Intelligent automated decision-making has been a boon for organizations because they free up subject-matter experts to focus their attention on issues requiring nuance. At the heart of smart decision-making lie decision engines. A decision engine runs business rules against input data in order to make correct decisions.
Defining Decision Engines
A decision engine is a customizable rules-based software tool that automates decisions made by the user. Therefore, decision engines can be configured to automatically make business decisions without relying on manual input from users.
Most operational decisions that generate value are typically complicated and made up of a sequence of smaller decisions.
Businesses with a strong online presence use decision engines as filtering systems.
So, for instance, to help a website visitor find the car they want, a decision engine would offer a series of options which the user could select, Features such as two or four-wheel drive, convertible, horsepower, and so on would filter all the results down to the most relevant vehicles.
How Are Decisions Expressed?
There are several different ways to represent business decisions, but the most effective way is by using business rules.
What Are Business Rules?
Business rules are "if-then" or “when this, then that” conditional instructions that direct the behavior of business applications in certain circumstances.
Business rules make decisions related to pricing, product features, compliance, and customer engagement.
Decision Engines in Different Sectors
Companies across industries use decision engines to reduce expenses, deploy best practices, maintain compliance, and enhance the customer experience.
Decision engines have become an integral tool in the airline industry because these software solutions streamline the pricing and purchasing process. For example, intelligent decision-making software programs can determine prices using information on seat availability and flight times.
Emergency service teams need to make instant decisions during disasters, such as shutting down the power grid in an area hit by severe flooding.
Banks and other financial institutions use decision engines to streamline processes such as underwriting risk and approving loan applications, which are often repetitive and rely on uniform requirements.
What’s more, many banks rely on decision engines to spot potentially fraudulent transactions.
Insurance carriers used decision engines to quickly create quotes for prospects who enter their personal data online.
Decision engines help companies to strike the right balance between manual intervention and software automation. Properly configured automation still requires the expertise of business professionals to make, update, and approve decisions.
In order to streamline critical processes, businesses need to decide which tasks to automate and which ones require human attention and expertise.
Many software programs depend on business professionals to make and manage rules while also overlooking the effects of those decisions.
A Rules-Powered Decision Engine
In contrast to rigid legacy software solutions that have hard-coded logic baked in, a decision engine that has a rules engine running under the hood of power decision engines can implement complicated decision logic for instant decision processing.
As a result, employees who don’t possess technical skills are still able to handle a company’s decisions with ease and without relying on support from the IT department.