Digital Decision


By Bill Waid

It’s easy to confuse digitization — be it a sleek app design or automated business intelligence — with digital decisioning. Both play a role in the larger concept of digital transformation, but the difference is digital decisioning is at its centre. Think of decisioning as the brain and central nervous system of your business. It provides you not only intelligence, but also the ability to coordinate your entire body to move and respond to the world around you. Together, this creates a feedback loop that enables you to continuously learn and adapt.

Digital decisioning is active and anticipatory. It moves you to act — to take the next step before you know that step exists — by showing you the bigger picture of your business, your products and your customers. With digital decisioning, split-second actions are continuously optimized for the best outcomes. Holistic, 360-degree customer views are powered by a tailored, ever-expanding data feed from multiple sources and the ability to seamlessly share “decision assets” across the company.

In essence, digital decisioning enables radical, customer-focused change because it gives you two things: clear visibility into and across your business and the power to act on that insight.

It’s a disruptive market force that facilitates innovation, allowing businesses to introduce new offerings, collapse protracted timelines and personalize customer journeys, all while fuelling business continuity and “next-best-actions” that boost incremental revenue.

Currently, an estimated $6.8 trillion of direct investments in the digital experience are expected through the next two years, as 75% of organizations pursue comprehensive digital transformation. Organizations with more mature digital strategies in place are reporting significantly above average net profit margins and revenues, compared to those with less mature digital strategies. The digital revolution is well underway, and digital decisioning is at the centre of it all.

It Answers ‘What Do I Do Next?’

Digital decisioning is a complex analytic process that occurs behind the digital interface. It determines a customer’s immediate situation at the moment of engagement and automatically triggers the right actions at that precise moment, without human intervention. The keyword is “action.” Digital decisioning is about taking action, responding in real time to data and insights to drive outcomes. It intelligently answers the question, “What do I do next to achieve the results I want?”

Say a bank customer applies online for a credit card. As they’re being pre-qualified, digital decisioning will instantly analyse all the customer’s accounts with the bank including disclosed and undisclosed cash flow. It assesses risk exposure and other details and uses machine learning to anticipate the customer’s immediate need(s). Based on the bank’s comprehensive understanding of that customer at that moment, it triggers a personalized cross-sell offer for another relevant financial product, automatically boosting incremental revenue.

Think about scaling this speed, efficiency and agility across key operational functions and millions of transactions — per second. Put simply, no amount of manpower or human expertise can match it.

Business applications for digital decisioning extend far beyond banking and financial services. To name a few, organizations across the supply chain and logistics, insurance, health care, airlines and retail industries are using digital decisioning.

A Synergy Of Inputs, Outputs And AI

Digital decisioning is a culminating synergy of inputs (a continuous data feed that bridges silos), outputs (a direct feedback loop) and AI-powered technology. Each component is essential to the digital decision, and when adopting digital decisioning technology, you should make sure any solution you consider has these qualities:

• Continuous Data Feed: This is the lifeblood of the digital decision. It might include operational data, customer data or digital footprint data; however, regardless of the source, it’s critical that data across the enterprise is coalesced into a single, virtualized view. This breaks down data siloes, where critical information might be held in separate databases or repositories.

• AI-Powered Technology: The action or decision is sparked by machine learning technology. It evaluates the customer profile at the exact point of engagement and determines what personalized outcome will be most successful as learned from the feedback loop. It can even balance competing priorities and efficiently optimize resource constraints to ensure the organization maximizes its desired outcomes.

• Direct Feedback Loop. Every decision has an outcome. For example, an automated loan offer is either accepted or declined by the customer. These outcomes — good and bad — automatically feed into the decisioning model, which enables the machine learning technology to “learn” which decisions are optimal, given the circumstances and customer profile. This enables it to adapt and grow more accurate and precise over time.

Spark Growth, Innovation And Imagination

When customer data, decisioning assets and analytic expertise are mobilized under a shared decisioning platform, organizations are empowered to experiment and find new ways to solve customer problems.

• Organic Growth, Customer Lifetime Value: By better understanding customers from all angles, you can dig deeper and target high-potential niche audiences with more personalized offers and incentives. Likewise, you can create personalized customer treatments, which leads to higher customer satisfaction, retention and lifetime value.

• Net-New Growth, Untapped Markets: Detailed customer and market insights and hardened decisioning assets enable new levels of granularity and precision, just as advanced profiling and feature generation can reveal new markets fit for existing offerings.

• Innovation, Experimentation And Collaboration. Imagine setting up a digital “twin” of your business where you can safely experiment with key processes, product development, customer treatment strategies and more. Forward-thinking businesses are already doing this, using digital decisioning platforms to orchestrate simulations, perform experimentation with different components and strategies.

As businesses look for ways to adapt to increased competition and customer demands for immediacy and personalization, digital decisioning technology is providing the enterprise-level visibility, speed and agility necessary to intelligently pivot. It’s the start and the heart of any successful digital transformation, as it can move an entire organization forward by automatically answering one simple question: “What do I do next?”

Feature Image Credit: Getty

By Bill Waid

GM, FICO Decision Management | Delivering innovative analytics & decision management for better business outcomes. Read Bill Waid’s full executive profile here.

Sourced from Forbes