

Jean Paul Isson, Vice President, Globab BI & Predictive Analytics, Monster Worldwide

Using Predictive analytics to gain a deeper understanding of customer behaviours, increase marketing ROI and drive growth

- Creating global competitive power with business intelligence: Making the right decisions – at the right time

- Avoiding common change management challenges in sales, marketing, customer service, and products

- Developing a BI vision – and implementing it: successful business intelligence implementation models

- Using predictive analytics as a business driver to stay on top of the competition

- Following the Monster Worldwide global BI evolution: How Monster used BI to go from good to great

Length – 51:17 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: SURVEY ANALYSIS
Case Study: YMCA
Turning Member Satisfaction Surveys into an Actionable Narrative 

Dean Abbott, President, Abbott Analytics

Employees are a key constituency at the Y and previous analysis has shown that their attitudes have a direct bearing on Member Satisfaction. This session will describe a successful approach for the analysis of YMCA employee surveys. Decision trees are built and examined in depth to identify key questions in describing key employee satisfaction metrics, including several interesting groupings of employee attitudes. Our approach will be contrasted with other factor analysis and regression-based approaches to survey analysis that we used initially. The predictive models described are currently in use and resulted in both greater understanding of employee attitudes, and a revised “short-form” survey with fewer key questions identified by the decision trees as the most important predictors.

Length – 50:19 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: INDUSTRY TRENDS
2010 Data Minter Survey Results: Highlights
 

Karl Rexer, Ph.D., Rexer Analytics

Do you want to know the views, actions, and opinions of the data mining community? Each year, Rexer Analytics conducts a global survey of data miners to find out. This year at PAW we unveil the results of our 4th Annual Data Miner Survey. This session will present the research highlights, such as:

- Analytic goals & key challenges

- Impact of the economy

- Regional differences

- Text mining trends

Length – 15:20 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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Multiple Case Studies: U.S. DoD, U.S. DHS, SSA
Text Mining: Lessons Learned 

John F. Elder, Chief Scientist, Elder Research, Inc.

Text Mining is the “Wild West” of data mining and predictive analytics – the potential for gain is huge, the capability claims are often tall tales, and the “land rush” for leadership is very much a race.

In solving unstructured (text) analysis challenges, we found that principles from inductive modeling – learning relationships from labeled cases – has great power to enhance text mining. Dr. Elder highlights key technical breakthroughs discovered while working on projects for leading government agencies, including: Text Mining is the “Wild West” of data mining and predictive analytics – the potential for gain is huge, the capability claims are often tall tales, and the “land rush” for leadership is very much a race.

- Prioritizing searches for the Dept. of Homeland Security

- Quick decisions for Social Security Admin. disability

- Document discovery for the Dept. of Defense

- Disease discovery for the Dept. of Homeland Security

- Risk profiling for the Dept. of Defense

Length – 48:58 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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Play video of session: Keynote: How Target Gets the Most out of Its Guest Data to Improve Marketing ROI
Keynote: How Target Gets the Most out of Its Guest Data to Improve Marketing ROI 

Andrew Pole, Senior Manager, Media and Database Marketing, Target

In this session, you’ll learn how Target leverages its own internal guest data to optimize its direct marketing – with the ultimate goal of enhancing our guests’ shopping experience and driving in-store and online performance. You will hear about what guest data is available at Target, how and where we collect it, and how it is used to improve the performance and relevance of direct marketing vehicles. Furthermore, we will discuss Target’s development and usage of guest segmentation, response modeling, and optimization as means to suppress poor performers from mailings, determine relevant product categories and services for online targeted content, and optimally assign receipt marketing offers to our guests when offer quantities are limited.

Length – 47:49 | Email to a Colleague

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Play video of session: Platinum Sponsor Presentation: Driving Analytics Into Decision Making
Platinum Sponsor Presentation: Driving Analytics Into Decision Making  

Jason Verlen, Director, SPSS Product Strategy & Management, IBM Software Group

Organizations looking to dramatically improve their business outcomes are turning to decision management, a convergence of technology and business processes that is used to streamline and predict the outcome of daily decision-making. IBM SPSS Decision Management technology provides the critical link between analytical insight and recommended actions. In this session you’ll learn how Decision Management software integrates analytics with business rules and business applications for front-line systems such as call center applications, insurance claim processing, and websites. See how you can improve every customer interaction, minimize operational risk, reduce fraud and optimize results.

Length – 17:29 | Email to a Colleague

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TOPIC: DATA INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTEGRATION
Case Study: Macy’s
The world is not flat (even though modeling software has to think it is) 

Paul Coleman, Director of Marketing Statistics, Macy’s Inc.

Software for statistical modeling generally use flat files, where each record represents a unique case with all its variables. In contrast most large databases are relational, where data are distributed among various normalized tables for efficient storage. Variable creation and model scoring engines are necessary to bridge data mining and storage needs. Development datasets taken from a sampled history require snapshot management. Scoring datasets are taken from the present timeframe and the entire available universe. Organizations, with significant data, must decide when to store or calculate necessary data and understand the consequences for their modeling program.

Length – 34:54 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: CUSTOMER VALUE
Case Study: SunTrust
When One Model Will Not Solve the Problem – Using Multiple Models to Create One Solution 

Dudley Gwaltney, Group Vice President, Analytical Modeling, SunTrust Bank

In 2007, SunTrust Bank developed a series of models to identify clients likely to have large changes in deposit balances. The models include three basic binary and two linear regression models.

Based on the models, 15% of SunTrust clients were targeted as those most likely to have large balance changes. These clients accounted for 65% of the absolute balance change and 60% of the large balance change clients. The targeted clients are grouped into a portfolio and assigned to individual SunTrust Retail Branch. Since 2008, the portfolio generated a 2.6% increase in balances over control.

Using the SunTrust example, this presentation will focus on:

- Identifying situations requiring multiple models

- Determining what types of models are needed

- Combining the individual component models into one output

Length – 48:22 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: RESPONSE & CROSS-SELL
Case Study: Paychex
Staying One Step Ahead of the Competition – Development of a Predictive 401(k) Marketing and Sales Campaign 

Jason Fox, Information Systems and Portfolio Manager,Paychex

In-depth case study of Paychex, Inc. utilizing predictive modeling to turn the tides on competitive pressures within their own client base. Paychex, a leading provider of payroll and human resource solutions, will guide you through the development of a Predictive 401(k) Marketing and Sales model. Through the use of sophisticated data mining techniques and regression analysis the model derives the probability a client will add retirement services products with Paychex or with a competitor. Session will include roadblocks that could have ended development and ROI analysis. Speaker: Frank Fiorille, Director of Enterprise Risk Management, Paychex Speaker: Jason Fox, Risk Management Analyst, Paychex

Length – 26:29 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: SEGMENTATION
Practitioner: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Segmentation Do’s and Don’ts 

Daymond Ling, Senior Director, Modelling & Analytics,Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

The concept of Segmentation is well accepted in business and has withstood the test of time. Even with the advent of new artificial intelligence and machine learning methods, this old war horse still has its place and is alive and well. Like all analytical methods, when used correctly it can lead to enhanced market positioning and competitive advantage, while improper application can have severe negative consequences.

This session will explore what are the elements of success, and what are the worse practices that lead to failure. The relationship between segmentation and predictive modeling will also be discussed to clarify when it is appropriate to use one versus the other, and how to use them together synergistically.

Length – 45:57 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: SOCIAL DATA
Thought Leadership
Social Network Analysis: Killer Application for Cloud Analytics
 

James Kobielus, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research

Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are a potential goldmine of insights on what is truly going through customers´minds. Every company wants to know whether, how, how often, and by whom they´re being mentioned across the billowing new cloud of social media. Just as important, every company wants to influence those discussions in their favor, target new business, and harvest maximum revenue potential. In this session, Forrester analyst James Kobielus identifies fruitful applications of social network analysis in customer service, sales, marketing, and brand management. He presents a roadmap for enterprises to leverage their inline analytics initiatives and leverage high-performance data warehousing (DW) clouds and appliances in order to analyze shifting patterns of customer sentiment, influence, and propensity. Leveraging Forrester’s ongoing research in advanced analytics and customer relationship management, Kobielus will discuss industry trends, commercial modeling tools, and emerging best practices in social network analysis, which represents a game-changing new discipline in predictive analytics.

Length – 48:16 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: HEALTHCARE – INTERNATIONAL TARGETING
Case Study: Life Line Screening
Taking CRM Global Through Predictive Analytics 

Ozgur Dogan,
VP, Quantitative Solutions Group, Merkle Inc

Trish Mathe,
Director of Database Marketing, Life Line Screening

While Life Line is successfully executing a US CRM roadmap, they are also beginning this same evolution abroad. They are beginning in the UK where Merkle procured data and built a response model that is pulling responses over 30% higher than competitors. This presentation will give an overview of the US CRM roadmap, and then focus on the beginning of their strategy abroad, focusing on the data procurement they could not get anywhere else but through Merkle and the successful modeling and analytics for the UK. Speaker: Ozgur Dogan, VP, Quantitative Solutions Group, Merkle Inc Speaker: Trish Mathe, Director of Database Marketing, Life Line Screening

Length – 40:12 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: SURVEY ANALYSIS
Case Study: Forrester
Making Survey Insights Addressable and Scalable – The Case Study of Forrester’s Technographics Benchmark Survey 

Nethra Sambamoorthi, Team Leader, Consumer Dynamics & Analytics, Global Consulting, Acxiom Corporation

Marketers use surveys to create enterprise wide applicable strategic insights to: (1) develop segmentation schemes, (2) summarize consumer behaviors and attitudes for the whole US population, and (3) use multiple surveys to draw unified views about their target audience. However, these insights are not directly addressable and scalable to the whole consumer universe which is very important when applying the power of survey intelligence to the one to one consumer marketing problems marketers routinely face. Acxiom partnered with Forrester Research, creating addressable and scalable applications of Forrester’s Technographics Survey and applied it successfully to a number of industries and applications.

Length – 39:23 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

 

 

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TOPIC: HEALTHCARE
Case Study: UPMC Health Plan
A Predictive Model for Hospital Readmissions 

Scott Zasadil, Senior Scientist, UPMC Health Plan

Hospital readmissions are a significant component of our nation’s healthcare costs. Predicting who is likely to be readmitted is a challenging problem. Using a set of 123,951 hospital discharges spanning nearly three years, we developed a model that predicts an individual’s 30-day readmission should they incur a hospital admission. The model uses an ensemble of boosted decision trees and prior medical claims and captures 64% of all 30-day readmits with a true positive rate of over 27%. Moreover, many of the ‘false’ positives are simply delayed true positives. 53% of the predicted 30-day readmissions are readmitted within 180 days.

Length – 54:18 | Email to a Colleague

Price: $195

Which software do we use in the office?

Ohri’s Theorem on Decision Management regarding which software do we buy-

1) Assuming no budget constraints

If X be degree of appropriateness of software to a particular use-
where 0 is totally bad and  1 is perfect for use.

Then the probability p of the software be selected = P/ Q where P is total number of users who Know how to Use software (like R) and Q is total number of users who dont know how to use the Software (like Macros or R)

As the number of users begins to increase
P/Q converges to Integral of X dx

Cartoon Citation:

http://www.gapingvoid.com

Interview James Taylor Decision Management Expert (Updated)

Quick update

James is hosting a webinar series on decision manaement, predictive analytics and business rules this fall. You can check out the webinars and register for some or all at https://decisionmanagement.omnovia.com/registration

Here is an interview with James Taylor, a leading consultant and evangelist in the emerging field of converging decision management.

Ajay- Describe your career in science. What fascinates you with reporting on this segment. How would you interest freshmen students in taking up statistics and math courses.

James- I took Geological Geophysics and Mathematics in college but graduated in a year when the oil price was in free fall and never worked in geophysics. Since then I have worked in computers, mostly focused on how they can be applied rather than on how they work. I am not sure I would say that this represents a career in science so much a career enabled by science and, increasingly, watching science.

As far as math goes I actually think the problem is at the other end of the spectrum. Far too many people leave school without a feel for math – it is taught in a very narrow way and leaves far too many feeling that math is something that other people do. In a world with more and more data, and more and more statistics/data-driven decisions this is not ok. We need everyone in business to be able to consume math intelligently, even if they can’t develop mathematical models themselves. Continuing with traditional math teaching in high school and college is just excluding most people and that has to end.

Ajay- What are the various stages of evolution that you have seen in the Decision Management Industry, including the prevailing jargon name.

James- Decision Management applications have been around for years, albeit primarily in the financial services industry. They used to all have their own categories – fraud systems, origination systems, account management systems – and this was the beginning of the category. One of the first things I did at FICO was describe all these applications as a set – recognizing that the same approach and the same cluster of technologies was being used in each case. Back in 2002 I and some colleagues started calling this approach Enterprise Decision Management. Back then most decision management was enabled by these packaged applications and the tools that could be used to build custom applications were talked about separately – business rules, optimization, predictive analytics.

Over the last 6 years the focus on decisions in each of these areas has increased – more rules people talk about managing decisions with rules and there’s more talk of improving operational decisions in predictive analytics and optimization circles. There’s more talk of using the tools/technologies together and a growing range of integrated suites/platforms.

Where most companies stand today is wanting the kind of capabilities that can only be delivered by applying decision management techniques and technologies but they are not yet asking for decision management. They want, for instance, consistent personalized offers across channels but they are not asking for centralized decision management. Based on previous experience I think this will change steadily over the next year or two with the number of companies asking explicitly for decision management capabilities rising.

From a name perspective we have evolved too. Over time it has become clear that the “Enterprise” was misinterpreted as a call for Enterprise-wide implementation of decision management when it was meant as a call from enterprise ownership of decisions. As a result some folks talk about Business Decision Management and I just like to talk about Decision Management.

Ajay- Why is Decision Management more important than say performance management, business intelligence, predictive analytics.

James- I am not sure it is more important. Most organizations need business intelligence to understand what happened in their business and they need performance management to monitor what is happening now. This kind of understanding is important in successful decision management implementations. And decision management is a management discipline designed, in part, to put predictive analytics to work in operational systems.

I do think a focus on decision is vital to all of them, however. If you don’t understand the decisions you are making it is hard for me to see how you can judge the effectiveness of either business intelligence or performance management. And predictive analytics should be even more decision-centric if it is to be effective. So a focus on decisions is a necessary prerequisite and the management of those decisions, using rules and analytics, is a great way to maximize their value in operational systems.

Ajay- What are your views on offshoring 1) High quality research 2) Labor Arbitrage technical work 3) Cost cutting driven

James- Well I think offshoring is an inevitable consequence of an interconnected world. I also think that companies that offshore simply to reduce cost deserve the employee and customer loyalty they will get as a consequence!

I do think that companies should make thoughtful decisions about what to do where, when something must be handled centrally and when it can be pushed to different localities etc. I think that smarter systems – systems that manage decisions explicitly – can help in this and help companies have a real DNA when it comes to decision making.

Ajay- What are the top 5 principles of Decision Management , as you would explain to a class of business graduates and CEO’s

James-

1. Little decisions add up

The day to day decisions that drive operational behavior, customer interactions, transactional systems are more important than the big, strategic decisions beloved of management consultants. Each one seems unimportant but they happen so often that their total value swamps anything else you do. If you get these decisions wrong it won’t matter what you get right.

2. The purpose of information is to decide

Deming has a famous quote that “The ultimate purpose of collecting the data is to provide a basis for action or a recommendation”. The reason you collect data, report on data, analyze data is to make better decisions. Otherwise it’s just a cost. And unless you know which decision you are making, and what will make it a good or a bad one, then all the data in the world (and all the data management or data analysis) will not help you.

3. You cannot afford to lock up your logic

Decision making logic- the policies, regulations, best practices and customer preferences that drive decision making – cannot be locked up in code you cannot read, systems you do not understand. No matter what else might be handled by your IT people, business decision making logic must not be. You must at least be able to collaborate with your IT folks and manage it with them. You must be responsible for this logic.

4. No answer, no matter how good, is static

Organizations must realize that they have to constantly analyze, reassess and challenge their decision making process. The effectiveness of a decision can often not be determined for some time and even a good decision can be degraded by a change in the behavior of a competitor or a change in the market. As such constant challenging of the decision making approach, constant A/B testing or adaptive control is essential if decisions are to remain effective.

5. Decision making is a process to be managed

The way you make decisions is something you must understand, document, automate and analyze. Good managers, good staff, have a good decision making process. Good outcomes might result from luck or circumstance but you don’t want to rely on that. Instead you want to focus on quality decision making processes. And like many repeatable processes, automating decision making makes it easier to analyze and improve it over time.

UPDATE-

James has agreed to schedule a free webinar to explain it more fully. Anyone who wants can register at https://decisionmanagement.omnovia.com/registration/pid=74151252469530

Ajay- What does James Taylor do when not in front of a computer, a podium or an airport. How important do you think is work life balance particularly for young people

James- Well I am a parent, a partner and an avid reader and between them those use up most of my non-work time. I really enjoy my work which makes it hard to stop sometimes. I think life/work balance is important but so is enthusiasm for what one does. Perhaps I am kidding myself but I think there is a difference between putting a lot of hours into something about which you are passionate and putting a lot of work into something just to get ahead or to avoid the rest of your life.

Ajay- Do you think BI world is male dominated. What could be the reasons.

James- Yes. The usual sexism of business combined with the average age of BI people (younger groups seem more mixed in general).

Ajay- Green economy and stimulus macro economics. How can both these fields benefit from Decision Management

James- From a macro stimulus point of view I think the key thing is that governments around the world throw money at companies specializing in decision management. <smile>

The green economy, however, is more interesting. Personally I don’t see how smart grids can be made to work without a solid core of powerful decisioning. Green marketing requires personalization and targeting to avoid waste (more decisioning) while helping consumers make better decisions about products based on green criteria needs to be built into shopping engines like Amazon’s if it is to make a real difference. Being green is all about making greener decisions and making systems make greener decisions takes decision management and decisioning technology.

Biography-

James Taylor is a leading expert in Decision Management and an independent consultant specializing in helping companies automate and improve critical decisions. Previously James was a Vice President at Fair Isaac Corporation where he developed and refined the concept of enterprise decision management or EDM. Widely credited with the invention of the term and the best known proponent of the approach, James helped create the Decision Management market and is its most passionate advocate.

James has 20 years experience in all aspects of the design, development, marketing and use of advanced technology including CASE tools, project planning and methodology tools as well as platform development in PeopleSoft’s R&D team and consulting with Ernst and Young. He has consistently worked to develop approaches, tools and platforms that others can use to build more effective information systems.

James is an active consultant, speaker and author. He is a prolific blogger, with regular posts at jtonedm.com and ebizq.net/blogs/decision_management. He also has an Expert Channel – Decision Management – on the BI Network.

His articles appear in industry magazines, he has contributed chapters to “The Business Rules Revolution:Doing Business The Right Way” (Happy About, 2006) and “Business Intelligence Implementation : Issues and Perspectives” (ICFAI University Press, 2006), and is the co-author of “Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions ” (Prentice Hall, 2007) with Neil Raden .

James is a highly sought speaker, appearing frequently at industry conferences, events and seminars. He is also a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.

James has an M.S. in Business Systems Analysis and Design from City University, London; a B.S. in Geological Geophysics and Mathematics from the University of Reading, England; and a “Mini-MBA” certificate from the Silicon Valley Executive Business Program at San Jose State University.

You can contact James at james@jtonedm.com

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