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Posts Tagged ‘decision support tools’

[tweetmeme source=”atripathy” only_single=false]The central thesis of my work for last few years has been focusing on the rise of integrated decision support systems which combine data, analytics and visualization to solve a very specific problem extremely well. These systems are usually prescriptive (instead of predictive) in nature and prove to be game changers in their space.

I recently came across one company that neatly falls into this category. They are called ValueAppeal and they answer a very specific question:

Are you paying too much in property taxes?

ValueAppeal saves property owners thousands by evaluating their property taxes and then guiding them through a simple 3-step process to create a custom appeal. The key to our process is our proprietary Assessment Analyzer.

Enter your address in our free Assessment Analyzer. Using the same official data the assessor uses, ValueAppeal’s proprietary algorithms dig deep to determine if your home is over-assessed and how much you can save on property taxes!

For a one-time fee of $99 (with money back guarantee) the company has seen average savings of close to $900

There are three things which are very interesting  and clever about the solution:
1) it uses the available public data and not any proprietary dataset
2) the analytical algorithm focuses on the datapoints that helps to make a favorable case
3) it generates a report that can be simply printed out a dropped into the mail by the user

Please drop a note if you have seen other interesting companies which develop such niche analytics based decision support solutions.

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[tweetmeme source=”atripathy” only_single=false]I believe that the next wave of productivity improvement in companies is going to come from investment in decision support tools.

In our economy almost all workers are now knowledge workers. However unlike the workers of the industrial era, we still do not have the right set of tools to support our knowledge workers. We live in an era of information overload where employees increasingly need to make faster and more complex decisions using large amounts of available data. Under such circumstances, making informed, let alone optimal decisions is simply not humanly possible.

This creates a need for a range of new tools for the employees. Tools that will guide the decision making process and where ever appropriate automate them. To create such tools, companies will need to create expertise in four foundational areas:

1. Data: Identifying, collecting, managing and curating the data within the company and relevant third party sources
2. Analytics: Creating a scalable process to turn data to relevant insights and recommendations
3. Visualization: Presenting the insights within the appropriate context to support a decision
4. Integration: Bringing all of the pieces together to make the recommendation/insight available at the point of decision in the workflow of the employee

Companies will become better at bringing together the four foundational areas. We will also see increased activity in the vendor space. The established ones becoming more active in acquiring companies in the value chain. And a range of startups who will rush into the space to fill the gap.

For now, the blog is about tracking this trend.

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