Business processes are driven by human knowledge. Decisions made throughout a business process determine the quality of the business process results. Typical roles for knowledge systems in business processes include automating some decisions or automating analysis to support a human decision maker. Some tasks and knowledge in a business process can be automated (see case study: financial). This knowledge automation can dramatically reduce the time required for a business process; it can also reduce the variability in process results. Some decisions within business processes are too complex or sensitive to completely automate. In these cases a knowledge system can support a human decision maker by automatically reviewing vast amounts of information, making useful inferences and ranking possible options (see case study: real-time delivery planning). The typical benefits of from these types of knowledge systems are:
There are a variety of knowledge representations that can be applied in business process knowledge systems. Business rules systems, fuzzy rules, and decision trees are all possible knowledge representations for business process knowledge. KSD uses proven Cognitive Task Analysis techniques to elicit, analyze and represent the business process knowledge. The result of this process is a determination of the best way to implement the necessary knowledge. KSD then works with customers to integrate the knowledge system into their business process.