Predictive Models Ain’t Easy to Deploy

 

This is a guest blog post by Carole Ann Matignon of Sparkling Logic. You can see more on Sparkling Logic at http://my.sparklinglogic.com/

Decision Management is about combining predictive models and business rules to automate decisions for your business. Insurance underwriting, loan origination or workout, claims processing are all very good use cases for that discipline… But there is a hiccup… It ain’t as easy you would expect…

What’s easy?

If you have a neat model, then most tools would allow you to export it as a PMML model – PMML stands for Predictive Model Markup Language and is a standard XML representation for predictive model formulas. Many model development tools let you export it without much effort. Many BRMS – Business rules Management Systems – let you import it. Tada… The model is ready for deployment.

What’s hard?

The problem that we keep seeing over and over in the industry is the issue around variables.

Those neat predictive models are formulas based on variables that may or may not exist as is in your object model. When the variable is itself a formula based on the object model, like the min, max or sum of Dollar amount spent in Groceries in the past 3 months, and the object model comes with transaction details, such that you can compute it by iterating through those transactions, then the problem is not “that” big. PMML 4 introduced some support for those variables.

The issue that is not easy to fix, and yet quite frequent, is when the model development data model does not resemble the operational one. Your Data Warehouse very likely flattened the object model, and pre-computed some aggregations that make the mapping very hard to restore.

It is clearly not an impossible project as many organizations do that today. It comes with a significant overhead though that forces modelers to involve IT resources to extract the right data for the model to be operationalized. It is a heavy process that is well justified for heavy-duty models that were developed over a period of time, with a significant ROI.

This is a show-stopper though for other initiatives which do not have the same ROI, or would require too frequent model refresh to be viable. Here, I refer to “real” model refresh that involves a model reengineering, not just a re-weighting of the same variables.

For those initiatives where time is of the essence, the challenge will be to bring closer those two worlds, the modelers and the business rules experts, in order to streamline the development AND deployment of analytics beyond the model formula. The great opportunity I see is the potential for a better and coordinated tuning of the cut-off rules in the context of the model refinement. In other words: the opportunity to refine the strategy as a whole. Very ambitious? I don’t think so.

About Carole Ann Matignon

http://my.sparklinglogic.com/index.php/company/management-team

Carole-Ann Matignon Print E-mail

Carole-Ann MatignonCarole-Ann Matignon – Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

She is a renowned guru in the Decision Management space. She created the vision for Decision Management that is widely adopted now in the industry.  Her claim to fame is managing the strategy and direction of Blaze Advisor, the leading BRMS product, while she also managed all the Decision Management tools at FICO (business rules, predictive analytics and optimization). She has a vision for Decision Management both as a technology and a discipline that can revolutionize the way corporations do business, and will never get tired of painting that vision for her audience.  She speaks often at Industry conferences and has conducted university classes in France and Washington DC.

She started her career building advanced systems using all kinds of technologies — expert systems, rules, optimization, dashboarding and cubes, web search, and beta version of database replication. At Cleversys (acquired by Kurt Salmon & Associates), she also conducted strategic consulting gigs around change management.

While playing with advanced software components, she found a passion for technology and joined ILOG (acquired by IBM). She developed a growing interest in Optimization as well as Business Rules. At ILOG, she coined the term BRMS while brainstorming with her Sales counterpart. She led the Presales organization for Telecom in the Americas up until 2000 when she joined Blaze Software (acquired by Brokat Technologies, HNC Software and finally FICO).

Her 360-degree experience allowed her to gain appreciation for all aspects of a software company, giving her a unique perspective on the business. Her technical background kept her very much in touch with technology as she advanced.

Jill Dyche on 2012

In part 3 of the series for predictions for 2012, here is Jill Dyche, Baseline Consulting/DataFlux.

Part 2 was Timo Elliot, SAP at http://www.decisionstats.com/timo-elliott-on-2012/ and Part 1 was Jim Kobielus, Forrester at http://www.decisionstats.com/jim-kobielus-on-2012/

Ajay: What are the top trends you saw happening in 2011?

 

Well, I hate to say I saw them coming, but I did. A lot of managers committed some pretty predictable mistakes in 2011. Here are a few we witnessed in 2011 live and up close:

 

1.       In the spirit of “size matters,” data warehouse teams continued to trumpet the volumes of stored data on their enterprise data warehouses. But a peek under the covers of these warehouses reveals that the data isn’t integrated. Essentially this means a variety of heterogeneous virtual data marts co-located on a single server. Neat. Big. Maybe even worthy of a magazine article about how many petabytes you’ve got. But it’s not efficient, and hardly the example of data standardization and re-use that everyone expects from analytical platforms these days.

 

2.       Development teams still didn’t factor data integration and provisioning into their project plans in 2011. So we saw multiple projects spawn duplicate efforts around data profiling, cleansing, and standardization, not to mention conflicting policies and business rules for the same information. Bummer, since IT managers should know better by now. The problem is that no one owns the problem. Which brings me to the next mistake…

 

3.       No one’s accountable for data governance. Yeah, there’s a council. And they meet. And they talk. Sometimes there’s lunch. And then nothing happens because no one’s really rewarded—or penalized for that matter—on data quality improvements or new policies. And so the reports spewing from the data mart are still fraught and no one trusts the resulting decisions.

 

But all is not lost since we’re seeing some encouraging signs already in 2012. And yes, I’d classify some of them as bona-fide trends.

 

Ajay: What are some of those trends?

 

Job descriptions for data stewards, data architects, Chief Data Officers, and other information-enabling roles are becoming crisper, and the KPIs for these roles are becoming more specific. Data management organizations are being divorced from specific lines of business and from IT, becoming specialty organizations—okay, COEs if you must—in their own rights. The value proposition for master data management now includes not just the reconciliation of heterogeneous data elements but the support of key business strategies. And C-level executives are holding the data people accountable for improving speed to market and driving down costs—not just delivering cleaner data. In short, data is becoming a business enabler. Which, I have to just say editorially, is better late than never!

 

Ajay: Anything surprise you, Jill?

 

I have to say that Obama mentioning data management in his State of the Union speech was an unexpected but pretty powerful endorsement of the importance of information in both the private and public sector.

 

I’m also sort of surprised that data governance isn’t being driven more frequently by the need for internal and external privacy policies. Our clients are constantly asking us about how to tightly-couple privacy policies into their applications and data sources. The need to protect PCI data and other highly-sensitive data elements has made executives twitchy. But they’re still not linking that need to data governance.

 

I should also mention that I’ve been impressed with the people who call me who’ve had their “aha!” moment and realize that data transcends analytic systems. It’s operational, it’s pervasive, and it’s dynamic. I figured this epiphany would happen in a few years once data quality tools became a commodity (they’re far from it). But it’s happening now. And that’s good for all types of businesses.

 

About-

Jill Dyché has written three books and numerous articles on the business value of information technology. She advises clients and executive teams on leveraging technology and information to enable strategic business initiatives. Last year her company Baseline Consulting was acquired by DataFlux Corporation, where she is currently Vice President of Thought Leadership. Find her blog posts on www.dataroundtable.com.

Revolution Analytics Product Launches for #rstats in 2011

Revolution Analytics just launched an roadmap detailing their product plan for 2011.

 

In particular I am excited for the new GUI coming up, the Hadoop packages, new K Means and Data Sort/merge using Revoscaler for bigger datasets, and also the option to offer support for community packages like ggplot2 titled ” More value in Community Version”. Continue reading “Revolution Analytics Product Launches for #rstats in 2011”

Introducing Radoop

Thats Right- This is Radoop and it is

Hadoop meats Rapid Miner=Radoop

 

 

http://prezi.com/bin/preziloader.swf

http://prezi.com/dxx7m50le5hr/radoop-presentation-at-rcomm-2011/

 

I need more data to make a decision

Paper money, extreme macro
Image by kevindooley via Flickr

I need more data

To take a decision

Keep your panties on

We need more precision

It is the owners money

That pays for your bills

You can go elsewhere

If you want primal egoistic thrills

 

People are precious

Money comes and goes

The Older you get

The lesser greed shows

 

Is this too much information

To overload your comprehension

Analysis led to paralysis

But time wont wait for your permission

 

We need better models

We need them now

The cost of delayed decisions

can hurt us and how

 

We will pay thousands

of dollars in annual fees

To earn or save millions of dollars

Now, If you please

 

Still here, but slightly offended

By coming straight to the truth

Every body swings and misses

From Barry Bonds to Babe Ruth

 

Data is all around you

and so is all the money

You keep ignoring decision management

and you will lose your shirt, honey.

 

IBM and Revolution team to create new in-database R

From the Press Release at http://www.revolutionanalytics.com/news-events/news-room/2011/revolution-analytics-netezza-partnership.php

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will work together to create a version of Revolution’s software that takes advantage of IBM Netezza’s i-class technology so that Revolution R Enterprise can run in-database in an optimal fashion.

About IBM

For information about IBM Netezza, please visit: http://www.netezza.com.
For Information on IBM Information Management, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/information-on-demand/
For information on IBM Business Analytics, please visit the online press kit: http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27163.wss
Follow IBM and Analytics on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ibmbizanalytics
Follow IBM analytics on Tumblr: http://smarterplanet.tumblr.com/tagged/new_intelligence
IBM YouTube Analytics Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ibmbusinessanalytics
For information on IBM Smarter Systems: http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/smarter/

About Revolution Analytics

Revolution Analytics is the leading commercial provider of software and services based on the open source R project for statistical computing.  Led by predictive analytics pioneer Norman Nie, the company brings high performance, productivity and enterprise readiness to R, the most powerful statistics language in the world. The company’s flagship Revolution R product is designed to meet the production needs of large organizations in industries such as finance, life sciences, retail, manufacturing and media.  Used by over 2 million analysts in academia and at cutting-edge companies such as Google, Bank of America and Acxiom, R has emerged as the standard of innovation in statistical analysis. Revolution Analytics is committed to fostering the continued growth of the R community through sponsorship of the Inside-R.org community site, funding worldwide R user groups and offers free licenses of Revolution R Enterprise to everyone in academia.


Netezza, an IBM Company, is the global leader in data warehouse, analytic and monitoring appliances that dramatically simplify high-performance analytics across an extended enterprise. IBM Netezza’s technology enables organizations to process enormous amounts of captured data at exceptional speed, providing a significant competitive and operational advantage in today’s data-intensive industries, including digital media, energy, financial services, government, health and life sciences, retail and telecommunications.

The IBM Netezza TwinFin® appliance is built specifically to analyze petabytes of detailed data significantly faster than existing data warehouse options, and at a much lower total cost of ownership. It stores, filters and processes terabytes of records within a single unit, analyzing only the relevant information for each query.

Using Revolution R Enterprise & Netezza Together

Revolution Analytics and IBM Netezza have announced a partnership to integrate Revolution R Enterprise and the IBM Netezza TwinFin  Data Warehouse Appliance. For the first time, customers seeking to run high performance and full-scale predictive analytics from within a data warehouse platform will be able to directly leverage the power of the open source R statistics language. The companies are working together to create a version of Revolution’s software that takes advantage of IBM Netezza’s i-class technology so that Revolution R Enterprise can run in-database in an optimal fashion.

This partnership integrates Revolution R Enterprise with IBM Netezza’s high performance data warehouse and advanced analytics platform to help organizations combat the challenges that arise as complexity and the scale of data grow.  By moving the analytics processing next to the data, this integration will minimize data movement – a significant bottleneck, especially when dealing with “Big Data”.  It will deliver high performance on large scale data, while leveraging the latest innovations in analytics.

With Revolution R Enterprise for IBM Netezza, advanced R computations are available for rapid analysis of hundreds of terabyte-class data volumes — and can deliver 10-100x performance improvements at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional analytics vendors.

Additional Resources


Gartner BI and Inf Mgmt Summit 2011- 30 min One on Ones

From the land Down Under, where Gartner gathers business summit thunder.

http://www.gartner.com/technology/summits/apac/business-intelligence/index.jsp

Gartner Business Intelligence
& Information Management Summit 2011

February 22 – 23 • Sydney, AUSTRALIA
gartner.com/ap/bi

Register Now

From Information to Intelligence:

Evaluate, Execute and Evolve

At Gartner Business Intelligence & Information Management Summit 2011 you will experience a unique mix of Gartner research presentations, guest keynote addresses, real-life case studies and interactive panel discussions to provide you with a holistic view of the business intelligence and performance management landscape. Information, insight and advice are channeled through an increasingly targeted and focused approach, taking you from the high-level strategic view all the way to your specific issue.

Click here to view the full agenda or download the brochure.

AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS

teamsend


Guest Keynote Address

Future Thinking – Global Trends and Thinking that are Upending your Business

Anders Sorman-Nilsson
Creative Director, Thinque

Click here to read more about this session.

Best Practice Workshops:

  • How to Become an Effective Data Warehouse Modeler
  • Analytics – Business Intelligence and Performance Management ITScore

Analyst User Roundtables:

  • Enterprise Information Management – Focusing on What Matters to the Business
  • Sharepoint – thin edge of the wedge to the MS family
  • Preparing for the 2020 workplace

Worldwide Expertise at Your Fingertips!
Your questions on Business Intelligence and Performance Management answered. Meet the Gartner Analysts presenting at the Summit and book your exclusive 30 minute one-on-one ( lap top dance) with the Analysts of your choice.