ODM Testing and Simulation
Continuing our series on Digital Business Automation and how we can help make a business more efficient and effective, I’m going providing a few articles about a project our team recently put together. This was a proof of concept (POC) project in the loan industry. As we move through this series, I will highlight some finer details of features and design. This particular project was completed using IBM Business Process Management (BPM) and Operational Decision Manager (ODM), along with some external API integration. This video focuses on the mortgage industry; however, we’ve used the tools and methods described here to successfully implement solutions in the financial, manufacturing, retail, medical and many other varied business sectors.
The IBM ODM decision engine has powerful components for testing and simulation. In this video we take a brief look at how we can take advantage of these tools for a safer and more effective rules management experience.
In our ODM testing scenario, we configure a set of inputs so that we can validate that our rules work as expected. Depending on the complexity of the rules we create, we might need to make a more elaborate test scenario, but basically we would work with a file which lets us create various inputs such as loan requests from non-citizens, or requests which were too low, too high, or exactly within the parameters we expect to work. Then we could run this file as a test scenario and examine the outputs to make sure that everything behaves as expected. If we found issues, we would need to troubleshoot to see if there was a problem with the rules or a condition we didn’t account for properly. This allows us to do a good bit of testing before putting our rules into the actual staging or production environments, helping to ensure that our work is reliable.
Another useful diagnostic is our simulation tool. In this section of ODM we can define key performance indicators (KPIs) and check to see how our new rules will impact our expected results. In our demo video we’re looking at the loan approval rate and the number of loans by state. With our example rule change, we see that the number of approvals drops — which is to be expected given the scenario. This simulation tool could be used to show how a rules change would impact your business’ performance under the new rules guidelines.
Also demonstrated in this video is the granular administration of our ODM software. The software can be configured to carefully limit who can make edits to business rules, and what users can see when they log into the system. Security is very important when changes can have such a big impact on your financial outcomes, and IBM’s design takes that into account to ensure you limit your risks while maximizing your flexibility with rules development.
ODM is a powerful decision engine and gives you reliable, predictive power for how your changes will impact performance so that you can plan accordingly when new rules come into play. This will take some of the guesswork out of management when you’re tasked with answering the question, “How will these changes impact our business results?”
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