Decision Management: Why BI and Analytics are not Enough

Nearly every problem faced by an organization is exceedingly complex. The ability to make consistently good decisions in an uncertain environment is one such problem.  The whole area of Decision Support (better known as Business Intelligence or Analytics) exists to help make this problem easier.   While Business Intelligence is a viable solution – it has proved insufficient in ensuring that decisions are actually improved.

This is roughly how most organizations deal with BI today:

Step 1: Give employees access to data and tools
Step 2: Provide modest training
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!!! 


Self-service BI tools like Tableau and Power Pivot have helped but not solved the problem. With the launch of Power BI from Microsoft – Self Service BI has been increasingly commoditized. The barrier to entry from a skills or licensing standpoint is at an all-time low. In theory, everybody can have access to the data and tools. But the problem persists.

Why aren’t we taking better decisions? There are many reasons.

Changes in human behavior and business process are needed, you say. Yes, of course.

More training perhaps? Sure.

But that doesn’t lighten the burden of actually making decisions. Each decision taken by a human extracts a toll. It’s called decision fatigue.

Decision Fatigue

Wouldn’t it be great if humans could focus on the few, really important and strategic decisions and automate the rest? Well, it’s possible. I like to think of it as the final frontier for Business Intelligence.  It’s an area called Decision Management.

Decision Management starts off where Decision Support stops. Both approaches work well with one another and should be thought of as complementary rather than competing forces.   While Decision Support relies on humans to make decisions, Decision Management helps automate them – taking the human factor out of the equation.

Over the next few months we will share more about how you can benefit from Decision Management. If you happen to be in Silicon Valley next week – stop by the Decision Camp conference to watch a solution that Mariner is building. IBM’s Watson and Skynet have been put on notice!

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  1. Pingback: How To Get Healthier By Making Fewer Decisions

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