and Analytic Solver Platform Differences

Creating and Using Decision Trees

Analytic Solver Platform and offer the same basic functionality for creating and evaluating decision trees, using Expected Value or Certainty Equivalent calculations, and the dialog boxes for creating, deleting or editing tree nodes are very similar in both cases. But they are visually somewhat different.

In Analytic Solver Platform, decision trees are created on the Excel spreadsheet (which has a "graphics layer"). In, decision trees are created in a separate window that "pops up" in front of the spreadsheet grid. In both cases, rollback calculations are performed via worksheet cell formulas. But in Excel the graphic nodes are visually "next to" the related worksheet cells; in, the nodes are in the pop-up window. Since the node-worksheet cell relationships are maintained, you can create a decision tree in desktop Excel, save and upload the workbook to, and immediately see and work with that decision tree in the pop-up window.

If you are on a different worksheet and you click the tab for a worksheet that contains a decision tree (created and saved in either or Analytic Solver Platform in Excel), the window will pop up to display the tree. Clicking the Close button hides the window, clicking the Decision Tree button on the Ribbon displays it again.

Because array formulas are not yet supported in the spreadsheet grid, you cannot use the (array-entered) TABLE function to perform sensitivity analysis on decision trees in, as you can in Excel. However, with a little care, you can perform Monte Carlo simulations on decision tree models. The built-in Grant Decision Analysis workbook ("Exploring Decision Risk" worksheet) is an illustration of this.

XLMiner Platform Tab Options

All of the Ribbon options for forecasting, data mining, and text mining functionality of XLMiner Platform in Excel are also available in, and the dialog boxes that appear for each menu function are virtually identical. The main difference is that charts "pop up" in front of the worksheets In, instead of being "embedded in" the worksheets as they are in desktop Excel.

The XLMiner Get Data button options (Worksheet, Database, File Folder, Big Data) are all available. Users with student licenses (who entered a Textbook Code and Course Code) will have access to Frontline's SQL Azure database when Get Data - Database is chosen, and to Frontline's Apache Spark Big Data cluster when Get Data - Big Data is chosen, without having to enter login credentials.

Analytic Solver Platform Tab Options

Task Pane Features and Options

In Analytic Solver Platform in Excel, the Task Pane is automatically refreshed by a separate "thread" that watches for changes to the worksheet. In, you'll need to click the Refresh button in the Task Pane to update it for the latest worksheet changes. This is especially important if you insert or delete rows or columns, or type Psi function calls manually into worksheet cells.