Tip of the Week #82                    Tip Index

Go to the Prior Tip "AI Trilogy" (software for predicting, classifying, and optimizing)
Go to the Next Tip  Natural Language Processing
Return to MaxValue Home Page

iDecide Decision Analysis Tool

from Decisive Tools, LLC
2225 Buchtel Blvd, Suite 505
Denver, CO 80210
Phone: (303) 757-7115
Sales: (800) 732-9414
Fax: (708)810-4154

iDecide is a Monte Carlos simulation tool based upon an influence diagram representation. The predecessor product was called "Definitive Scenario," which I had used briefly in an affiliation with the predecessor company.

Perhaps iDecide will become the decision analysis tool for the masses (if we can get past the silly name. They write "iDecide" with the leading "i" circled). The user interface and operation are simpler than the mainstay tools, Crystal Ball and @RISK.

This is a visually-appealing tool for decision analysis. We build the model as a diagram of nodes (variables), connected by "edge" lines. The model is, thus, self-documenting in this visual map of the problem. The software comes with 60 sample models to show applications and model construction. I especially like the friendly, spiral-ring notebook look for the output reports.

Decisive Tools offers Personal, Professional, and Portfolio editions. Prices are not posted on their Web site. The company offers the 100% compatible upgrade to owners of Definitive Scenario for only the cost of one year's support.

A search on "download" brings up pages with demonstration downloads and tutorial downloads. Versions are available for both Windows and Macintosh.

This tool has a project planning heritage, and persons developing project schedule models may find this well suited to this application.

—John Schuyler, March 2001.

Copyright 2001 by John R. Schuyler. All rights reserved. Permission to copy with reproduction of this notice.