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5 - Advanced Decision Modeling

Last Updated: May 05, 2018 11:08AM PDT
Now we have a basic model created, let’s create a more detailed Decision Diagram focused on the new decision – Select Marketing Offer. Begin by creating a new Decision Diagram and naming it “Marketing Decisions.” Use the search to find the Select Marketing Offer decision.

This decision is to select a marketing offer to make during some other transaction. To make this decision we will need some input data, specifically information on Customers and Marketing Offers. Find these using search and drag and drop them onto the diagram, then use information requirements to show that the decision requires these input data. Clearly some marketing know-how should be applied at this point but we haven’t modeled that so create a new knowledge source by dragging from the palette (solid document) and give it the name “Marketing know-how.” Link this node to the Decision using an authority requirement and save the diagram.

We could add additional Input Data and Knowledge Sources to the diagram but if we want to be precise about how to select the best marketing offer we probably need to be more precise about how we are going to go about it. The best way to do this is to describe the sub-decisions it depends on. Sub-decisions are the more narrowly scoped decisions that must be made first so that the decision to select the best marketing offer can then be made accurately.

In talking with the marketing team, it becomes clear that they want to decide three things before they decide on the offer to select – is this the right time for an offer, which product should the offer relate to and how good a deal the customer should get. With those three decisions made they are confident they can make a good decision regarding the offer.

Go ahead and create three new Decisions using the palette (don’t forget to use the solid rounded rectangle rather than sketch versions) – Check Offer Timing, Determine Offer Products, Determine Offer Value. We won’t fill out all the details for these decisions but let’s create questions and answers for these Decisions also.
Decision Question Answer Type
Check Offer Timing Is this a good time for an offer Yes/No
Determine Offer Products Which products could be the subject of an offer? Value from database
Determine Offer Value How valuable an offer is appropriate? Value from explicit list

For the explicit list in the last case we need to add some allowed values. Enter each value into the Answer box and hit the Add button to add it:
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low
If you like you can select a default answer from among these or use the arrow keys to re-order the list.
Close any open Decision editing tabs and return to the diagram.

Now that we have added three new decisions we need to show that the Select Marketing Offer decision requires them. This is another form of Information Requirement – the Select Marketing Offer decision requires the information that is produced by these decisions. Use the Information Requirements button to create a link for each requirement, ensuring the blunt ends are on the new decisions and the arrow of each link on Select Marketing Offer. Each of these shows a requirement. (Recall that the end with the arrow should point to the object that has the requirement for something and the blunt end should rest on the object that is required.)

The Marketing department has more information on how it wants to make this decision, specifically around the product and the value. To determine the product they first decide which products a customer is eligible for – “Determine Product Eligibility” – and what unmet needs the customer might have – “Identify Unmet Needs.” Create these two decisions and use information requirements to link them to the Determine Offer Products Decision.

Finally they identify two decisions that feed into the offer value decision – Determine Customer Value and Determine Customer Loyalty. Create these two decisions and use information requirements to link them to Determine Offer Value.
You should have something that looks like this (though your layout could be different).


As you can see we now have a much more detailed view of how to make this decision, positioning us well for implementation. To wrap up this more detailed diagram, let’s add the rest of the Input Data and Knowledge Sources we need.

First, let’s reuse some of our existing objects. For offer timing we are going to need information on Orders. This information is also going to be useful when we try and Determine Customer Value and Check Offer Timing. Add it to the diagram using the Search and use information requirements to link it to both Decisions. For product eligibility we will need the Product Catalog too so add and associate that one using an information requirements link to Determine Product Eligibility.

We also identified some analytic insight earlier that seems relevant here. The Customer Propensity to Accept knowledge will help us make the offer by helping us differentiate between the various products we are considering. Add this Knowledge Source to the diagram and show it is an authority for the Select Marketing Offer decision where it will be applied. Similarly our predictions of customer loyalty, the Knowledge Source called Customer Loyalty, is an authority for our Determine Customer Loyalty decision.

When these are all added you should have something that looks like this. Note that we have moved some objects around to avoid crossing links.

While this diagram is not done – we should identify where we are going to get the know how we need for some of the decisions that currently have none for instance – we have gone a long way towards a precise definition of how we want to make our marketing offer decision.

Note that this has reused several objects. If you edit the Customer Loyalty Knowledge Source, for example, you will now see that its Requirements Diagram shows both the decisions that require it. Each diagram is a view on to the database so that objects and associations are shared across all diagrams. An ellipsis will display on a decision that contains more links than are displayed on the current diagram.

Next we will see how we can automatically package this up into a single Word document.

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