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By giving today's students the opportunity to work with DecisionTools, we have opened up a whole new level of risk and decision analysis that will make the next generation of business leaders more savvy than ever before.
Curt Hinrichs, Duxbury Press
DecisionTools Suite Used at Top MBA Schools Nationwide

Palisade's DecisionTools Suite—the complete risk and decision analysis package for Excel—has been adopted by top MBA schools around the country. Four leading management science textbooks from Duxbury Press—Practical Management Science, Making Hard Decisions with DecisionTools, and Data Analysis & Decision Making— incorporate extensive examples, case studies, and exercises using the tools in the DecisionTools Suite.

As a result, the DecisionTools Suite is currently being taught at such prominent institutions as the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Northwestern University, Yale University, Columbia University, the University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and dozens of others.


With greater business and industrial reliance on quantitative methods to assess risk and analyze decision processes, most students in business courses are expected to master these techniques. About 40,000 MBA students currently use the DecisionTools Suite in conjunction with the Duxbury Press textbooks. Widespread adoption of the Suite is expected to accelerate the growing trends toward using techniques like Monte Carlo simulation and decision trees throughout corporate America.


According to Curt Hinrichs, Publisher of management science and applied statistics texts at Duxbury Press, "The DecisionTools Suite adds a level of functionality and learning that take the concepts presented in the books to a new level. Several of these books have been tried and true references in graduate business curricula for years. By giving today's students the opportunity to work through real-life examples using the analytical techniques DecisionTools offers, we have opened up a whole new level of risk and decision analysis that will make the next generation of business leaders more savvy than ever before."

The DecisionTools Suite Includes

Risk Analysis using Monte Carlo simulation: @RISK. Monte Carlo simulation is the most widely used computational technique to simulate processes in which there is uncertainty—in other words in almost any everyday decision. When it comes to Monte Carlo simulation software, @RISK has become the gold standard for its flexibility of application and capacity to handle complex inputs and large data sets. Includes built-in distribution fitting tools.

Decision Analysis with Decision Trees and Influence Diagrams: PrecisionTree®. PrecisionTree creates influence diagrams and decision trees in existing spreadsheets. Influence diagrams are used to see the relationships among components of a problem, and decision trees make use of this information to model a sequence of events. PrecisionTree generates a full statistical report and risk profile graphs and includes Sensitivity Analysis and other features.

Automated "What If" Sensitivity Analysis: TopRank®. For any spreadsheet TopRank automatically determines which cells affect simulation results the most and ranks them in order of importance. Results can be displayed as Tornado graphs and in a full statistical report. Advanced features include a What-if Wizard, Multi-Way What-if Analysis, and support for data tables.

Predictive Analysis using Intelligent Neural Networks: NeuralTools®. NeuralTools performs predictions in Microsoft Excel using sophisticated neural networks. NeuralTools imitates brain functions to “learn” patterns in your known data, and uses those patterns to make predictions from new, incomplete data. In addition, NeuralTools can automatically update predictions live when input data changes, saving time and enabling more robust analyses.

Time-Series Forecasting and Advanced Statistical Analysis: StatTools®. StatTools performs forecasting and statistical analysis in Microsoft Excel. It actually replaces Excel’s built-in statistics functions with its own, more robust and accurate functions. StatTools covers the most common statistical analyses, and even allows you to build you own custom statistical procedures for inclusion on the StatTools menu.

Genetic Algorithm-based Optimization: Evolver™. Evolver performs genetic algorithm-based optimization in Microsoft Excel. It is especially well-suited to finding the best overall global solution to nonlinear, complex problems where other solvers fail. Evolver’s genetic algorithms constantly try new, different solutions to arrive at the best answer possible.

Optimization under Uncertainty: RISKOptimizer®. RISKOptimizer combines optimization with Monte Carlo simulation to solve optimization problems under uncertainty. Take any optimization problem and replace uncertain values with @RISK functions that represent ranges of possible values. RISKOptimizer will try different combinations of adjustable cells to achieve the goal you define, while running Monte Carlo simulations on each trial solution to account for inherent uncertainty. The result is the most robust, accurate solution possible.

Other colleges and universities using the DecisionTools Suite include:

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Indiana University
  • Michigan State University
  • New York University
  • Purdue University
  • Rice University
  • Rutgers University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Texas Austin
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Utah
  • University of Wisconsin
  • ...and many others

» The DecisionTools Suite

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