PrecisionTree Feature: View in BigPicture

Although this is not a feature within BigPicture, this is a feature that is worth mentioning for our PrecisionTree users. PrecisionTree is an add-in for Excel that performs decision analysis using decision trees and influence diagrams. Decision trees are quantitative diagrams with nodes and branches representing different possible decision paths and chance events. This helps you identify and calculate the value of all possible alternatives, so you can choose the best option with confidence. PrecisionTree is available by itself or as part of the DecisionTools Suite, Palisade’s complete risk and decision analysis toolkit.

Our new PrecisionTree/BigPicture feature allows you to take an existing decision tree in PrecisionTree and view it as a BigPicture map. This provides a more interactive and customizable view for the tree and puts it in a format more directly usable for presentations. This helps accomplish BigPicture's goal of utilizing diagrams and maps to make results more accessible and understandable for decision makers. It is also an example of how BigPicture can integrate with our existing DecisionTools Suite tools.

Below you will find a variety of ways that these two tools work seamlessly with one another.

Convert a PrecisionTree Decision Tree into a BigPicture Map

To be able to view/convert a decision tree that is created in PrecisionTree into a BigPicture map you can take the following steps:

  • Create a decision tree in PrecisionTree
  • Click on the View in BigPicture button in the Precision Tree ribbon (1)
  • Select which decision trees you would like to convert and where you would like them displayed (2)
  • Click OK (3)
  • View and customize your decision tree(s) in BigPicture
Convert a PrecisionTree Decision Tree into a BigPicture Map

BigPicture Map is Directly Linked to PrecisionTree

The BigPicture view of the tree is completely linked to the original tree in PrecisionTree. If you would like to change values or probabilities for nodes (topics) and branches (connectors), you can either change the value in the source tree in PrecisionTree, or you can right-click on a topic and choose “Decision Tree Editor” from the pop up menu.

In the below example, the optimal path updates automatically when the value of the node (topic) “TEST” was changed from -55000 to -555000.

NOTE: The source tree in PrecisionTree is also updated when the "Decision Tree Editor" is used.

If you close the Decision Tree Editor you can redisplay it using the BigPicture right-click menu on the topic that you would like to edit.

NOTE: Only changed values and labels are linked. If you add or delete nodes in PrecisionTree, the map in BigPicture does not update to reflect that - you will have to repeat the process and click on the View in BigPicture option in PrecisionTree to reflect that type of structural change.

BigPicture Map is Directly Linked to PrecisionTree

Paths Pane for Decision Trees

A new icon titled Paths will appear in your BigPicture ribbon after you have created a decision tree using PrecisionTree and you have chosen to view it in BigPicture.

When you click on the Paths icon in the BigPicture ribbon it will open the Paths Pane and display a list of all of the different paths and their probabilities. You can click on any path in the tree view to have it highlight in the BigPicture map. In this case below, the most likely optimal path is shown.

Click the “Optimal Paths” entry in the tree view to display all optimal paths in the decision tree. You can also sort the list of possible paths by their probability utilizing the Sort functionality located at the bottom of the Path Pane.

Paths Pane for Decision Trees

Option: Use BigPicture's Collapse/Expand functions

Once converted, you can use the normal BigPicture controls to collapse and expand the tree. The optimal paths through the tree are highlighted.

Option: Use BigPicture's Collapse/Expand functions

Option: Choose how you would like your map/diagram arranged

If you would prefer to view your map from a different viewpoint, you can use Arrange Map to display the decision tree from top down, or vice-versa.

Option: Choose how you would like your map/diagram arranged

Option: Customize your Decision Tree in BigPicture and Export it as a PDF

Once you have converted your decision tree into a BigPicture map, it can then be customized and annotated just like any map in BigPicture.  You can add pictures and markers to topics or attach custom shapes as desired to improve the presentation of the tree.

After you have customized it, you can choose to export either the whole tree or a single path as a PDF that can be used in a PowerPoint presentation or report.

Option: Customize your Decision Tree in BigPicture and Export it as a PDF