In This Issue
What’s New

» KPMG Report Recommends
   use of a Risk Executive

» 2010 Palisade Risk
   Conference in London

» Unilever Highlights
   NYC Conference

» New Book from
   Wayne Winston: Mathletics

» Upcoming Webcasts
» Palisade Blog Headlines

Case Studies
» FiduciaryVest Uses @RISK
   for Asset Allocation Modeling

@RISK Modeling Tips
» Percentile Distribution

Palisade Analytics
in the Press

» Climate Change
» Emergency Medicine
» Psychology

In This Issue
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2009 Conference on Risk Analysis, Applications & Training
Palisade tem o prazer de anunciar a Conferência sobre Análise de Risco, Aplicações, e Treinamento de 2009, que irá acontecer no Hotel Sheraton e Centro de Convenções no Leblon.
RIO 11-12 de novembro
de 2009
» Mais Info

2010 Palisade Risk Conference LondonThe first 2010 Palisade Risk Conference will take place in the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall, and will cover a wide variety of innovative approaches to risk and decision analysis.
LONDON 14-15 April 2010
» Call for presentations
» Register now

Regional Seminars
» Africa
Johannesburg: 4-6 Nov 09

» Australia
Sydney: 18-19 Nov 09
Perth: 2-3 Dec 09
Sydney: 16-18 Dec 09

» Brasil
Conferência da Palisade:
  Análise de Risco, Aplicações
  e Treinamento: de 11-12 de   novembro de 2009, Rio

Rio de Janeiro:
  25-27 novembro 09
Recife: 2-4 dezembro 09

» Europe
London: 17-19 Nov 09
London: 8-10 Feb 2010*
*New Course!

» Latin America
Miami: 9-11 de diciembre 09

» North America
Boston: 17-18 Nov 09
Portland: 2-4 Dec 09
Atlanta: 17-18 Dec 09
San Diego: 26-28 Jan 2010
Ottawa: 9-11 Feb 2010
Orlando: 23-24 Feb 2010
Denver: 23-25 March 2010
San Diego: Health Risk  Analysis Forum, 31 Mar 2010
Washington DC: 6-8 April 2010
Chicago: 20-21 April 2010

Live Web Training
» Decision-Making and Quantitative Risk Analysis using @RISK

9-10 Nov, 11am-3pm ET
7-8 Dec, 1pm-5pm ET
3-4 Feb, 11am-3pm ET
1-2 Mar, 1pm-5pm ET

16-17 Nov, 11am-3pm ET
14-15 Dec, 1pm-5pm ET
16-17 Feb, 11am-3pm ET
15-16 Mar, 1pm-5pm ET

» Decision-Making and Quantitative Risk Analysis using the DecisionTools Suite

11-12 Jan 2010, 9am-1pm ET
12-13 Apr 2010, 11am-3pm ET

18-19 Jan 2010, 9am-1pm ET
26-27 Apr 2010, 11am-3pm ET

5-Part Web Training from our Asia-Pacific Office

» Part 1
Introduction to Simulation
and Modelling Uncertainty

11 Nov, 1-5pm AEDT
24 Nov, 1-5pm AEDT

» Part 4
Advanced Modelling Techniques

26 Nov, 1-5pm AEDT

Trial Versions
Palisade software is available in fully functional trial versions. Try @RISK or any of our software today!

The DecisionTools Suite
The complete risk and
decision analysis toolkit

The world's most widely
used risk analysis tool
@RISK» @RISK for Excel
@RISK» @RISK for Project
@RISK» @RISK for Six Sigma

Visual decision analysis
for spreadsheets

Sophisticated neural networks for spreadsheets

Advanced statistical analysis for spreadsheets

The Innovative Optimizer
for Windows

The DecisionTools Suite

Palisade NYC Conference - e-focus

What's New
KPMG Report Recommends Risk Executive, Stronger Risk Management
In a report issued last month, KPMG emphasizes the need for comprehensive, strategic risk management across an organization. Entitled “The Business Case for a Risk Executive: Leading Efforts to Avoid Surprises, Maneuver through Challenges, and Add Value,” the report notes that most current risk management efforts are specific to particular departments, projects, or regulations, and do not approach risk from an enterprise level. This had led to critical oversights and missed opportunities.

To address this gap, KMPG recommends the appointment of a risk executive. This person’s dedicated purpose is “to help prepare the organization to respond to change and the risks that emerge in changing times, and to turn those efforts into opportunities that benefit the organization.” More specifically, such an executive would unify risk approaches across business units and departments, standardize reporting, and establish a common risk “language.”

PDF Read the full report (PDF)

The 2010 Palisade Risk Conference has now been announced and the date for your diary is April 14th-15th. The event will be taking place in the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall and will cover a wide variety of innovative approaches to risk and decision analysis. With presentations from the likes of
Unilever, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Halcrow already confirmed, there will also be software training and sneak previews of new software in the pipeline. With more than 120 attendees, the last event in London proved to be a big hit, and we’re anticipating that the 2010 event will be an even bigger success.

» Call for Papers
» Register now for the Palisade Risk Conference in London, April 14-15, 2010


Unilever Highlights
Palisade Conference in New York City

The 2009 Palisade Conference was held in New York City on October 21-22, and drew over 120 practitioners and decision-makers from a broad spectrum of industries. The event focused on risk analysis, applications, and training in the context of the global economy a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson River, overlooking lower Manhattan.

2009 Conference on Risk Analysis, Applications & Training

Dr. Sven Roden from the Decision Analysis Group of Unilever’s Finance Academy delivered the keynote address, entitled “Think Clearly, Act Decisively, Feel Confident.” The Finance Academy’s Andrea Dickens added further value by hosting an interactive workshop on data collection and interpretation.

Dr. Roden articulated the culture change within Unilever in the way the company approaches decision making across its many business units. Dubbed Decision Making Under Uncertainty, the Unilever approach brings together problem definition, commitment from stakeholders, quantitative analytics, and a long-term partnership with Palisade and its solutions.

Throughout the conference, common threads emerged regarding risk analysis in today’s business environment. For example, best practices in defining uncertain variables, establishing common model structures for analysts across work groups, and assessing risk at the organizational level were all discussed from various angles.

The conference is the second in Palisade’s 2009 conference series, which includes events in Munich, Germany, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. Great people showed up and
I have to admit, I was surprised many people from all corners of the world were there! ”

  Thomas G. Gasparetti, Manager, Project Controls, Engineering,
  Site Services, Sanofi Pasteur

“I appreciated the networking opportunity with other @RISK users.”
   Alain Paul Martin, Chief Architect, Harvard University Global Systems

» Read more about the Palisade Conference
» Learn about and register for the Palisade Conference in Rio de Janeiro,
   November 11-12, 2009

Mathletics by Wayne WinstonNew Book featuring @RISK:
Mathletics by Wayne Winston
How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football
Wayne Winston has written a number of books on operations research and finance, including the Financial Models series published by Palisade. His newest book, Mathletics, is a remarkably entertaining book that shows readers how to use the mathematical methods used by top managers to analyze a range of statistical and probability-related questions in professional baseball, basketball, and football, and in sports gambling. Winston writes in particular about the use of @RISK to run Monte Carlo simulations on game outcomes.

“Winston has an uncanny knack for
bringing the game alive through the
fascinating mathematical questions he explores.
He gets inside professional sports like no other writer I know.
Mathletics is like a seat at courtside.”

   Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks

Order Mathletics from

Upcoming Webcasts
"Integrated Project Risk Analysis - Structuring the Model Effectively”
Presented by Jay O'Connor, Director, Turner & Townsend Inc.
December 3, 2009, 11:00am ET

A project risk analysis is only as good as the model that was used to prepare it. It is critical that the model be constructed to reflect the risks specifically associated with the project. The model must be able to accurately reflect the risks associated with schedule, quantities, cost and the residual unmitigated risk items from the qualitative risk analysis. The model should also take into account the interrelationships and dependencies of these items.
This webcast will address these issues and present examples of how results can vary based on the level of detail used in preparing the risk analysis, and will include the use of @RISK, and @RISK for Project.
» Register now (There is no charge for this webcast.)

Palisade Blog Headlines
Allocating Contingencies to Risk Events
that were identified in a Risk Register

Friday, October 30, 2009
In a previous blog, Dr. Javier Ordoñez presented a simple way to allocate contingencies to uncertain cost elements in the project risk management process. That methodology works well when there are not risk events that affect a cost element or a group of cost elements. A risk event is described by two elements: the probability of occurrence and the conditional impact to the project given its occurrence...

» Read more

Wine Aficionado? Six Sigma expert? or both?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I’ve heard of Six Sigma being used in every industry from manufacturing, banking, even baking, but now... wine making? Just the other night I discovered a winery that is using Six Sigma principles to ensure they are producing the highest quality wine available...
» Read more

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Case Study
FiduciaryVest Uses @RISK
for Asset Allocation Modeling

Decision makers for all long term investment pools face a critical challenge, regardless of their level of sophistication: Multi-year allocation among the various asset categories available to investors. This particular decision is known to be the primary factor that will determine long-term portfolio outcomes. Adequate investment management within the underlying asset class is actually a secondary issue. That being said, the inherent question is: How can asset allocation decisions be made with strong confidence that the outcomes will be appropriate to a particular client’s desired/expected financial needs? FiduciaryVest uses @RISK to help answer this question. According to FiduciaryVest’s Joe Dinunno, “Using @RISK to get answers to these types of questions helps us give clients real-world insight into what to expect from their portfolio.”

» Read the full case study

Product Spotlight
@RISKPercentile Distribution Parameters
The use of traditional parameters in defining distributions can be difficult to estimate and challenging for people to understand. Estimating the mean and standard deviation of the normal distribution which describes uncertain demand, for example, is not intuitive to many managers.

@RISK allows you to define distribution functions using percentiles instead, which are a more natural way. People can estimate, say, what a 10% chance outcome will be, or a 90% chance value.

This model demonstrates the use of the alternate parameter formulation. In this case we assume that we have decided to use a Normal distribution to represent the arrival time of someone at work. The use of traditional parameters would require knowledge of the standard deviation of the arrival time, which may be hard to estimate. In the first case, the traditional parameters are used (mean and standard deviation). In the second case, the mean is still used, and the P90 is used in place of the standard deviation, i.e. the time before which the person arrives in 90% of cases. In the second case, the P10 and the P90 is used in place of the standard deviation i.e. the time before which the person arrives in 10% of cases, and in 90% of cases respectively.  

download the modelDownload the example: AltPars.ArrivalTime.xls

Palisade Software Techniques in the News
Climate Change
Even Small Energy Cuts Can Minimize Climate Risk
Technique: Decision Analysis   » see DecisionTools Suite 5.5
Source:, October 9, 2009

A decision analysis study from MIT finds that relatively even relatively small energy conservation measures taken right away could help stabilize global climate.

Emergency Medicine
'Snap' Decisions May Be Just as Effective as Deliberation
Technique: Decision Trees   » see PrecisionTree 5.5
Source:, August 24, 2009

As an example how simplifying information input can create efficiency, a Chicago emergency room moved to a faster simpler decision tree and over a two-year period saw a 70-percent rise in successful diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks.

Why Social Cues Confuse Babies and Dogs
Technique: Neural Networks   » see NeuralTools 5.5
Source: EurekAlert, September 24, 2009

Using neural network models, psychologists demonstrated that ordinary distraction accounts for babies' poor performance in classic test.


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