The Rise of the Decision Management Engine – and Why You Need One

Posted by David Costello on 04-Nov-2016 16:45:29

Risk management systems are nothing new. Utilities providers have been credit-scoring customers for years, defining contract terms and payment plans depending on individual customer circumstances. This may be as simple as flowchart that agents follow, through to a more automated solution using a spreadsheet, or the company financial platform.


Over time these management systems have evolved to take advantage of historical trends and more granular data to better meet customer needs. But as your business begins its digital transformation projects, you will find that the volume of available data increases exponentially.

Where there has been too little actionable information to use in the past, soon you may find there is too much.


Improving processes means more automation

Much of the information gathered by your business will not be of instant value to the sales manager – but the volumes generated by a Big Data project preclude the possibility of managing that information manually. Any advantages gained through data analysis will quickly be cancelled out by the time spent sorting information manually.

The only way to stay on top of the incoming flood of data is through the use of an effective decision making engine. This system uses routines and algorithms to sort information according to rules that you establish, uncovering the insights most relevant to the sales team. The engine effectively takes the leg work out of sifting and analysing data, and is also far less likely to ‘miss’ important trends or opportunities amongst the other details your business collects.


We’ve already got a decision management engine

There’s a reasonable chance that your business already has a decision management engine in use – a macro-enabled Excel spreadsheet that automates data collation and reporting could technically be considered as such a system. But something this basic will not be able to handle the volume of incoming data that digital transformation projects generate.

Even if you have an enterprise-grade decision management system, how does it with the demands of digital transformation? Is it flexible enough to change direction as quickly as your strategy, or has it been built in such a way that you will need to redevelop key functionality repeatedly? Can you quickly and easily extend the range of data inputs to accommodate new technologies as they come online?

And most importantly of all, can you make changes to the engine quickly? Speed of change is a hallmark of a genuine digital transformation project after all.


Why the decision engine matters to the sales manager

As your organisation undergoes digital transformation the divisions between traditional business units will need to be dismantled. This means that sales, marketing, customer services and even product development will become more closely aligned to deliver the benefits your shareholders and customers demand. Ironically, this also means dealing with information that falls outside the traditional ‘sales’ remit on a day to day basis.

The creation of new, cross-discipline teams will help to make sense of data, relieving some of the burden from the sales team who lack the experience to fully understand information from other business units. But the pooled knowledge and experience of the team can be distilled into the rules used by your decision making engine to simplify management and operations.

More specifically for the sales manager, the decision management engine can be tuned to better understand your customers and leads. These vital insights allow you to not only improve the service you offer to customers, but also to define the next generation of products. You know that your customers want personalised services, but digital transformation programmes demand that you actually deliver them too.

The decision management engine makes it much easier to define new utilities services and make the necessary accounts approvals automatically.  Which is vital to your sales team in the field who need instant access to the most relevant data as they meet with prospects. The more efficient they can be on site, the more likely they are to close deals and help you hit your targets.


Get involved now

A decision management engine is a non-negotiable part of the Big Data-driven digital transformation process – your organisation will definitely require one in the future. Because you have a vested interest in the insights generated by the system, you need to be involved in the design and deployment process to ensure it is capable of delivering data you can use too. Without your input, the system will be unbalanced and unable to assist as you try to increase sales.

To learn more about digital transformation and the use of decision management engines to assist with the process, please get in touch.


Topics: Digital Transformation, decision management, big data

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