@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

VIDEO: Introduction to the DecisionTools Suite

Do you use @RISK but haven’t explored the other Palisade Tools? It’s time you branched out to explore the DecisionTools Suite, which, in addition to @RISK for Monte Carlo simulation,  includes PrecisionTree for decision trees, and TopRank for “what if” sensitivity analysis. In addition, the DecisionTools Suite comes with StatTools for statistical analysis and forecasting, NeuralTools for predictive neural networks, and Evolver and RISKOptimizer for optimization. All programs work together better than ever before, and all integrate completely with Microsoft Excel for ease of use and maximum flexibility.

To learn more, check out this introduction video to the Suite,  given by Palisade expert trainer Rishi Prabhakar:

The video will give viewers a good understanding of of each of these separate products and how they work together.




Making Medicine Count: The DecisionTools Suite Bolsters Efficacy of Humanitarian Programs

Linksbridge_CaseStudyGetting life-saving drugs to under-served people in developing countries is a driving goal for many non-profit organizations. However, well-intentioned efforts like these can fall short of their desired impact due to poor understanding of market uncertainty and risks associated with pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Linskbridge, SPC, a consulting firm that advises international development organizations in determining what efforts have the highest impact along with the best value for money spent, recently used @RISK, RISKOptimizer, and PrecisionTree to help determine the best method of introducing a life-saving medicine in developing countries. The process requires analytical forecasting of both demand and supply of the drug, as well as a detailed market analysis. With the aid of Palisade’s DecisionTools Suite software, the consultancy has been able to offer clients sound advice on which ventures have both humanitarian impact and fiscal soundness.

Khatuna Giorgadze, an associate with Linksbridge SPC, was able to take complex data from multiple sources and translate it into clear and comprehensive information. For example, she used @RISK to create a demand forecasting model, which included both static inputs like population data from United Nations Population Division, country census data, and World Health Organization coverage data, as well as probability distributions for highly uncertain inputs that represent a range of possible values.  Thus she was better able to predict the demand for a drug or medical treatment in developing countries. She was also able to forecast supply.  This step “is even more uncertain than demand,” Giorgadze says, “so we use @RISK to a great extent to assess manufacturing risks and supplier’s plans in the market.” With supply and demand established, Giorgadze then used @RISK, RISKOptimizer, and PrecisionTree to do a thorough market analysis. She then investigated different investment options for the company, determining the potential benefits and risks of each.

All this information was then presented to clients looking to make sound and cost-effective investment and policy decisions to meet public health objectives. Palisade’s products helped make this process all the more efficient and effective. “Palisade’s DecisionTools Suite is a very important component to our work,” says Giorgadze. “Since 2011, it has enabled us to do the required market and investment analysis and make decisions. It’s easy to use, and its compatibility with Excel makes it all the more appealing. We’re very happy with how this software has enhanced our work.”

Read the complete case study here.

Palisade’s PrecisionTree Software Helps Form New AACE International Recommended Practice

Palisade’s PrecisionTree software was featured prominently in Cost Engineering Magazine’s July/August 2014 issue.  The article “Use Decision Trees to Make Important Project Decisions,” by long-time Palisade software user Dr. David T. Hulett, describes how decision trees can help decision makers choose between multiple options and take account of cost and rewards of different options.

decision tree 1

The article “forms the foundation of a new AACE International Recommended Practice,” and examines two different approaches to making a decision: maximize expected monetary value, which is a hallmark of a risk-neutral organization, or, maximize expected utility, which is the appropriate measure of merit for a risk-averse or even a risk-seeking organization. Both approaches benefit from the use of decision trees, as well as optimization and Monte Carlo simulation, to better select and represent alternative outcomes.

decision tree 2

For anyone interested in incorporating decision trees into their decision making, consider checking out Palisade’s PrecisionTree software; it allows you to visually map out, organize, and analyze decisions using decision trees, right in Microsoft Excel.


Shipping Industry Relies on PrecisionTree, @RISK, to Manage Risks to Crew, Environment, and Property

DNV GL SEShipping Industry Relies on PrecisionTree, @RISK, to Manage Risks to Crew, Environment, and Property, an international organization for ship classification, safety and quality control, uses PrecisionTree and @RISK software (part of the DecisionTools Suite, Palisade’s complete toolkit of risk and decision analysis tools) to determine the risk of an incident occurring to a ship or its systems and the consequences should one occur. This enables cost-benefit analysis so that informed decisions can be made about the best strategies to mitigate risk events.

DNV GL is the world’s largest ship and offshore classification organization, and in this context, DNV GL is a key player in major research and development projects for the shipping industry. A core element of their focus is enhancing safety and security in shipping by pro-active use of risk assessment and cost-benefit techniques.

Part of their risk assessment method involves Palisade’s decision tree software, PrecisionTree, to develop the risk models that apply to: (1) crew; (2) environment; and (3) property.

They then use @RISK to perform Monte Carlo simulation, which factors in the uncertainty of input parameters for the risk models, and illustrates the impact on the estimates provided for the assessment of a current level of risk, as well as the cost-efficiency of risk-mitigating measures.

“PrecisionTree makes it straightforward to quickly develop event trees. These are essential to our analysis when looking at how to reduce the both the number of shipping incidents and the consequences should they occur,” explains Dr. Rainer Hamann, Topic Manager Risk Assessment, Safety Research at DNV GL SE. “At the same time we have to be realistic about the accuracy of our data inputs and, by means of distributions and Monte Carlo simulation, @RISK enables us to be clear about the level of uncertainty contained in each model. Embedded in the Microsoft environment, it also allows us to incorporate standard Excel features, making it easy to use.”

Read the original case study here.


Addressing Deadly Hepatitis B: UCSD Research Using @RISK and PrecisionTree Informs Public Health Policy

UCSD Research uses @RISK and PrecisionTree to Inform Public Health PolicyThe Hepatitis B virus is 100 times more infectious than HIV, and kills more than 780,000 people each year. It can cause a potentially life-threatening liver infection often leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer.  It’s also preventable with a series of vaccinations. Yet throughout the past 30 years, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) had calculated the societal cost-benefits of universal Hepatitis B screening, and found that screening the entire US population was not worth the cost.

Dr. John Fontanesi, Director of the Center for Management Science in Health at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and his team of researchers led by Dr. Robert Gish, M.D., have helped to change this policy. After dedicated field work, @RISK modeling, and PrecisionTree analysis, the researchers found that, rather than screening the entire US population, targeting key at-risk groups would indeed result in worthwhile health outcomes.

The research team knew that in some Asian immigrant communities, the rate of Hepatitis B infection can be as high as 16-18%. They studied two very different groups of Asian immigrant communities: one made up of university students and faculty with relatively high socioeconomic status; the other made up of Laotian and Hmong and Vietnamese immigrants with lower socioeconomic status. Using Palisade software, the researchers determined which type of screening test to administer, and what location was most effective (e.g. health clinic versus community event), when considering widely different segments of the Asian immigrant population.

Dr. Fontanesi’s findings have spurred the USPSTF to re-write their recommendation to include targeted screening of Hepatitis B in certain Asian communities and populations.

He notes how Palisade’s software was pivotal in getting the message across. “When you’re trying to communicate statistics to the medical community, people can get lost, but if you show them @RISK, they get it instantly; that visual representation is so much more powerful than written text or a table of numbers.”

Read the full case study here.

Palisade Software Helps Major Electronics Retailer Save Millions

Nighthawk Intelligence Utilizes DecisionTools Suite to Revamp Major Electronics Retailer’s Financial Services Department A major electronics retailer was in trouble—their financial services department was near extinction, and needed to find a way to create greater savings.  As a solution, they looked at increasing the issuance and utilization of its private label credit card (PLCC) to offset some of the nearly $370 million in annual interchange fees (the transaction fee charged to merchants for using the cards) related to arbitrary rates imposed by issuing banks and card brands.

This idea was easier said than done—it required an entire corporate culture shift and a relationship reestablishment with its two issuing banks—all within an eight-month period.

To get buy-in from the company’s decision-makers, there needed to be clear data that showed that the strategy was likely to succeed. The company enlisted the services of Nighthawk Intelligence to examine inefficiencies in the PLCC application process and effectiveness of marketing campaigns geared toward PLCC holders. Drew Pulvermacher, founder and chief probability officer at Nighthawk Intelligence, utilized StatTools, @RISK and PrecisionTree—all part of Palisade’s DecisionTools Suite—to help the retailer with this process.

Using StatTools, Pulvermacher was able to show how a marketing campaign to promote customer PLCC sign-up would affect consumer activity, allowing the  retailer to adjust the messaging and price appoints to achieve the greatest likelihood of success for each marketing campaign. Additionally, using @RISK and StatTools, Pulvermacher was able to build a distribution library, which the retailer could use to audit variable assumptions.

Pulvermacher also used PrecisionTree to determine how best to streamline the PLCC application process (customers could get deterred by long wait lines at the customer service desk). Using PrecisionTree, Pulvermacher mapped out a series of customer decisions that took place when making purchases and where their interest in making a purchase broke down, and identified the departments that would benefit most from a faster, more efficient application process.

Within a year of implementing the strategy towards expanded PLCC usage, the company realized nearly $250 million in related accrued benefits, which included interchange savings, financing income, and enhancement services. Instead of finding a way to justify its existence, the financial services department became a vital part of the organization’s fiscal success. “Palisade…offered the resources necessary to quickly transform an entire organizational mind-set to embrace uncertainty and embed a systematic process of measuring performance,” said Pulvermacher.

Read the original case study here.