A BRMS is a low-code environment for managing and deploying rules-based decision processes – and yes, you should use one!
Our Story (The Brief Version)
Before starting DigiFi, our team ran an online lending business that issued personal loans to individuals. It was a fast paced, nimble startup that was rapidly building our tech platform and optimizing our underwriting decision process… but as the business grew things began to slow down. Changes that would have taken a few days to deploy when we started began taking weeks.
Our team had created a powerful platform for the fully automated underwriting and issuance of personal loans. It was inherently a complex task and our team had written thousands of lines of code to accomplish it. While the system worked well day-to-day, we were becoming weighed down by the complexity of what we’d built. Even small adjustments to business logic were increasingly hard to implement into an increasingly complex code base and required the application to be redeployed for changes to take effect. Soon, our engineers were spending much of their time implementing changes and updates to our business and decision logic, which was neither enjoyable nor efficient.
If this story is familiar, you’re in good company. We’ve spoken with many companies that share this issue, and a BRMS (or Rules Engine) is the solution.
What is a Business Rules Management System (BRMS)?
A BRMS is a technology platform built for implementing, managing and executing business logic and decision processes. BRMS’s are typically low-code and easy to use, empowering non-engineers to manage automated decision processes that previously required extensive technical effort. They often consist of a development environment (where the rules are managed) and a decision engine (which executes decisions). Since no coding is required, implementation is quick – work that used to take months to implement and test can often be completed in a few days – and the decision processes are transparent and easy to understand as they are written in plain English rather than a programming language.
What kind of business logic can you put in a BRMS?
At a bare minimum, a BRMS lets you create rules in the form “if this, then that”. Some BRMS’s take this much further however, allowing you to build extremely robust processes without writing a single line of code. This revolutionizes how businesses can automate decisions, because it’s now possible for “business people” to implement and deploy the logic (or, at the very least, read and understand it!). For example, DigiFi’s rules engine lets you implement the following types of decision logic (among others):
- Multi-step decision workflows
- Rules that run requirements
- Conditions that produce outputs
- Scorecards that generate scores,
- Calculation scripts
- Population segments
- Predictive machine learning models
- API integrations with data sources
To bring this to life, here’s an example of how a decision process and the underlying rules look in DigiFi’s BRMS. As you can see, it’s easy to understand the process and rules. This is one of the key advantages of a BRMS versus “hard-coded” logic – the exact processing logic is transparent in a BRMS. In a traditional system, one can only ascertain the rule logic by examining the source code.
What are the other key capabilities of a BRMS?
In addition to ease of implementation and management, best-in-class BRMS’s typically also include comprehensive testing, auditing and deployment capabilities. These capabilities are usually a significant improvement over the time-intensive status quo.
- Testing: A BRMS should provide the ability to test your strategies in the same environment they were created in. This allows a user to make a change and instantly see the results, massively accelerating the development process. A visual interface showing how the strategy processed, its inputs, and its results can help users understand complex decisions quickly (see example below).
- Auditing: The added transparency a BRMS provides can be complimented by comprehensive auditing capabilities. A BRMS should include change management capabilities, such as versioning and edit tracking, so that a clear audit trail exists for all changes to business logic. In addition, the system should preserve the strategies used to make business decisions, to ensure that the complete decision logic for any given decision is always available.
- Deployment: A best-in-class BRMS can take the time needed to deploy business logic from the development environment to production from days to seconds. Manual deployment processes that require DevOps support can be replaced by business user directly activating new strategies for use.
Does My Company Need a Business Rules Engine?
BRMS platforms are broadly applicable but can provide the most value to companies that need to automate decision processes that consist of a many rules that are updated on a relatively frequent basis. This is particularly common in the banking, lending and insurance industries for high-value processes such as underwriting, account opening, fraud detection, verification and account management. However, rules engines are used in virtually every industry to automate a wide range of decisions.
Business Rules Management Systems address many of challenges that companies face when implementing and managing decision processes. They empower non-engineers to build robust decision processes that the entire team can understand, and can eliminate months of expensive, time consuming and high-risk coding. They are a terrific choice for a wide range of companies – especially those that make high-value, rules-based decisions in an automated manner.
DigiFi is a technology company that helps businesses make better automated decisions.
Our platform lets businesses easily use automated machine learning and rules management to optimize critical decisions with no coding or technical expertise required. Repetitive work that used to take hours can now be completed in minutes, letting your team focus on what matters most.