Developing FICO Xpress Solutions

Document created by neillcrossley@fico.com Advocate on Jul 21, 2017Last modified by Makenna.Brei on Sep 8, 2017
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One of the Industry Leading capabilities of FICO Xpress Optimization is the ability to rapidly develop and deploy complete, user friendly, enterprise level software solutions

FICO Xpress Solutions use the FICO Xpress Insight component which includes:

  • User authority and roles management, scenario what-if analysis and simulation, built-in interactive GUI metaphors, extensible GUI through the high level Visual Definition Language and Tableau.
  • Built-in scenario repository database, built-in reporting layer, built-in security, built-in load balancing and distributed computing. Support for custom GUI development with HTML5+JS+CSS.
  • Complete REST API covering 100% of the product functionality for automation purposes or for hybrid human + machine / automated solutions.

This allows you to put the power of optimization in the hands of business users, providing a fully immersive experience to build trust and ownership, that allows them to explore and challenge “what-if” scenarios on their own

The Xpress Insight capabilities, together with the Xpress Workbench development environment together with the powerful Xpress Solvers and Xpress Mosel modelling language, also accelerate and simplify the development experience, helping the Operations Researcher, Solution Developer or Data Scientist to quickly and easily get the math and visualizations right, at the speed of thought, with far less time and code, whether its purpose is prototyping, production deployment, or solution life cycle improvements. All of this for either existing or new applications with no need to rip and replace.

 

The Key Steps required in developing a FICO Xpress Solution (Custom & Template) are as follows:

Development StepDevelopment ResourcesSupporting Resources

1) Form a comprehensive understanding of the business problem and outline the solution design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operations Researcher /

Solution Developer /

Data Scientist







Business Subject Matter Expert

2) Construct base math model formulation including data definitions for inputs and outputs(results)

3) Read input data from data source (CSV, Excel, Access, or any DB). Data Expert
4) Perform data pre/post processing (unit conversions, scaling, sum-products, totals, averages)
5) (Optionally) build predictive models that assess the business impact of decisionsModel Developer
6) Code predictive, action-effect (causal) and any other analytic models
7) Assemble complete optimization model formulations
8) Assemble Xpress Insight projects for use by business audiences
9) Configure Insight project files for data management and mirroring, and for role-based user access

10) Construct custom input/output views using the markup VDL (View Definition Language) for fast application development

Business Subject Matter Expert
11) Construct live Tableau reports that integrate with XpressBusiness Subject Matter Expert

 

The ability to rapidly prototype, create early visualizations of the solution, whether user interfaces or reports and dashboards, and invite business user feedback and ownership accelerates the Solution Developers understanding of the problem and thus you get to the desired end solution quicker. In several client projects we have found this iterative and interactive development capability can reduce solution development times by 80%. The contract between old and new development approaches is illustrated below:

Old Dev Way.PNGNew Dev Way.PNG

 

Key FICO Xpress Optimization Solution Development capabilities include:

Combine Any Logic as Needed for Your Business Problem

Combine Logic.PNG

Industry Leading Feature Set

Xpress Workbench Development Environment

Workbench Debug.png

  • The Xpress Mosel modeling language offers complete flexibility for customizing decision features
  • Easily accessible to introduce new rules, conditions, complex formulas, channel behaviors, etc.
  • Feature-rich scripting capabilities
  • Seamless access to the full range of solver engines
  • Fastest nonlinear optimization engines allows for rapid experimentation with complex problems
  • Flexible data connections, e.g. XML, CSV, HTML, Excel, ODBC
  • Includes R integration for flexibility in model development and deployment

Interactive Views, Reports & Dashboards

Tableau Dev.png

  • Tableau-based scenario management enables rapid exploration and comparison of optimization inputs & results across multiple scenarios
  • Expressive dashboards put the power of optimization in the hands of executives & business users
  • Seamless report deployment enables “hot-swappable” changes to reports with no IT involvement
  • Create user-defined segments on-the-fly for use in reporting
  • View Definition Language provides powerful GUI abstractions for interacting with data, logic & decisions

Seamless deployment - Standalone or within the FICO Decision Management Platform

XI Deployment.png

  • Client applications can receive notifications of system state changes, while robust lock mechanisms to ensure the integrity of exchanged data objects (inputs, parameters, scenarios, results, etc.)
  • Installation can be local, network server, server cluster, or on a cloud-based virtual server to take full advantage of available hardware resources
  • Hierarchical database repository used to persist all Optimization Modeler data and state information
  • Thin web-based client for zero-footprint access
  • Built-in load balancing allows for varying usage levels and spikes in demand while ensuring consistent performance

Governance, Collaboration & Permissions-Based Workflows

Goverance Workflow.png

  • Strong data, model, and operational governance features & workflows built directly into every Xpress Insight solution
  • Automatic detection of source data updates, model performance tracking, and model re-calibration ensure deployed strategies are robust and reflective of current market conditions
  • Given appropriate permissions, analysts can interact directly with component models to control the forecasts and predictions leveraged by the optimization engine
  • Auto-logging functions track all information associated with scenarios, including parameters, scripts, documentation, attachments, results, and run times
  • Easily share scenarios, data, and analyses with colleagues and managers, with integrated notes and file attachments

 

More Information:

 

 

Developing Framework Solutions - FICO Decision Optimizer

FICO Xpress Optimization also provides Framework Solutions, where multiple solutions can be developed for different business decision areas, without the need to code or program. These Solutions, such as FICO Decision Optimizer (DO), provide a framework that can be configured solely through the user interface by Business Analysts & Users. The DO framework combines a "Decision Impact Model" that contains details of all the Inputs, Decisions, Assumptions, Metric Calculations, Predictions, Constraints and Objectives, with a standard optimization model that supports the assignment of discrete decisions to accounts/customers, with a particular focus on developing rules or decision tree based "Decision Strategies". This type of solution can also provide an excellent "sandbox" environment to quickly develop and test initial solutions.

 

The Key Steps required in developing a Framework FICO Xpress Solution (such as a FICO Decision Optimizer solution) are as follows:

Development StepDevelopment ResourcesSupporting Resources

1) Project Design - form a comprehensive understanding of the business problem and outline the solution

  • Define Inputs
  • Design Decision Impact Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Analyst

(but could also be

Operations Researcher /

Data Scientist)







Business Subject Matter Expert

Data Expert

2) Project Development

  • Develop Predictive & Action Effect models, and other Decision Impact Model components
  • Configure the FICO Decision Optimizer software
Model Developer

3) Simulation & Optimization Execution

  • Run Validation, Simulation and Optimization Scenarios
  • Undertake comparative Scenario Analysis & Drill Down Reporting

Business Subject Matter Expert

Business Users

4) Deployment & Management

  • Refinement & Deployment of Decision Strategies
  • Monitor Performance, Feedback Loop and Accelerated Learning
Decision Management Engineer
5) Repeat & Iterate

 

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