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Best practice for when to use Rules Engine vs Data Designer?

  • 22 November 2022
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Hello everyone.

I wanted to ask if anyone can share their best practice how would you identify whether a job requires only Rules Engine, or Rules Engine mixed with Data Designer?

For example, I need to set score for a new measure “NPS Response Rate”. I could fetch the needed data and use a formula field and do it all within the rules engine itself. Or I could first do the fetching and calculating in data designer, then save this data as a new object that would hold a “Response Rate” field, and then reference that field in the Rules Engine.

What should be kept in mind when deciding the preferred method? (Outside of possible feature limitations between these two methods I may not be aware of yet as a new admin).

For example, if I use the data designer, then this response rate could be referenced later on in any report, while if all calculations are done in rules engine, this data will not be reachable by reports, unless loaded to an existing object anyways. Is that a correct assumption?

This question arose to me because from what I understand Rules Engine and Data Designer share a lot of similar features like data transformation and merging and I’m just uncertain when to use what, outside of the fact that Rules Engine can perform Actions.

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Best answer by matthew_lind 22 November 2022, 17:11

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@Tomas Trijonis if you already (or plan to) have the field on an existing object, I would use Rules Engine for the entire thing.  If you don’t and want to display in a report, I’d use Data Designer.  Basically, if you have a field, the Data Designer object is just going to be extra overhead with the additional object.  Somewhat of a personal preference though.

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@Tomas Trijonis You’ve already received some great input from @heather_hansen. I’ll pile on with a similar sentiment.

With transparency that when I started Gainsight administration, there was no Data Designer, and therefore I tend to favor Rules Engine by default, here are some things to consider.

 

Data manipulation:

  • Rule Engine: Up to 15 tasks, though you can chain rules together when necessary. Though some say it’s slightly easier to troubleshoot a Rule vs a DD.
  • Data Designer: Far more than 15 tasks available (I honestly don’t know the upper limit, but some Gainsight gurus here have some amazing screenshots of wildly powerful data designers.)

Data fields:

  • Data Designer: You cannot link out or lookup to other objects from within a Data Designer. Thus, you have to pull into the Data Designer all the fields you need. For example, if you intend to display Response Rate by several Company properties (ARR, industry, CSM, segment, etc.), you have to pull in all of those fields to your Data Designer up front, because you can’t link out to them later in your Report building.

Purpose:

  • Data Designer’s main purpose was permitting the ability to build Reports that spanned objects. So the end product of a DD is usually Reports / Dashboards. Sounds like you’re headed toward a scoring use case, which you can only do in Rules Engine.
  • Rules Engine will let you update existing objects or write to new objects. So if you think you’re really going to do some hard analysis, and this is the first step of many, then Rules Engine may be your better long-term bet.

 

If you’re setting a Scorecard Measure on the Company (or Relationship), and that’s your only known purpose for now, I personally would favor the Rules Engine. Because you have to use a Rule to set the score, using DD means you would have 2 artifacts to schedule, track and troubleshoot (a DD and a Rule) versus one Bionic Rule (to rule them all).

 

 

@Tomas Trijonis You’ve already received some great input from @heather_hansen. I’ll pile on with a similar sentiment.

With transparency that when I started Gainsight administration, there was no Data Designer, and therefore I tend to favor Rules Engine by default, here are some things to consider.

 

Data manipulation:

  • Rule Engine: Up to 15 tasks, though you can chain rules together when necessary. Though some say it’s slightly easier to troubleshoot a Rule vs a DD.
  • Data Designer: Far more than 15 tasks available (I honestly don’t know the upper limit, but some Gainsight gurus here have some amazing screenshots of wildly powerful data designers.)

Data fields:

  • Data Designer: You cannot link out or lookup to other objects from within a Data Designer. Thus, you have to pull into the Data Designer all the fields you need. For example, if you intend to display Response Rate by several Company properties (ARR, industry, CSM, segment, etc.), you have to pull in all of those fields to your Data Designer up front, because you can’t link out to them later in your Report building.

Purpose:

  • Data Designer’s main purpose was permitting the ability to build Reports that spanned objects. So the end product of a DD is usually Reports / Dashboards. Sounds like you’re headed toward a scoring use case, which you can only do in Rules Engine.
  • Rules Engine will let you update existing objects or write to new objects. So if you think you’re really going to do some hard analysis, and this is the first step of many, then Rules Engine may be your better long-term bet.

 

If you’re setting a Scorecard Measure on the Company (or Relationship), and that’s your only known purpose for now, I personally would favor the Rules Engine. Because you have to use a Rule to set the score, using DD means you would have 2 artifacts to schedule, track and troubleshoot (a DD and a Rule) versus one Bionic Rule (to rule them all).

 

 

Thank you so much for your detailed insights @matthew_lind, it is super helpful!

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