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Why is Analytica good for teaching modeling?

Analytica is being used in universities around the world for teaching quantitative modeling and decision analysis. What makes Analytica well suited to teach in the classroom? Analytica’s unique features help students learn essential quantitative modeling skills.

  • Translate a qualitative idea into well-defined variables: Analytica’s influence diagrams encourage students to identify decisions, objectives, and uncertain variables, each as a node with appropriate shape and color.
  • Structure relationships as qualitative influences: Users draw influence arrows between variables, identifying qualitative relationships before they have to think about detailed quantitative structure.
  • Manage complexity: Analytica’s hierarchical modules make it easy to organize a complex set of variables and relationships by breaking them down to a set of cognitively manageable submodels.
  • Model risk and uncertainty: Analytica’s efficient Monte Carlo lets you express uncertain assumptions using probability distributions and quickly evaluate risk and uncertainty, and find out what variables in your model really matter and why.
  • Create transparent models: Analytica’s hierarchical organization, influence diagrams, and structured documentation support a level of transparency unknown in spreadsheets. A bonus is that teachers can more easily and quickly review students’ work.
  • Develop the ability to think abstractly: by separating algorithmic considerations (like iterations) from core relationships of the problem. Analytica’s non-procedural language is declarative, allowing each variable to be defined as a mathematical expression of other variables, which is closer to how models are conceptualized.
  • Think in terms of arrays, rather than cells, develops reasoning skills that are less prone to error, and focus more on clarity. Analytica’s Intelligent Arrays™ lets you create and manage multidimensional tables with an ease and reliability unavailable in spreadsheets.
  • Focusing on the problem not the tool: Analytica’s visual interface and simple language enables students to spend more time thinking about the problem and less time worrying about technical details of the tool.