4 - More on Decisions, Input Data and Knowledge Sources

Besides questions and allowed answers, decisions have many other properties (described in the guidance). Working in one of the Decisions you have specified a question and answers for, use the Jump menu or the scroll bars to find these other properties:

  • The Type drop down allows you to identify a Decision as Strategic, Tactical or Operational depending on its scope
  • You can specify an external URL if there is additional documentation of the Decision that you don’t want to repeat in the description.
  • If a Decision appears on multiple diagrams then you can pick a Primary Diagram so that someone who opens the Decision can find the best diagram for seeing it in context
  • Various characteristics of the Decision can be captured if you are conducting an inventory and want a way to compare them 

Select “Operational” for the Type and enter the URL of your company website into the URL field for the current Decision.
Like Decisions, Input Data and Knowledge Sources also have additional properties - let’s look at some of the detail available.

Select one of the Knowledge Sources on your diagram and click on the Edit Object button to open it for editing. In the tab we can write a description of this Knowledge Source and we can specify other properties such as a type (regulation, policy, best practice, expertise, analytic insight). We can specify an owner (someone who can answer questions about it, typically) and we can describe how complex this knowledge might be (to give us a sense of how hard it would be to precisely document or implement it)
Like all objects we can add a URL to any source material outside located outside the system. This is particularly important for Knowledge Sources as it can be used to link to the actual source – a document on an intranet, a public regulation etc. This provides important clarity to the knowledge source for anyone reviewing the diagram later. We can also see its dependency network (in this case the single link to the Select Marketing Offer decision). In the case of Knowledge Sources this is very useful for seeing which decisions might need to be updated when the original source material changes. Change some of these properties if you like and close the Knowledge Source.

We can open an Input Data similarly to edit its properties. Select Orders and open it for editing. Using the Jump To menu on the left-hand side, you can review the various fields available. You can see the dependencies are captured, for all dependencies not just for this particular diagram. This enables you to see everywhere a piece of data is used.

For Input Data, use the URL to link to the relevant section of your data model, fact model or information model if you have one. You can also associate Input data with Datasets to show the fields in an Input Data in more detail. It is generally better to link to an external definition as noted above.

Next we will move onto Advanced Decision Modeling.

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