New and Improved Tornado Graphs in @RISK 7.5

It’s often difficult to determine which factors require the most attention in business decisions which can lead to focusing on the wrong things while ignoring what’s most important.  Tornado graphs are an effective way to determine which aspects have the most impact on a business decision, so you can focus on what matters rather than negligible factors.  Palisade’s @RISK, which has been used for years by many companies who utilize tornado graphs for sensitivity analyses, was just given multiple improvements to its tornado graph functions that offer new analytical features and simpler use to increase the ease of understanding and communicating your results.

One of the new features of @RISK 7.5 is the ability to overlay multiple tornado graphs into one visual.  Creating a separate chart for each simulation and then comparing the results can be both difficult to compare and time-consuming.  With @RISK 7.5 you can simply overlay all of the simulations making comparison easier to see and communicate to others.  Rather than focusing on communicating the comparison, you can jump right to making more informed decisions!


Another new exciting feature in @RISK 7.5 is the Contribution to Variance tornado graph function.  This feature determines the amount of output variance is attributed to each factor so you can see which inputs are creating the most impact on the output.  You can choose whether you want to see the magnitude and direction of the variance or just the magnitude to more easily compare the contribution variance.


Finally, we have added a shading option to the Change in Output Mean tornado graphs to quickly see whether the input associated with each bar is high or low when the output statistic increases or decreases.  In the example below you can see that when inputs such as Product Lifetime and Initial Unit Price are high, there is a positive impact on the net present value (NPV) of the project; when an input such as Initial Cost is high it will have a negative impact on the NPV.


Free Webinars: What’s New @RISK and DecisionTools Suite 7.5

New @RISK 7.5 and DecisionTools Suite 7.5 offer a range of improvements for any decision maker, from general use enhancements to new, specialized analytical features. New and enhanced graphing options, faster performance, and sophisticated analytics make DecisionTools Suite 7.5 the only decision analysis toolset you’ll ever need!  Sign up for one of our free webinars and learn about our new features!

In each webinar, we’ll cover key features that are new in 7.5:

  • New and Improved Tornado Graphs in @RISK
  • Faster Optimization with RISKOptimizer
  • Over 20 New @RISK Functions
  • Graphing and Reporting Improvements in @RISK
  • And more!

Join us for a free webinar to learn about more new features in @RISK 7.5 and DecisionTools Suite 7.5!

» Wednesday, July 20th, 1pm EDT (NYC) | 10am PDT (Los Angeles) | 6pm BST (London) – Register
» Thursday, July 21st, 10am EDT (NYC) | 3pm BST (London) | 7:30pm IST (Delhi) – Register
» Wednesday, July 27th, 10am AEST (Sydney) – Register

@RISK and DecisionTools Suite 7.5 Now Available

The latest version of our popular risk analysis tools, @RISK 7.5 and DecisionTools Suite 7.5 are now available!  Version 7.5 offers a range of improvements for any decision maker, from general use enhancements to new, specialized analytical features.  New and enhanced graphing options, faster performance, and sophisticated analytics make DecisionTools Suite 7.5 the only decision analysis toolset you’ll ever need.

Read What’s New

Register for a free webinar on What’s New in @RISK 7.5

Key Features Include:

  • New and Improved Tornado Graphs In @RISK
  • Faster Optimization with RISKOptimizer
  • Over 20 New @RISK Functions
  • Graphing and Reporting Improvements in @RISK
  • Optimized for Windows 10 and Excel 2016

Other Important Features:

  • Run Optimizations During Simulation Without Coding
  • New StatTools Analyses

Join Us for a Free to Learn More About What’s New In @RISK 7.5 and DecisionTools Suite 7.5!

» Wednesday, July 20th, 1pm EDT (NYC) | 10am PDT (Los Angeles) – Register

» Thursday, July 21st, 10am EDT (NYC) | 3pm BST (London) | 7:30pm IST (Delhi) – Register

» Wednesday, July 27th, 10am AEST (Sydney) – Register

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

Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, credit Kentucky Farm Bureau blog
Credit: Kentucky Farm Bureau blog

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

Free Minicourse in Renewable Energy Modeling using @RISK, with example models

How do we insure a reliable energy supply when using renewable energy sources?

Renewable Energy Modeling

Solar power is inherently unreliable, fluctuating with time of day and degree of cloudiness. Wind power is a victim of air flow patterns. To prevent blackouts, renewable energy sources need to be backed up with conventional power sources. In effect, they require virtually 100% backup with fossil, nuclear, hydro sources of power. Think of the repercussions of a solar eclipse and calm winds on renewable energy output, which occurred in Europe in 2015.

In this free on-demand minicourse, Professor Roy Nersesian models the complexities of this problem – and demonstrates solutions – using @RISK for Excel.

Integrating Renewables with Electricity Storage, using @RISK

Materials include:

  • 1-hour webinar delivered by Roy Nersesian
  • Energy example models
  • 50-page whitepaper
  • Presentation slidedeck

» Go to free minicourse now

» Case study: @RISK Helps Integrate Renewable Energy Sources

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

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.