FAQs on Analytica
- Analytica is a visual modelling platform. You use influence diagrams to create, navigate, and document a model. Nodes are variables and the arrows show influences — relationships — between them. For example, you can easily pinpoint errors in the data/formula and relationship between data.
- Analytica’s Intelligent Arrays let you easily extend models to handle multidimensional arrays — where spreadsheets are cumbersome with more than two dimensions — for example, in a sales forecast over time, you can easily add dimensions for regions, products, alternative scenarios. Each dimension is identified by an index.
Forecasting – Yes, it has a range of forecasting functions, regression and more.
Uncertainty and risk: Yes with Monte Carlo simulation
Optimization- Yes, both linear and nonlinear programming
Systems dynamics simulation: Yes, models with feedback loops
Decision analysis – Yes
Big Data- Yes, it can but it is not the best use case
Analytica shines when one is dealing with “unprecedented situations” or “high degrees of uncertainty”. While other data tools forecast using “historical data”, Analytica relies far less on historical data and more on probabilistic forecasts.
Analytica software is simpler and faster than our competitors. In 2018, the inventor of Analytica, Max Henrion, was awarded the distinguished Frank Ramsey Medal by the Decision Analysis Society.The spreadsheet was the first “killer app,” the application which led to millions of people buying their first personal computers in the early 1980s. Spreadsheets were a brilliant innovation for replacing accountants’ paper spreadsheets. But, they are poorly suited for serious financial modeling. Empirical studies show that more than half of spreadsheets in regular operational use have serious errors. Thirty-five years after the release of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet, it’s time for something better.
A modeling tool like Analytica that displays entities and lets you directly interact with them is much more intuitive to use. It reduces the need to mentally translate between “inner representations” and the one used by the software. Analytica makes it much easier to write, review, verify, explain, and extend models. It reduces the number of errors by preventing many kinds of errors from being made in the first place, and by making remaining errors easier to detect and fix.
If you like R or Python, but find it takes a lot of effort to develop and debug programs to address your clients’ needs, you will be delighted by Analytica. The simple declarative language lets you create powerful and transparent models in a quarter of the time.
Yes, Analytica is used by many professors for teaching modeling, analytics, and decision analysis. Including Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, UT Austin, Cambridge, Boston U, and many others. It encourages students to focus on key concepts in modeling, using influence diagrams to structure problems, identify decisions, objectives, uncertainties — without getting bogged down in cell formulas. Students use Analytica Free 101 at no cost.