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Understanding multilevel decisioning and the Context Dictionary

Updated on September 15, 2022

Use multilevel decisioning in Pega Customer Decision Hub to control how the next best actions are presented to various levels of customer contacts, such as a head of household, account owner, or device owner.

These levels are referred to as customer contexts and are treated as different audiences that must be communicated with in different ways. For example, you can offer the account owner a family data plan that applies to the whole account, and also send out new phone offers to individual household members that qualify for them.
Pega Customer Decision Hub

Understanding the relationship between context entities, associated data, and others

Refer to the following section for an explanation of several terms used to describe various aspects of multilevel context creation, and the relationships between them:

Context Dictionary
The Context Dictionary defines the context in which Next-Best-Action Designer communicates actions to customers. This is based on the notion that a communication is always with an individual, for example, a customer, subscriber, or member, and not with more abstract entities such as an account or policy. However, actions themselves may be relevant for other entities in the hierarchy and so are assigned to the context for which they are intended.
The Context Dictionary enables you to define context entities and primary contexts, as well as the relationship between them. You can also use it to manage the associations between various contexts and associated data. You can access the Context Dictionary through the Settings Context Dictionary menu in App Studio.
Context entity
Any entity on which next-best-action decisions can be made. Depending on the industry, this entity can represent, for example, an account, a household, or a policy membership.
For example, in a telecommunications implementation where the data model is Account > Subscriber > Device, an account may represent a household with multiple subscribers, such as parents and their children, each of which may have one or more devices such as mobile phones, tablets, or computers. Some actions are related to plans covering multiple subscribers (for example, a family plan, adding a line, and so on) and so are assigned to the Account context. Other actions, such as a phone upgrade offer, are relevant for subscribers, and assigned to the Subscriber context. Device-specific actions, such as an accessory for a phone, are assigned to the Device context. Each of these entities is defined as a context in the Context Dictionary in the appropriate hierarchy.
Note: Other entities that will not have actions related to them, such as purchases or history, may be included in the Context Dictionary as associated data, but not be defined as a specific context.
Next Best Action Designer supports a multilevel data model with up to three levels of context, although data associations can be nested deeper than three levels.
Primary context
After you define each context level in the Context Dictionary, one of the context entities must be designated as the primary context. This context represents the individual to whom you communicate next-best-action decisions. For example, the primary context for the Account > Subscriber > Device data model is the Subscriber. After a decision is made for the context entity, the primary context receives the resulting next best action.
Note: The name you select for the primary context in the Singular name and Plural name fields, should align with the marketable entity. For example, if you refer to your customers as contacts, use the term Contact for the singular name and Contacts for the plural name. This value is used in reporting throughout the Pega stack, including Pega Predictive Diagnostic Cloud (PDC). In PDC, the term Contact will be used for counting and displaying purposes.
Authorized contact
In a Context Dictionary configuration where the primary context entity is not the top level in the hierarchy, a next-best-action decision may result in multiple contacts being selected. For example, in the case of a family phone plan which includes adults and children, it may not be appropriate to communicate some actions to the children. Because of that, you can designate a particular contact as the authorized contact.
Authorized contacts are also referred to as primary contacts. You should define at least one authorized contact for each top-level entity.
Action context and intended recipient
Actions are assigned a context based on their relevance in the context hierarchy. Additionally, actions are assigned an intended recipient. The following options are available:
  • Eligible contact - Send the action to the contact for which the action has been selected.
  • Redirect to primary contact - Change the recipient to be the primary contact. For example, if an account is eligible for an Add a phone line action, but the action should only be sent to the authorized contacts on the account, you should configure the setting to Redirect to primary contact.
  • Eligible contact and copy to primary contact - Send to the original contact, and also send a copy to the primary contact. For example, if a subscriber who is not an authorized contact is to be sent an action warning them about a possible data overage, you can configure the action to use Eligible contact and copy to primary contact in order to also inform the authorized contact of the overage.
If redirecting or copying to the primary contact, by default only a single primary contact is selected. To send to all primary contacts, edit the Output Bundling Settings Decision Data rule.
Associated data
A data entity directly related to either a context entity, or another associated data entity. For example, data about a customer's product holdings can be associated with the customer context entity, and data about product details can be associated with data about a customer's product holdings. Associated data provides additional information about the context that the Next-Best-Action strategy can then use to make decisions.

Supported context definitions

The relationship between context entities and primary contexts must have a parent-child structure and follow one of the following patterns:

  • Context entity
    • Primary context
  • Account
    • Subscriber
  • Primary context
    • Context entity
  • Customer
    • Account
  • Context entity
    • Context entity
      • Primary context
  • Account
    • Subscription
      • Owner
  • Context entity
    • Primary context
      • Context entity
  • Account
    • Subscriber
      • Device

Other configurations, such as having multiple sibling entities under one parent entity, are not supported. If you have multiple brands, organize the customer contexts in such a way as to cover all the brands in one parent-child structure.

Configuring associated data

Pega Customer Decision Hub supports associating the customer class with other entities. For example, each customer record can have associated purchase data information. After creating the customer contexts in the Context Dictionary, you can create and configure any associated entities.

You can use the Customer Profile Designer to configure data associations for each customer context. The intuitive Profile Designer interface guides you through the process of selecting the data set or data flow that you want to use as a data source. If the data source contains event data, you can create an aggregated summary of the data directly on the Summaries tab of Customer Profile Designer.

For more information, see Adding associated static data in the Customer Profile Designer.

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