Biz rules – in the pursuit of business intelligence

CEO Blog | 13 Jul 2011

James Oladujoye co-founder and CEO of GWD Media – the creators of Genkiosk. Why business rules can radically change the way organisations interact with their kiosks – or any other remotely managed machines.

We are at the outset of the Information Age where seemingly everything is in the now.

On stock markets, fortunes are lost and won in fractions of a second. News is made available instantly and globally. With communications accelerating at speed and booming in scale, we take it for granted that we can keep in touch with others wherever and whenever we choose. Now.

It’s all well and good having email, Facebook, mobile phones, SKYPE etc – great for communication with people.

But what of the machines?

If you are in an industry where keeping in touch with machines is important, then GWD may provide part of the answer. A machine may be a computer, photocopier, coffee machine, air conditioning system – or anything which needs to be kept in good working order. Setting aside the geeky communications protocols and challenges each industry may face implementing such technologies, one thing is for sure – MACHINES ARE BEGINNING TO TALK.

For now, machines may only be whispering: few and far between in hushed tones. But soon that will rise to a babble – a cacophony of noise competing in volume and complexity.

There are already many more machines than people, so how will you make sense of the chatter when they start to gain a voice?

One way is through the use of business rules. In essence you are asking a machine to ring-fence what is important to you and to do something useful with that information. And the way you get that done is through software – “Biz rules” as we have come to call them at GWD Media.

The doing part may be to initiate an automated process such as a restart, or to notify specific people of an issue, or even to escalate the severity of an alert to a higher level. Throughout, there are three key criteria:

Right information

Firstly there is an exercise in identifying and prioritising what is important to an organisation. Once this is done it can be deployed en masse – and tweaked as needs evolve. This is what is described as right information. And the old adage of garbage-in garbage-out applies here more than ever: if you are going to automate and upscale it is essential that doing so magnifies quality, rather than replicating errors and poor practice on an industrial scale.

Right response

How this information is acted on is critical. The more the machines can make their own decisions the less the pull on people, and the greater the effectiveness of the rule. But the devil is in the detail. Investing time in defining the right responses – not just any response – makes the difference between operational empowerment and shooting yourself in the foot.

Right time

It’s not essential to have things real time. What matters most is right time. Having an inbox full of messages will simply add to the build-up of data smog. But having just the right amount of info – the right info – at the right time will empower and enrich your decision making.

Applied correctly, business rules can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal. Using knowledge-based-on-facts can help your organisation to drive down costs, and improve productivity and sales.

But a word of warning.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!

Keep your processes lean, understandable and flexible.

And finally don’t expect business rules to answer all your woes. You will still need to adopt work practices that take this new information into account.

With Genkiosk, the facts are on hand. The decisions are yours..

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