BETA  |  Spreadsheet Viewer →

Introduction

The Analytical Network Process (ANP) and its predecessor the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) were first developed by Dr. Thomas Saaty while serving as a renowned professor at the Wharton School of Business, and they’ve since been used in thousands of applications in over 50 countries. AHP itself has been employed by top government and commercial organizations worldwide including IBM, Ford, Boeing, British Airways, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State. Seeing the business possibilities of their father’s work, John and Dan Saaty founded Decision Lens in 2002 with a simple premise: to improve the way that organizations make their most critical decisions.

Decision Lens employs the collective knowledge and wisdom of key stakeholders to build consensus and increase the likelihood of success through better and faster decision making. The Decision Lens Suite is a family of open, integrated solutions that enables organizations to easily remove the burden and uncertainty often associated with complex and significant decisions while providing transparency into how decisions are made. While reducing the amount of time and money required to make effective decisions, the software establishes sustainable and higher-quality decision making processes.

For an individual, it is easy to establish one or two top priorities. It becomes much more difficult to communicate with specificity an entire web of priorities, particularly when making decisions. On the group level, this is significantly more difficult.

Quote The human mind is simply not designed to make cost benefit trade-offs among several alternatives without the assistance of a tool.

Decision Lens delivers a complete process for identifying, prioritizing, analyzing, and measuring which investments, projects, and resources will deliver the highest returns. It creates a mechanism for enabling trade-offs while providing the flexibility to make decisions based on the realities facing an organization.

Decision Lens tool

Photo credit: Decision Lens

The Challenge

Decision Lens is a product for strategic portfolio analysis, continuous planning, and resource allocation. At the core of Decision Lens is the management of portfolio data, which is traditionally done in disconnected spreadsheets and PPM solutions. To allow end users to manage their portfolio data in a familiar construct, Decision Lens required a powerful table implementation that gives it Excel-like features and high performance out-of-the-box, with flexible customization capabilities.

Creating a table that is highly usable and highly performant is deceptively difficult. When using tables, end users expect standard table features like sorting, filtering, highlighting, resizing/moving columns, copy/paste, etc. The table must also perform well for very large data sets. In the past, Decision Lens spent a significant amount of effort developing tables on its own, only to end up with implementations that have considerable usability and performance shortcomings.

Decision Lens tool

Photo credit: Decision Lens

The Solution

Decision Lens evaluated numerous other JavaScript table products, such as ag-Grid, FixedDataTable2, adazzle, and React Datasheet, to incorporate into its software. Handsontable provided the best mix of out-of-the-box features, flexible customization capabilities, performance, and quality of online documentation and support.

Handsontable implemented much of the functionality that can be customized with relatively minimal effort. The online documentation and support are top-notch, providing confidence in using their products. The out-of-the-box features of Handsontable, such as sorting, filtering, and contextual menus, work very well for Decision Lens. Where they have needed to customize behavior, Handsontable’s event hook model has allowed them to implement the desired behaviors with a great level of precision. Handsontable’s rapid online support has been very helpful with more challenging feature development.

Decision Lens tool

Photo credit: Decision Lens

Results and Plans for Future

With a history in mathematical and algorithmic principles for strategic planning and tough decision-making, Decision Lens has always been focused on helping to prioritize and optimize businesses’ portfolios to achieve the highest value possible. The solution is built on the premise that only with modeling and scenario planning to play out all options side-by-side, can the best portfolio solution be found. For the end user, an easy to use interface allows them to input their data and have it structured so it is readily accessible to algorithms which process the data to reveal deeper and more successful insights.

Quote By using Handsontable, we have been able to deliver a familiar, Excel-like experience on top of powerful portfolio analysis capabilities that cannot be achieved in disconnected spreadsheets.

The newest version of Decision Lens is presently in beta and is getting very positive responses from current and potential customers. According to Decision Lens’ CTO Ryan Gay, “We are going to continue to rapidly enhance the capabilities and user experience of our data tables as our users provide feedback. Because of the flexibility of Handsontable, we are confident we will be able to hone and refine our product to a high degree of quality.

Ryan Gay

Ryan Gay

CTO
at Decision Lens