Decision making needs have been changing at a dizzying pace over recent years. The increasingly competitive environment, the growing amount of information available and the constant changes in business rules make deterministic methods (procedures) for decision making outdated in a matter of weeks.
In most organisations, those responsible for making decisions need to regularly take decisions on complex problems in areas such as: assigning personnel, planning the production/maintenance tasks, calculating routes, etc. These people usually have software applications that provide them with support in the form of graphics, colour codes and reports. However, this is no longer enough, mainly due to the following challenges facing us today:
- In the current competitive situation minor differences in decision making can mean the difference between success and failure.
- The growing amount of information available to us makes it impossible to fully assess all of this when making decisions, exceeding the capabilities of the decision makers. The support provided by the graphics and reports is clearly insufficient.
- The constant change in business rules prevents the use of static processes in decision making. The golden rules that worked a month ago may not be useful today.
With the support of optimization and operations research techniques, those responsible for decision making have a tool capable of analysing millions of possibilities in seconds, providing recommendations that would otherwise be out of their reach. The delivery of alternatives and recommendations in such a short space of time enables them to assess different scenarios, adjusting the decision making to the needs of their business, and ensuring the quality and effectiveness of these decisions.
These techniques are included in an area that is now called Prescriptive Analytics, although they have a long-standing tradition. The term Operations Research was coined as early as the Second World War, linked at that time to the application of mathematical techniques to analyse the optimal use of existing weapons systems. The use of these techniques has been growing since that time and has become popular in fields such as energy, logistics, the supply chain, etc. Currently, a large number of companies make use of these techniques to improve their decisions and therefore both reduce costs and increase profits. Influential companies such as IBM and Gartner use them at the core of their decision making, identifying them as the highest link in the chain of analytical techniques.
Since its creation in 2008, decide has focussed on the application of optimization and operations research techniques to build Decision Support Systems. To do this, we have a team of highly qualified professionals, capable of both implementing sophisticated algorithms and listening to and understanding the business needs of our customers. With more than 10 years of experience in this field, members of theAnalytical Intelligence Unit at decide have developed techniques and methodologies suitable for this type of project, achieving results that, on some occasions, have produced a full return on the investment in less than two months.