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AI and Business Rule Engines for Excel Power Users

By Paul Browne
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  1. Free Chapter
    Part 1:The Problem with Excel, and Why Rule-Based AI Can Be the Solution
About this book
Microsoft Excel is widely adopted across diverse industries, but Excel Power Users often encounter limitations such as complex formulas, obscure business knowledge, and errors from using outdated sheets. They need a better enterprise-level solution, and this book introduces Business rules combined with the power of AI to tackle the limitations of Excel. This guide will give you a roadmap to link KIE (an industry-standard open-source application) to Microsoft’s business process automation tools, such as Power Automate, Power Query, Office Script, Forms, VBA, Script Lab, and GitHub. You’ll dive into the graphical Decision Modeling standard including decision tables, FEEL expressions, and advanced business rule editing and testing. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to share your business knowledge as graphical models, deploy and execute these models in the cloud (with Azure and OpenShift), link them back to Excel, and then execute them as an end-to-end solution removing human intervention. You’ll be equipped to solve your Excel queries and start using the next generation of Microsoft Office tools.
Publication date:
March 2023
Publisher
Packt
Pages
386
ISBN
9781804619544

 

Part 1:The Problem with Excel, and Why Rule-Based AI Can Be the Solution

The first part of the book builds the case, showing how an AI and business rules approach can help solve the problems you are encountering in Excel.

This section includes the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1, Wrestling with Excel? You Are Not Alone, outlines the problems you may be facing in Excel, but reassures you that you are not the only person to encounter these issues and shows how an AI-based rule approach can help.
  • Chapter 2, Choosing an AI and Business Rules Engine – Why KIE and Drools?, shows why the rules engine and AI tools from the KIE project are the best choice for you as an Excel user and welcomes you to an open community supported by IBM and Red Hat where you can get ongoing support.
  • Chapter 3, Your First Business Rule with the Online KIE Sandbox, dives into writing business rules and creating your first decision model in the online KIE Sandbox using a classic Hello World example.
About the Author
  • Paul Browne

    Paul Browne is a product and program manager currently working for Europe’s largest VC by deal flow. Most recently, he led a team from three partner institutions that won an EFMD award for ecosystem development, training over 100 eurozone companies to implement digital solutions together. This continues Paul’s previous work leading business and technical projects in the public, financial, and life science sectors across Ireland, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Belgium, and New Zealand. Paul’s qualifications include a degree in European business and French from Ulster University and more recent certifications in finance (ACCA), procurement (CIPS), and business strategy (ESMT). He has technical certifications from Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM and holds a master’s in advanced software engineering from University College Dublin. Paul is the author of JBoss Drools Business Rules, by Packt Publishing, and has lectured in Excel and Visual Basic at the third level.

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