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2014
PALISADE

Regional Risk Conference

Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis

June 26th, 2014 • Washington DC
2014
  PALISADE

Regional Risk Conference

Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis

June 26th, 2014, Washington DC

A Key Event for Quantitative Risk and Decision Analysis

Palisade invited attendees from a range of industries to an intensive 1-day conference in Washington, D.C. This “must attend” event proved once again to be an invaluable resource for professionals dealing with risk in any sector. Industry experts presented a selection of real-world case studies about innovative approaches to managing risk and uncertainty in a wide range of business applications. The program also included practical software training classes presented by Palisade trainers and consultants. Participants learned how to get the most from @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite through example models demonstrating the features that make risk modelling powerful and accessible.

Download presentations from the conference

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A Global Resource

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. With over fifteen events on six continents this year alone, the Palisade Risk Conferences have become a truly global resource for decision-makers.

Information about 2014 Conferences

Schedule

  General Sessions      
  Software Presentations      
  Industry Case Studies

Thursday 26 June 2014 · Washington, DC

Please note the conference schedule may change without notice.

 

08:00 - 09:00
Registration
09:00 - 9:45
WELCOME

Welcome and Overview of Decision-Making
Dave Bristol and Randy Heffernan
Palisade Corporation

9:45 - 10:30
10:30 - 11:00
Break
11:00 - 11:45
CASE STUDY

Integrated Schedule, Cost & Performance Risk Modeling for Acquisition Programs
John Nierwinski
US Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA)

11:45 - 12:30
12:30 - 1:30
Lunch
1:30 - 2:15
2:15 - 3:00
CASE STUDY

Forecasting U.S. Sugar Program Expenditures
Stephen Haley
USDA Economic Research Service

3:00 - 3:30
Break
3:30 - 4:15
SOFTWARE PRESENTATION

Simplifying Risk Analysis Through Automation
Gustavo Vinueza
Palisade Corporation

4:15 - 5:00
5:00 -
Networking Reception

Presenters

  Dave Bristol

Sales Manager
Palisade Corporation

Dave Bristol has been with Palisade since 1997 and worked out of the Ithaca HQ for over a decade before moving to Vermont in 2009. Dave started out in marketing, and then spent some time working with the QA team. In 2002, he oversaw the opening of Palisade’s first regional office, Palisade Europe in London. Upon returning to the states he joined the sales team and has been the US Eastern Region Sales manager for the last decade. His interest in sports analytics dovetails nicely with Palisade’s simulation and decision analysis software packages, and his love of fishing serves as a constant reminder that nothing can be predicted with 100% certainty.

  David Doane, Ph.D.

Consultant
Praxophy

David Doane is a scholar-practitioner of Value-Focused Thinking methodology in Decision Analysis. He has recent combat deployment experience managing the Multi-National Corps-Iraq’s Assessment Framework. Mr. Doane led the deployment of Lean Six Sigma process improvement for a 6,000-person organization. He is a dynamic change agent skilled in the orchestration of organizational design relationships.

  Stephen Haley

Agricultural Economist
USDA Economic Research Service

Haley is an agricultural economist in USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and is the head of the Sugar and Sweetener Outlook program at ERS.

  Randy Heffernan

Vice President
Palisade Corporation

Randy Heffernan started with Palisade in 1997, and helped the company expand with its first overseas office in Plymouth, England, in 1998. Further geographic expansions included London in 2002 and Sydney, Australia in 2005. He has held a variety of roles in sales, marketing, and management, and currently oversees much of the corporate operations. Randy works closely with the sales staff to understand client needs and liaise with software development. Randy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Marketing, and an MBA, both from Cornell University.

  John Nierwinski

Mathematician and Statistician
US Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA)

John Nierwinski is Mathematician and Statistician with the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA) located at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), MD. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, APG Campus. Before working at AMSAA, he was a Statistician and Vice President in the insurance and credit card industries. He was issued a U.S. Patent (#8,335,660) on December 18, 2012 by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for an innovative methodology and process. He has authored various kinds of professional journal articles and numerous technical reports on various research topics and methodologies.

  Robert C. Patev

National Risk Advisor
Risk Management Center
Institute for Water Resources
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Mr. Patev serves as the National Risk Advisor to the Director of the Risk Management Center, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In his current capacity, he supports Headquarters USACE, Divisions, Districts and other federal agencies in the development of methodologies for risk and reliability assessment of Civil Works Infrastructure Projects. Mr. Patev's professional experience and interests since joining the USACE in 1991 have focused primarily in the areas of risk and reliability assessment and asset management of the USACE Civil Works Infrastructure. In recent years, Mr. Patev has technically supported the USACE Dam and Levee Safety Programs, UASCE Asset Management Program as well as Operations and Maintenance Divisions at Headquarters USACE. Mr. Patev currently works on international risk projects with other governmental agencies all over the world including Canada, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, France, UK and Belgium. Mr. Patev has published numerous articles in both academic and industry journals and textbooks. Mr. Patev has two BS degrees (Geology and Geotechnical Engineering), a MS degree in Structural Engineering and is currently finishing his PhD in the Reliability Program at the University of Maryland.

  Gustavo Vinueza

Consultant and Trainer
Palisade Corporation

Gustavo Vinueza is a Systems Engineer from University in Cuenca, Ecuador. He also earned an MBA from Torcuato Di Tella University in Argentina and a Ms. In Finance from Adolfo Ibáñez University in Chile. His main topics of interest include financial and operational modeling, including scientific and academic research into business practice as well as data mining relative matters. He has 16 years of experience and he’s been a consultant for companies in several industries: finance & banking, telecommunications, insurance and IT related services.

His experience includes managing Project portfolios both operational and IT related, cost reduction programs, public purchases bidding, operational controls, capacity analysis and audit processes and software development projects, besides technological infrastructure implementation. He has also earned diplomas in Project Management, Usability, Business Process Management and Business Analytics.

  Francisco Zagmutt

Managing Partner
EpiX Analytics

Dr Francisco J. Zagmutt is a managing partner at EpiX Analytics. As part of his consulting and research work, Francisco has performed and supervised numerous risk analysis consulting projects in a wide variety of industries worldwide. Francisco also has experience providing expert witness support on trade litigations and participating in international expert working groups.

Dr Zagmutt has presented his work at international conferences, published articles in a number of international scientific journals, and is the author of two risk analysis book chapters, including “Risk Analysis: A Quantitative Guide, 3rd ed”. Francisco is a reviewer for scientific periodicals such as the Risk Analysis Journal, and has also acted as an independent reviewer in scientific panels.

Francisco holds a DVM from the University of Chile, MPVM from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD from Colorado State University. Francisco is also an honorary lecturer at the University of London. His full profile and selected list of publications can be found here http://www.EpiXAnalytics.com/Dr.-Francisco-Zagmutt.html

Abstracts

Download zip file of presentations from the Palisade Risk Conference in Washington DC
(Individual presentations are also linked below.)

Welcome and Overview of Decision-Making

Dave Bristol, Randy Heffernan
PALISADE CORPORATION

We will briefly review goals of this year’s conference and ways you can benefit from the event before giving some context and background about Palisade as a company. We will also explain the added insights that tools like @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite bring to risk and decision analysis. More in-depth exploration of @RISK and DecisionTools Suite will be covered in later sessions.

Next, we’ll switch gears to touch upon the decision-making process itself. Building off a recent feature story in the Harvard Business Review called “Deciding How to Decide,” we’ll examine common bad habits decision-makers often exhibit. We’ll walk through a checklist of things to watch out for that can indicate you actually know less than you think, and when you should be considering a probabilistic approach.

Introduction to @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite: Using Monte Carlo Simulation under Uncertainty

Gustavo Vinueza
PALISADE CORPORATION

This presentation will use examples from different industries and applications for an entry-level introduction to @RISK and the other products in the DecisionTools Suite, to give you an excellent briefing on how to use and get the most from these tools.

The session begins with a tutorial on @RISK, walking you through a trial risk analysis using various example models. Key features of @RISK will be highlighted. You will experience the intuitive interface of @RISK as you define distributions, correlations, and other model components. During simulation, you will be able to see all charts, thumbnails, and reports update in real time, and can view your results with a variety of graphing and reporting options. We’ll also point out useful tricks to make risk modeling even easier.

The second half of the session will cover the DecisionTools Suite, an integrated set of programs for risk analysis and decision making under uncertainty. You will learn how the products of the Suite — @RISK, RISKOptimizer, Evolver, PrecisionTree, TopRank, StatTools, and NeuralTools — work together to solve practical problems in the real world. We’ll demonstrate how these tools integrate completely with your Excel program, how to browse, define and analyze your data, and we’ll reveal key tips for using the products together.

Integrated Schedule, Cost & Performance Risk Modeling for Acquisition Programs

John Nierwinski
US Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA)

» Download the presentation

One of the top priorities of the U.S. Army is to make better decisions regarding acquisition programs with respect to risk, cost and performance. Risk in this context is based on the event of the program not meeting the milestone schedule time. This event has a likelihood and schedule, cost and performance consequences. Ultimately, the program is assigned a risk rating based on the shape of the risk distribution and the four step risk rating strategy.

The risk distribution is produced using a Monte Carlo model in @RISK with many inputs regarding schedule, cost, performance, and technology trades. Tradeoffs between Program Risk rating, Cost, and Performance are performed to make the best acquisition program decision.

Heart, Head, and Hands: A small non-profit uses @RISK to tackle its existential questions, and thrive

David Doane
Praxophy

» Download the presentation

Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, said, "The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” When a small non-profit in Northern Virginia found itself in an existential crisis, the Strategic Planning Team turned to the practitioner of a novel decision-making approach that is value-focused (as opposed to alternative-focused) and data-fueled (as opposed to data-driven). The author will describe how he to helped this non-profit organization on the verge of collapse to educate and engage its diverse stakeholders and emerge from the crisis better than before. Tools gleaned from disciplines as diverse Systems Thinking (Checkland), Value-Focused Thinking (Keeney), Lean Six Sigma (George), and Multi-Objective Decision Analysis (Raiffa) are used to help any organization put its values first, then seek to understand its options before taking action. Heart, head, and hands.

Development of Custom Event Tree and Fault Tree Applications for Use in the Risk Assessment of Civil Works Infrastructure

Robert C. Patev
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

» Download the presentation

The presentation will discuss the @RISK software tools that were developed to assist USACE engineers in providing a consistent method of analysis in their risk assessments and uncertainty analysis of critical Civil Works infrastructure. A discussion will present both the methodologies developed for the @RISK event tree and fault tree tools as well as a demonstration of their current capabilities including uncertainty modeling that will greatly assist with risk assessments of critical infrastructure.

Forecasting U.S. Sugar Program Expenditures

Stephen Haley
USDA Economic Research Service

» Download the presentation

A stochastic modeling approach is developed for analyzing U.S. excess sugar supply and for forecasting U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sugar program expenditures. The model is developed specifically for analyzing the mid-year U.S. sugar outlook for fiscal year (FY) 2013 in anticipation of possible budget expenditure to provide sugar price support as set out in the 2008 Farm Act. Although specific to FY 2013, the approach can be used in the future to help improve USDA performance in U.S. sugar program management.

Simplifying Risk Analysis Through Automation

Gustavo Vinueza
PALISADE CORPORATION

@RISK and DecisionTools software tools come with an Excel Developer Kit, or XDK, that enables users to automate and customize how they run their analyses. The XDK includes an “object model” for each software tool that programmers can manipulate with VBA code in Excel. Using the XDK, you can automate commonly performed tasks, create customized reports and outputs, and even design custom input dialogs to limit and control how models are set up and run.

We’ll explore a number of examples of how to use this powerful feature to expand the use of @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite. Most examples will feature @RISK, but time permitting we may be able to touch on other tools.

What Matters and What Doesn’t: Building Pragmatic and Robust Simulation Models

Francisco Zagmutt
EpiX Analytics

» Download the presentation

George Box’s famous statement that ‘all models are wrong, but some are useful’ certainly applies to simulation modeling. In decision analysis, models have to be insightful and correctly answer the decision question, which is typically affected by the complexity of the model, its data sources, and the methodological soundness of its structure.

Often, the analysts building stochastic models are also experts in the system being modeled. For example, models of water reservoirs are often built by water engineers, or ecological models are built by ecologists. Therefore, the natural inclination of the modeler is to design very realistic models, but such detailed models have several drawbacks such as requiring abundant data (that are seldom available), being less tractable, and can be more prone to mistakes. In contrast, specialist modelers tend to favor simpler, more parsimonious models that are useful to inform a decision while requiring less data and modeling steps.

Similarly, many analysts are first exposed to stochastic modeling by converting deterministic models into stochastic ones, and during this process several mistakes are frequently made. Even the most seasoned analyst can make these mistakes, as some of them are not easily apparent when using spreadsheets or script-based modeling platforms.

During this hands-on talk, we will use real-life examples to demonstrate some of the key principles to build sound and parsimonious simulation models, and we will provide a checklist for analysts to keep in mind while building their models.




Grand Hyatt Washington

The Palisade Risk Conference will be held at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Washington, located at 1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20001.
Tel (202)582-1234. For more information, see the hotel website.

Palisade Corporation
130 East Seneca Street
Suite 505
Ithaca, NY 14850
800 432 RISK (US/Can)
+1 607 277 8000
+1 607 277 8001 fax
sales@palisade.com
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