Don’t rely on your staff’s ability to do math

April 8, 2010

I often tell folks that one of the benefits of decision management is that it enables analytic decision making – that is decisions based on accurate analysis of data about what works and what does not – even by people who don’t have any analytic skill. For instance, using analytics to assess the credit risk of a customer allows a call center representative (even one who started today and has zero experience) to quote a loan rate accurately. The operational decision “what is the right loan rate for this customer for this size of loan today” is made using a combination of rules and analytics and the answer is passed on to the call center rep.

He or she needs to know nothing about risk assessment, nothing about trends or forecasting. No math skills or statistical awareness are required. And this is important because most people don’t have these skills! Presenting them with data and expecting them to accurately use it is just not reasonable (which is why just giving call center people query tools and dashboards is not a solution).

So why, I hear you ask, is James talking about this today?

Well I got an offer from my local city utilities company (Palo Alto has its own utility