Business Rules Mess

May 2, 2015 — Leave a comment

You may have business rule ‘messes’ in your transaction systems.  I’m referring to business rules created by well-meaning IT folks and Business Analysts, attempting to direct a complex decision using linear business rules.  This pretends to be data science but is often a ‘mess’.  The overzealous use of rules posing for data science is a common situation.  Many times these rules are worse than doing nothing (guessing), as far as supporting a complex decision.  Worse, they lead to poor data (to much data entry required to make them work as planned).  Worst of all, they may be encoding a linear thinking and a bias towards ‘averages’ rather than distributions, when it comes time to interpret heuristics into data science.

The ‘mess’, may be a good place for a new data science project.  Likely you will need to rip out the rules altogether (not popular with IT).  However, assuming the data is semi-clean, the historical use of the business rules may prove to be useful predictors in a multi-variate model. Not all business rules are a mess if they are the result of simple heuristics and have been maintained properly.  In any case, look for these pseudo models as a way to improve decision making with true analytics.

Edward H. Vandenberg

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