Author: Shannon Kelly

Webinar: Handy Tips for Using @RISK


Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
10am CST Mexico City / 1pm BRT Rio de Janeiro / 4pm GMT London / 5pm CET Paris / 7pm MSK Moscow

There are many features of @RISK that make modelling much simpler, if only you knew they were there! In this free live webinar, we explore tips for using @RISK — for the beginner and experienced user alike. Learn how to overlay distribution graphs for comparison, change default settings to affect reports, and expertly share models and results with others. For efficient use of your time, you need to know how to get the most out of @RISK with minimal effort!

» Register now

New Dairy Research Facility incorporates the work of expert @RISK user Dr. Jeffrey Bewley

The Kentucky Farm Bureau blog featured the work of expert @RISK user Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, who is a University of Kentucky dairy specialist and associate extension professor.

The story describes the new University of Kentucky dairy research facility that was built with cow comfort in mind, while being familiar enough to dairy producers so that the research is valuable for everyday operations. The facility uses technology to aid in Precision Dairy Farming, which Dr. Bewley explained to us at a previous Palisade Risk Conference (see slidedeck).

Dr. Bewley has been a longtime user of @RISK for risk models using Monte Carlo simulation. His work in Precision Dairy Farming aims to increase productivity for farms while making a comfortable environment for the cows. “We’re basically trying to improve the life of the animal and hopefully with this type of technology we can detect when cows are sick sooner so that we can intervene and have more chances at success,” Dr. Bewley explains in the story. “Our goal is to make a very, very comfortable environment for the cows.”

» View Dr. Bewley’s @RISK webinar about Precision Dairy Farming

Deloitte AIS Helps Client Avoid Overfunded Position of Several Billion Rands, using @RISK

Deloitte Actuarial and Insurance Solutions (AIS) is a specialist insurance and actuarial consulting team, based in South Africa, which operates in more than 40 countries worldwide. Their remit is to provide advanced analytical solutions that enable the financial well-being and solvency of their clients, who include many life and short-term insurers across the African continent, as well as energy and resource companies.

DeloitteDeloitte AIS had a long-standing client in the energy and resource sector, with significant interest across a number of large mining operations in South Africa. They looked to the Deloitte AIS team to help them plan for necessary environmental rehabilitation requirements such that they would reduce the risk of funding shortfalls – as well as the risk of overfunding and inefficient use of capital – while maintaining regulatory compliance and facilitating proper and responsible environmental care and sustainability.

According to Jaco van der Merwe, Director of Short-Term Insurance for Deloitte AIS, the challenge with formulating these strategies is, “both the financial liabilities and backing assets for the rehabilitation may exhibit volatility and random fluctuations, so it’s important for companies to select financial strategies which minimize the risk of a funding shortfall while avoiding inefficient use of funds.”

Palisade’s @RISK software enabled Deloitte AIS to quickly and efficiently construct the financial models they needed to capture the nature and profile of the risks for both the company’s liabilities and the assets. In the past, the team would construct models manually in Excel. These models took significantly more time and effort and often cost more, as they required extensive error checking. The @RISK software enabled them to quickly build, set-up and populate their models, and provided elegant visualizations of their Monte Carlo simulations which ultimately allowed them to focus on the risks, instead of worrying about the modelling.

“@RISK speeds up and significantly simplifies the stochastic model-building aspects of our work. We can focus more on the strategies and advice and less on model building, debugging and error tracing,” said van der Merwe.

“With @RISK, we were able to construct a projection model which reflected the risk of ‘mis-funding’ throughout the life of the mines and the subsequent rehabilitation periods,” explained van der Merwe.” As a result, we were able to highlight the appropriate funding options and strategies for our client which met their risk appetite and requirements.”

By modelling the risks with Palisade’s @RISK, Deloitte AIS was able to help their client avoid an eventual overfunded position of several billion rands.” In addition, we were able to reduce the amount of contributions required by almost half, simply by applying a sensible investment strategy,” added van der Merwe.

» Read the complete case study

University of Pretoria Creates an @RISK Model for Stopping the Spread of Avian Flu

UniversityofPretoriaThe avian influenza virus – or avian flu – is a fast-spreading infection that affects poultry and potentially people worldwide. While the risk to humans is not completely understood, stopping human exposure to the virus is critical. According to Dr. Folorunso Oludayo Fasina, a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Production Animal Studies, it is important to understand “how the virus gets into the food system, how it spreads and how it can be managed. To do this, we need risk assessment and exposure assessment, as well as a response model. Once we have this information, we can implement measures to stop the risks.”

Dr. Fasina and his colleagues created a model for foodborne contamination that was specific to Africa, where the virus has already infected 12 countries. The team studied both biological and cultural aspects, including food processing, trade, and cooking-related practices, and collected data from more than 375 Egyptian and Nigerian sites including homes, local producers, live bird markets, village and commercial abattoirs and veterinary agencies. As a first step, the team used Palisade’s TopRank tool, part of the DecisionTools Suite, to analyze the sensitivity of each of the identified contributors to the overall risk. This helped the team understand which of the contributors were the most important.

Next, the team moved to @RISK to help predict the different ways the virus could be spread. Using Monte Carlo simulation, @RISK can quantify the probabilities of different outcomes – or infection rates – occurring, as well as determine the optimal preventive measures to mitigate the risk of animal-to-person infection.

The results revealed numerous opportunities for the avian influenza virus to be spread, and found that the estimated risk for humans was higher than previously reported. Says Dr. Fasina, “@RISK is a valuable tool to investigate these problems and do risk predictions either prospectively or retrospectively. Utilizing the outputs from models like this can help health policy planners and public health officials to take anticipatory measures to prevent future disasters associated with infectious diseases like the avian flu.”

» Read more about the study here

Palisade will be at the Biggerplate mind mapping conference in NYC this week

BigPicture at Biggerplate is THE community for mind mappers, and the home of mind mapping content and learning resources regarding mind maps. Biggerplate hosts a range of meetings, workshops and the annual Biggerplate Unplugged Conference which is tomorrow at Civic Hall in New York City. This is the only conference in the world dedicated entirely to mind mapping! Tomorrow’s speakers include authors, tech leaders, professors, medical professionals and more. The primary focus for this year’s conference is how mind mapping software, such as BigPicture, is the missing link and the must have tool for knowledge workers in business and education.

Even though mind mapping is only ONE of the MANY features that Palisade’s BigPicture provides, it is one that can be an incredible addition to what you may already be doing with Palisade’s other DecisionTools Suite products in Excel. Mind mapping in BigPicture can help streamline your processes and improve efficiency in your daily projects.

We’ll report back on the latest insights into mind mapping and data mapping, and how you can use these techniques in BigPicture!

PragmaRisk uses the DecisionTools Suite for Contingency Funds for Construction Projects

PragmaRiskDetermining and monitoring the contingency funds required for any construction project is a process that must account for many uncertainties. French risk management consultancy PragmaRisk turned to Palisade’s DecisionTools Suite to help it tackle this issue and ensure that it makes realistic recommendations to its clients.

Using @RISK (part of the DecisionTools Suite), PragmaRisk performs integrated cost and schedule quantitative risk assessment (QRA) throughout the life of a project, which can run over several years.

It first identifies the probability of meeting the estimated budget if there is no contingency fund, and then selects the amount of contingency for the project depending on the risk profile as well as the contractor’s ‘risk appetite.’ Using a Monte Carlo approach does not predict what will actually happen, but it applies reasoning under conditions of risk and uncertainty so that these two key aspects to be distinguished.

The main uncertainties and risks affecting the budget of the project are then outlined. This allows mitigating action to be taken to reduce risks where possible. The completed risk profile highlights areas on which to focus and the risks to be mitigated.

» Read the full case study

Mining Students at U of Witwatersrand Get Practical Financial Analysis Experience with @RISK

WitwatersrandThe University of Witwatersrand in South Africa is offering its mining engineering students some valuable practical guidance and financial analysis experience, to equip them with proficiencies and knowledge that will be required in their professional lives.

Using Palisade’s risk analysis tool @RISK, the school is giving students training in and knowledge of Monte Carlo Simulation. Professor RCA Minnitt from the University explains why this is so imperative: “It’s very important to give students a real-world feel of how mining operations are managed financially – before they head out into the professional world. An understanding of Monte Carlo simulation is absolutely essential. Without this discipline’s knowledge and use, robust and credible financial analysis is not possible. @RISK is an essential tool for both our undergraduate and post graduate programmes.”

The University feels @RISK is well suited for Monte Carlo Simulation in academia, and values its ability as a modeling training tool, which gives the students a head start in their professional careers.

For more information please view the full case study here.

THURSDAY July 23rd Webinar: “Injecting Certainty into an Uncertain Process: Using Monte Carlo Simulation to improve your Forecast Processes”

Thursday, July 23rd, 2pm EDT / 6pm GMT
Presenter: Jerry Scherer, JB Scherer Consulting Group LLC

» Free registration

FENG and Palisade invite you to join us in a webinar designed to improve your forecasting process and give your company improved insights into what “success” means to your company.

As many companies have discovered forecasting the future is fraught with many uncertainties:

  • Profitability – how best to estimate future demand, prices and costs for goods and services?
  • Liquidity – Is my company over borrowed, under invested or over exposed?
  • Risk – what happens if market rates (interest, currency, commodity) change or my banking partners impose conditions which jeopardize access to external sources of funds?

In addition, a reliance on forecasting tools like accounting systems and spreadsheets injects another level of uncertainty into the forecasting process, namely the probability of error or inability to integrate multiple sets of future outputs based on disparate sets of assumptions. After all ERP systems were designed to record historical events with accounting like certainty; however, the common denominator in any forecast is that its results will certainly be uncertain when compared to actual results.

In this webinar we will discuss the use of a statistical technique called Monte Carlo simulation which uses probability distributions to estimate a range over which certain events or outcomes will / will not occur. By combining the business experience of your production and finance staff with this statistical technique you will be better able to see which outcomes are most probable.

Whether your business is in manufacturing, service, warehousing, distribution or finance, this webinar will enlighten you as to a new way in which to inject certainty into an uncertain process.

» Free registration

TODAY! Simulating this year’s NCAA Tournament with @RISK!

11am EDT, 16 March 2015

Start your week off with a fun webinar presented by Andrew Pulvermacher of Nighthawk Intelligence.

According to ESPN Magazine, the NCAA tournament is one of the most wagered-on events in sports. Veteran bookmakers estimate bets range from $12 billion to $26 billion (roughly the GDP of Honduras).

If you’re looking for that edge to improve your office pool odds, join this free live webcast for specifically focused on simulating this year’s NCAA tournament with @RISK. Using publically available data, you’ll be able to tame March Madness by managing uncertainty.

Foundation concepts:

  • Dealing with Uncertainty
  • Compare Webinar estimates to those of ESPN and WSJ (if available during time of webinar)

UPDATE: View the recorded webinar here. 

Must-Attend Regional Risk Conference Hosted in Chicago this July 17th

2014 Palisade Chicago Risk Conference

Next week, analysts and decision makers will gather in downtown Chicago for an intensive one-day conference on quantitative risk analysis.

» Register now – Complimentary registration

This “must attend” event will feature a selection of real-world case studies and software training. Case studies will be presented by industry experts about how they manage risk and uncertainty in a wide range of business applications. Software training on @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite will be given by Palisade staff, and include ideas and applications you can use.

This 2014 Palisade Risk Conference is part of a global, annual series of meetings where professionals share ideas and advance the practice of risk and decision analysis. More than 1,000 people attend Palisade Risk Conferences every year. For nearly a decade, these conferences have been helping managers in many different companies – from Fortune Global 500 to small consulting practices – make better decisions.

Here is what just a few participants have recently said:

“Very good conference with good usage of time.”    

       –Mark Mendonca, Program Risk Management, Ernst & Young

“Excellent conference. If there are numbers that vary, you should be here.”      

      –George Chiang, Independent Cost Analyst, Boeing Company

“We saw and discussed methods that directly apply to our problems, and learned to build upon them to come up with solutions.”    

       –Michael Watson, PMP, Senior Staff Integrated Planning, Lockheed Martin

» Register now to attend the Chicago event on July 17th