Pepperdine University 
teaches the “Why” of 
Decision Analysis

Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of
Business Leverages Palisade DecisionTools
Software to Teach Students the “Why”
Behind Decision Analysis

MBA students are learning the value of decision analysis at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Dr. Warren “Joe” Hahn, Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences, teaches his Applied Data Analysis class to 75 Pepperdine MBA students a year.

Realizing that data analysis alone is not what the majority of MBA graduates will do, he relies on Palisade software to facilitate understanding of the business implications behind the analysis—key skills employers are looking for in MBA grads.

Specifically, Dr. Hahn uses StatTools to teach students how to apply and interpret statistical inference such as confidence intervals and hypothesis tests, PrecisionTree to teach basic decision analysis and value of information, and @RISK to teach risk analysis. These techniques are key to making better-informed, data-driven decisions in a variety of industries and applications, a concept Dr. Hahn tries to emphasize through practical hands-on exercises with the software.

He first started realizing the value of the software when he himself was an MBA student back in the late 1990s. Since then, he has held advisory and consulting roles in the oil and gas industry, and more recently, focused on research. His research interests include quantitative modeling of operational decision-making and its effect on asset value (real options) and numerical techniques for solving decision analysis problems, including decision models for problems with multiple conflicting criteria.

Says Dr. Hahn: “Using [DecisionTools] software applications allows me to focus on teaching problem solving (what analysis to run, what assumptions to make, what inputs to use, and how to interpret the results), rather than the computational aspects, which would otherwise take up most of the class time. This is especially important in the fast-paced half-semester courses we now use.”

» More about the Pepperdine University MBA program
» More about Dr. Joe Hahn

@RISK Using [DecisionTools] software
      applications allows me to focus
      on teaching problem solving (what
      analysis to run, what assumptions
      to make, what inputs to use, and
      how to interpret the results), rather
      than the computational aspects.
Trial Versions

                           Dr. Joe Hahn,
                           Pepperdine University


Recent School Adoptions

Over 60,000 students use the DecisionTools Suite annually in their MBA and graduate level programs. In 2012, over 800 universities worldwide adopted the DecisionTools Suite. Professors in business, engineering, OR, and other fields keep their students on the cutting edge by teaching the latest analytical techniques from Palisade. Some major schools with programs and courses that standardized on the DecisionTools Suite last month include:

US and Canada:

  Cairn University
Colorado School of Mines
Concordia University
Cornell University
East Carolina University
Fort Hays State University
George Mason University
Georgia Institute of Technology
McNeese State University
Niagara University
Texas A & M University
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Buffalo
University of Colorado
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Georgia
University of Saskatchewan
University of South Carolina
University of Virginia
University of Waterloo
University of Western Ontario


  AGSM MBA Hong Kong Program – Hong Kong
American University of Beirut – Lebanon
EAE Institucion Superior de Formacion
   Universitaria SL – Spain
Global Computing S.A. De C.V. – Mexico
ITESM Campus Querétaro – Argentina
Keio University Graduate School of Business Admin. – Japan
King Abdulaziz University – Saudi Arabia
King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals – Saudi Arabia
Lund University – Sweden
Marcus Oldham College – Australia
National University of Singapore – Singapore
Obihiro University of Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine – Japan
The University of Edinburgh – United Kingdom
Universidade Estadual Paulista – Brazil
United Arab Emirates University – United Arab Emirates
Università Commerciale – Italy
Universitat der Bundeswehr Munchen – Germany
Universite Toulouse I Capitole – France
University College London – United Kingdom
University of Warwick – United Kingdom
Licensing Options

There are three easy ways to get the DecisionTools Suite for your students:


Course Licenses available from Palisade. These are economical, annually renewing bulk licenses for both
network lab and laptop installation.
» Learn more

Student Versions from Palisade. These are 12-month versions available for purchase individually by students through either the Palisade web site or the school store.
» Learn more

Textbook Editions available bundled with textbooks.
These are time- and model-limited licenses.
» Learn more

Get DecisionTools Suite 6.0 for your course by contacting:

AddressPalisade Academic Sales    
800-432-7475 / 607-277-8000

@RISK @RISK offers a comprehensive package
      for simulating stochastic processes
      defined by parametric probability and
Trial Versions

                                   Dr. Samuel Frimpong,
                                   Missouri University of
                                   Science and Technology

Teaching Tips & Examples

The DecisionTools Suite is a great way to present quantitative techniques in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way. Each month we feature an example or tip illustrating how students can gain "real world" benefits by implementing quantitative analysis.

Tollgates and Bank Tellers
Excerpted from RISKOptimizer for Business Applications,
by Roy L. Nersesian, published by Palisade

The first of thse examples breaks down the analysis used to answer the question, "What is the minimum number of tollgates to handle the traffic without creating excessively long waiting times?". For this example, 'service time' is constant for determining the optimal number of tollgates. The second example show how of a bank manager can determine the optimal level of tellers for different times of the day. The bank teller example is similar to the tollgate example with the exception that the 'service time' is variable instead of constant.

Palisade Download the example spreadsheet and
    step-by-step instructions

Tech Tip of the Month

Artist Command
Displays the Distribution Artist window where a curve
to be used as a probability distribution can be drawn.

The Model command Distribution Artist in @RISK is used to draw freeform curves that can be used to create probability distributions. This is useful for graphically assessing probabilities and then creating probability distributions from the graph. Distributions may be drawn as Probability Density (General) curves, histograms, cumulative curves or discrete distributions.

After an Artist window has been displayed using the Distribution Artist command, a curve may be drawn simply by dragging the mouse through the window.

A curve in the Distribution Artist Window may be fitted to a probability distribution by clicking the Fit Distribution to Data icon. This fits the data represented by the curve to a probability distribution. A curve in the Distribution Artist Window may also be written to a cell in Excel as a RiskGeneral, RiskHistogrm, RiskCumul, RiskCumulD or RiskDiscrete distribution, where the actual points on the curve will be entered as arguments to the distribution.

If you select the Distribution Artist command and the active cell in Excel contains a distribution function, the Artist window will display a probability density graph of that function with points you can adjust. You can also use this capability to review previously drawn curves that you wrote to a cell in Excel as an @RISK distribution.

» See more in the @RISK manual

Textbook of the Month

The DecisionTools Suite is included in dozens of major textbooks, and is a key component of more titles every year. Authors use the DecisionTools Suite to illustrate key analytical concepts and build examples demonstrating the value of quantitative techniques in business, OR, and engineering.

Principles of Risk Analysis: Decision Making Under Uncertainty
By Charles Yoe

This is a companion volume to Primer on Risk Analysis: Decision Making Under Uncertainty by the same author. This volume supplies the tools, techniques, and methodologies to help readers apply the principles of risk analysis—the “how to.” Both books are accompanied by a free student version of the DecisionTools Suite.

» Learn more from the publisher
» See a list of books bundled with Palisade software

Featured White Paper

Professors, PhD candidates, practitioners and others often use the DecisionTools Suite as part of a complex analysis to address important problems. These analyses are published in white papers. Each month we will feature a different academic white paper addressing a wide range of issues.

Examination of Pig Farm Technology
by Computer Simulation
Szilvia Szôke, Lajos Nagy, Sándor Kovács and Péter Balogh,
APSTRACT Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce,
2009, No. 5-6.

Agricultural production is among the riskiest production activities. Similar to other branches of agriculture, in animal breeding the finished product is the result of complex procedures. The biological-technological procedure, the creation of the product is affected by an outstanding number of environmental factors which also cause uncertainties. In the North Great Plain Region of Hungary, sows, gilts and slaughter pigs are produced on a corporate farm. The reliable operation data of this company provides a stable basis for estimating future costs and revenue and their distributions. Monte Carlo methods are one of the generally accepted tools for modeling risks. The significant independent variables, their ranges and probability distributions, and the correlation between them were inputs to the model. The values of the variables were produced using a random number generator. The computer simulation was performed using @RISK (Palisade) software. The study concentrates on the factors affecting the number of offspring (piglets). Model inputs were the mating, mortality and farrowing rates; the costs and the income values based on these rates have been analysed as the output data of the model.

Palisade  Read the full paper here

Academic Live Webcast

Experts using Palisade software share examples and teaching tips. Register online at no charge.

@RISK for Engineers
To be presented by Andre Kleyner, Delphi Corporation
March 28, 2013, 11:00am EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)

This webcast is intended to show the benefits of using Monte Carlo simulation by various types of engineers including design, systems, quality, and reliability. In many cases design parameters are random variables, which makes quality, reliability and performance of the product susceptible to variation. Dr. Kleyner will share his experience of applying @RISK in his engineering practice including Six Sigma applications as well as to teaching Monte Carlo simulation to engineering students.

» Read more details about the webcast and register here

The use of @RISK with an
Online Investment Portal

To be presented by Charlie Strout, Seven Shadow, LLC, Prudena
May 16, 2013, 11:00am EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)

In this complimentary live webcast, Charlie Stout will show how Prudena allows users to export their portfolios into Excel files that are formatted for use by @RISK to perform more advanced simulations and risk-management analysis. He will demonstrate how these easy-to-use tools give investors insights into their decisions and assist investors in developing a decision-making process that helps them to avoid common investing pitfalls--improving performance.

» Read more details about the webcast and register here
» See complete Webcast schedule


The Academic Global Leader in
Risk and Decision Analysis
Palisade is the world’s leading provider of risk and decision analysis software and solutions. Founded in 1984, its products @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite are used by over 95% of the Fortune 100, in nearly every industry around the world. Palisade is headquartered in New York State, and has offices in London, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.

What is The DecisionTools Suite?
The DecisionTools Suite is the world’s only integrated set of risk and decision analysis programs. The Suite includes @RISK for Monte Carlo simulation, PrecisionTree for decision trees, and TopRank for “what if” sensitivity analysis. In addition, 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 seamlessly, and all integrate completely with Microsoft Excel for ease of use and maximum flexibility.

The Suite is offered in three affordable and flexible licensing options for those in academia: Student Versions, Course Licenses and Full Academic Versions.

» Schools using Palisade software
Textbooks using Palisade software

Story to Share?
How are you using Palisade software in your classroom, lab, or field work? Let us know by answering a few brief questions. Please send replies to

  • Your name, title, institute, and field of interest.
  • How long have you been using Palisade software?
  • Which Palisade software do you use in your class/lab/field work, and what is the course name (if applicable)?
  • What problem(s) do you address with the software?
  • How does Palisade software help you and your students?
  • Any other comments.

In This Issue

» Pepperdine University
  teaches the "Why" of
  Decision Analysis

» Recent School Adoptions

» Licensing Options

» Teaching Tips &

   Tollgates and Bank Tellers

» Tech Tip
   Artist Command

» Textbook of the Month
   Principles of Risk Analysis:
   Decision Making Under

» Featured White Paper
   Examination of Pig Farm
   Technology by Computer

» Academic Live Webcasts
   @RISK for Engineers
   The use of @RISK with an
   Online Investment Portal

» About Palisade and the
   DecisionTools Suite

» Story to Share?

Keep in Touch

PalisadeClick to chat live with
a sales representative

2013 Palisade Risk Conferences
Plan now for the eighth Palisade Risk Conference series, to start in March next year in South America. More information about each conference to be announced soon.
» Santiago de Chile:
   19 March

» São Paulo: 21 March
» Johannesburg: 25 April
» Tokyo: 14 May
» Shanghai: 16 May
» London: 11 June
» Frankfurt: 13 June
» Las Vegas: 20-21 November


» Training Seminars
Jakarta: 20-21 February
Melbourne: 27-28 February
Brisbane: 26-27 March
Canberra: 10-11 April
Singapore: 17-18 April
Auckland: 22-23 May

São Paulo:
  25 fevereiro-1 março
Rio de Janeirol: 4 - 8 março

London: 20-22 February
Frankfurt: 5-7 March
Oslo: 9-11 April
Moscow: 10-12 April
London: 16-18 April
Johannesburg: 22-24 April
Abu Dhabi: 14-16 May

Latin America
Bogotá: 5-7 de marzo
México D.F.: 9-11 de abril
Buenos Aires: 9-11 de abril
Quito: 19-21 de abril
Santiago: 14-19 de mayo

North America
Los Angeles: 20-21 February
Phoenix: 4-5 March
Phoenix: 7-8 March
Orlando: 26-27 March
Charleston: 3-4 April
Washington, DC: 9-11 April
San Diego: 16-18 April
Chicago: 23-25 April
New York, NY: 1-3 May
Houston: 8-9 May
Seattle: 15-16 May
Detroit: 21-22 May

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

21-22 February, 9am-1pm ET
11-12 July, 1pm-5pm ET
9-10 Dec., 9am-1pm ET

7-8 March, 9am-1pm ET
25-26 July, 1pm-5pm ET
19-20 Dec., 9am-1pm ET

Using Decision Trees with
PrecisionTree to Add Insight
to Decisions

13 March, 1pm-5pm ET

Decision-Making and
Quantitative Risk Analysis
using @RISK

1-2 May, 9am-1pm ET
31 Oct. - 1 Nov., 1pm-5pm ET

15-16 May, 9am-1pm ET
14-15 Nov., 1pm-5pm ET

Project Risk Assessment
using @RISK

18-19 Sept., 1pm-5pm ET

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

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