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Risk Analysis Software Comparison

The following are key issues and features to consider in your quest for Monte Carlo risk analysis software.

Key Issues
and
Features
Competition Our product, the Risk Analyzer
Price Most of our competition price their standard version for $800 and charge up to $3500 for deluxe or professional versions with more features.  Advanced versions of the software imply that the standard version doesn't have the features you really need.

Our price is US $49.95.  We have just one version with all the features included.  You pay only a fraction of our competitors' price and still get all the features you need.

Why have we set our price so much lower than competition?  We believe in a fair price for our software.

Workbook Sharing

Many of our competition requires that you embed special functions into your workbooks.  This means that you cannot share your workbook with others unless they also purchase the same risk analysis software

If you sent such a workbook to someone without the same risk analysis software they will get error values.  This inhibits sharing flexibility and most likely will require you to purchase several licenses not just one.  If your customers don't want to buy expensive software then you will be unable to share your workbooks.

We do not embed any functions in your workbooks.  This means that you can share your workbooks with others without having to purchase multiple software licenses.

As far as we are concerned embedding special functions in your workbook is a way to sell additional copies of a program.

Training Some of our competition encourages you to purchase special expensive training before using their products.  If such training is needed is their software really easy to learn? No such training courses are needed to use the Risk Analyzer.  We have devoted significant time and effort towards making the Risk Analyzer easy to learn. 
Exercise
Files
We are not aware that any of our competition provides step by step exercise files to help you learn how to use their products.  If they did you wouldn't have to purchase an expensive training course. To assist you in learning to use the Risk Analyzer we have provided three exercise files with detailed step by step instructions on how to use it.
Excel
Version
Support
Some of our competitions' products work only in the later releases of Excel.  You may need to upgrade your copy of Excel in order to use. The Risk Analyzer works in Excel 2002-13 and Office 365.  If modifications are required for the next release of Excel we plan to release a free upgrade.
Software
loading
Our competitors' add-ins load every time you open Excel even if you do not need them open.  Such loading takes up memory, takes Excel longer to open, and slows down your present task. Our Risk Analyzer is loaded only when needed. Instead of loading every time you open Excel, we provide a tiny quick loading add-in to make the Risk Analyzer easy to access.
Speed According to our competitors' write-ups their software is reasonably fast. The Risk Analyzer is very fast.  We have done 10,000 simulations in just a few minutes although in reality most risk analysis studies utilize far less simulations. We also provide an easy to understand report that you can use to confirm that you have run enough simulations.   If you need more simulations you just run the additional needed instead of having to start over.
Reports We are certain that they offer some but we found it very difficult to find details or samples on their sites. 

Samples of our reports are found on the Risk Analyzer's product information page.

We offer many different reports in the Risk Analyzer.  There is a report on the probability distributions that presents the details of the distribution in a clear and straightforward explanation. We also have sensitivity reports that show fishbone or tornado charts and sensitivity tables.

Our output reports show histograms and have tables of results that are easy to interpret and easy to share with others.  We also provide a way to consolidate results for different output variables into one report for even greater ease of review and sharing.

Charts Our competition provides histogram charts and tornado (fishbone) sensitivity charts. Some provide probability distribution charts. We provide the same charts: histogram charts tornado (fishbone) charts and probability distributions.  Our probability distribution report shows the input cells' distribution curve and value range.

We also provide a very unique chart called a funnel chart.  As far as we can tell, our competition does not provide funnel charts.  A funnel chart is a great way to view the distribution of related output variables such as cash flow for year 1, cash flow for year 2, etc.
What If
Capability
Most of our competition offers "what if" capability. The Risk Analyzer provides easy to use "what if" capability for every output variable.  You just type in any value for an output variable and you will see the probability of that value occurring.
Probability Distributions Some of our competition may provide more distributions.  However, the additional distributions appear to be extremely exotic ones that we suspect very few will ever need (or understand) or very minor variations of popular distributions. We offer all the distributions that users need:  the normal, triangular, exponential, log normal, gamma left and right, beta, and uniform distributions.  We also have discrete and custom distributions so one can construct special distributions.  All distributions are fully customizable.
Ease of use Competition products range from easy to difficult to use.   Many competitors recommend training courses because of the complicated nature of their products.

The Risk Analyzer is menu driven for ease of use.  The dialogs are easy to understand and the steps are presented in a logical, easy to follow fashion.

To use the Risk Analyzer, just click on the Risk Analyzer toolbar's first button.  A dialog appears with the steps to follow to create a Monte Carlo risk analysis.  It also provides easy access to the help file and the exercise files.

Flexibility

Use of our competitions' products greatly reduces your flexibility.  Such flexibility restrictions include embedded functions in your workbooks for input cells and mandatory use of all distributions when performing a simulation. We are not aware of any way for you to easily pick and choose which distributions to use.

Because competition embeds special functions in your input cells it is very difficult to change an input cell's value.  If you want to change a cell's value you must change the probability distribution. It's likely that you will be forced to maintain multiple workbooks for one study.

When you run simulations or reports you have complete control over which input and output cells are used in the simulation.  This is possible with our simple to use dialogs. Probability distributions are stored in a separate premise workbook so your workbook is not modified. You don't have to create save and maintain multiple workbooks for "what if" simulation analyses.

If you want to change the value of an input cell just type in the new value.  We don't embed functions so your workbook is easy to change (and to share).

Simulation
Results
Most of our competition either doesn't store the individual simulations on worksheets or fails to provide you with easy access to the individual simulation results.  As far as we can tell they provide no way to set your model to a given simulation case to determine why you may have gotten a strange result or an error value. The Risk Analyzer creates worksheets (conveniently stored in a premises and reports workbook instead of your workbook) that contain the input and output cell values for every simulation.  You can easily examine the results and just as easily set your model to the values of a particular simulation to assist in making needed modifications.  If necessary you can also effortlessly set your model's input cells back to their original values.
Report
Worksheets
Our understanding of competition products is that they put all output reports into your workbook.  This inconvenience makes it difficult to share reports with others as you may be sharing confidential or proprietary calculations outside of your firm.  It also makes your workbook larger, more complicated, and harder to handle. All reports are stored in a separate workbook from your Excel model.  This enables you to share only the results if your Excel model contains information you do not wish to share.
Navigation
from sheet
to sheet
No navigation aid is provided to help you move around the multiple worksheets created by competition software. The Risk Analyzer provides a sheet navigation button that lets you quickly access any worksheet and scroll up and down a sheet without leaving the navigation dialog.
Purchase and
Delivery
Some of our competition offer you a choice of immediate download or a CD but not both.  Some do not deliver the software via download immediately after ordering.  Some charge high fees for a CD especially if you are not located in the U.S.

You have the option of immediately downloading for free or immediately downloading and receiving a CD for just $7.95 any where in the world. 

We also provide extended download links on request in case you are not able to download immediately.

Upgrades Upgrades vary from free to not free after some arbitrary length of time.  Competitors not only require you to pay an expensive initial price but also often force you to pay for upgrades as well. Upgrades are free.  We are constantly improving our products.  Many of our improvements are a result of customer feedback. The Risk Analyzer is a mature product and has been in use for over 10+ years.  We do not plan any major changes that would require you to repurchase.
Support Support ranges from free to expensive.  Some require support contracts after the free support has expired.  Most competition do not provide 24/7 support.

Our support is free.  It does not expire. We also provide relevant suggestions in our help file on how to develop risk analysis Excel models.

We reply to the e-mail in our support mail account in the evenings and weekends so that you receive the help you need as soon as possible.

Money
back
guarantee
Some competition have stated polices.  Most do not. We offer a 30 day money back guarantee on all purchases.

Total cost
and
quantity
purchases

For many of our competition, their lack of flexibility makes your initial purchase the first of many future costs you will have to pay. Anyone who needs to use your workbooks will need to buy the software. Many recommend expensive training.  Others require support contracts when their free support period has expired.  Some products take an immense amount of time just to learn. Look at the total cost which can easily exceed the initial purchase.

Our product is just US $49.95.  That is the total cost.   We view that as a fair price.  You don't have to buy copies in order to share your workbooks.  You can even put a copy on your home PC and without having to purchase a second license.  Expensive training is not required.  Support is free and does not expire.

We offer discounts starting with 10% off for 2 or more copies in case others want the Risk Analyzer.  The discount builds to 20% for 11 copies and 30% for 21 or more copies.

Other
offerings
Some of our competition offers specialized programs in support of their products.  Most are very expensive. Some offer only a risk analysis product.

We bundle the Risk Analyzer with our risk analysis related add-ins for Microsoft Excel and downloadable books on macros in the Risk Analysis Collection and in the Productivity Suite, both at an extremely attractive price.  The add-ins are designed to save you time and help you make Excel easier to use just like the Risk Analyzer.

We hope that the above comparison helps you make an informed decision on risk analysis software. We have used our expertise both in our many years of doing risk analysis work and in developing add-ins for Microsoft Excel to make the Risk Analyzer an excellent, easy to use product.  It was designed by users for users.  The Risk Analyzer is a mature product and has been in use for over 10+ years.  For more information on the Risk Analyzer go to the Risk Analyzer's product information page.


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