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Digital Decisioning Versus Decision Support

The line between Digital Decisioning systems and Decision Support systems (or Executive Information systems) can be blurry. This is especially true when considering the kind of Digital Decisioning system that handles tactical decisions or where an operational decision is not completely automated—where the user is presented with multiple valid options, such as possible offers to make.

Digital Decisioning systems are distinct, however, and they differ from traditional Decision Support Systems in five ways:

  1. Decision Support systems provide information that describes the situation and perhaps historical trends so that humans can decide what to do, which actions to take, Digital Decisioning automates or recommends the actions that should be taken based on the information that is available at the time the decision is being made.
  2. The policies, regulations, and best practices that determine the best action are embedded, at least in part, in a Digital Decisioning system, where a Decision Support system requires the user to remember them or look them up separately.
  3. The information and insight presented in a Decision Support system is typically backward looking, and Decision Support systems are generally reactive—helping a human decision-maker react to a new or changed situation by presenting information that might help them make a decision. In contrast, Digital Decisioning uses information to make predictions and aims to be proactive.
  4. Learning is something that happens outside a Decision Support System and inside a Digital Decisioning system. Users of Decision Support Systems are expected to learn what works and what does not work and to apply what they learn to future decisions. Digital Decisioning have experimentation or test and learn infrastructure built in so that the system itself learns what works and what does not.
  5. Digital Decisioning systems are integrated into an organization’s run-time environment. They make decisions for applications and services in the organization’s enterprise application architecture. In contrast, Decision Support systems are often desktop or interactive applications that execute outside the core application portfolio.