Comparison of risk analysis Microsoft Excel add-ins

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The following is a comparison of the features of various spreadsheet risk analysis add-in packages available. Decision-making software is reviewed separately.

General information[edit]

Name Company name Office location(s) Product first released Last stable version Software license License options System Requirements Spreadsheet used
@RISK Industrial[1] Palisade Corporation Australia, Japan, UK, USA 1987 6.1.2 Proprietary Single user, network license Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 97+), Excel 64-bit
@RISK Professional[1] Palisade Corporation Australia, Japan, UK, USA 1987 6.1.2 Proprietary Single user, network license Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 97+), Excel 64-bit
@RISK Standard[1] Palisade Corporation Australia, Japan, UK, USA 1987 6.1.2 Proprietary Single user, network license Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 97+), Excel 64-bit
Crystal Ball[2] Oracle Corporation USA 1987 11.1.2.2 Proprietary Single user Windows 2003+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
Crystal Ball + Decision Optimizer[2] Oracle Corporation USA 1987 11.1.7 Proprietary Single user Windows 2003+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
DiscoverSim + SigmaXL[3] SigmaXL Inc. Canada 2012 1.1 Proprietary Single user Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2007+), Excel 64-bit
Ersatz[4] Epigear Australia 2009 1.3 Proprietary Single user Windows 2000+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
Lumenaut[5] Lumenaut Ltd Hong Kong 2003 3.6.5 Proprietary Single user Windows 2000+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
ModelRisk Industrial[6] Vose Software Belgium, Russia, USA 2008 5.1.0.3 Proprietary Single user, network license Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
ModelRisk Professional[6] Vose Software Belgium, Russia, USA 2008 5.1.0.3 Proprietary Single user, network license Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
ModelRisk Standard[6] Vose Software Belgium, Russia, USA 2008 5.1.0.3 Proprietary Single user, network license Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
Quantum XL[7] Sigmazone USA 2010 3.50.04 Proprietary Single user Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2000+), Excel 64-bit
Risk Analyzer Add-ins.com USA 2003 11.02 Proprietary Single user Windows 2000+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 97+), Excel 64-bit
Risk Kit Suite[8] Wehrspohn GmbH & Co. KG Germany 2007 5.0 Proprietary Free, single user, network license Windows 2000+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
Risk Solver Pro[9] Frontline Systems USA 2007 11.5 Proprietary Single user, network license Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
Risk Solver Pro + Premium Solver Pro[9] Frontline Systems USA 2007 11.5 Proprietary Single user, network license Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
RiskAmp Personal[10] Structured Data LLC USA 2005 11.5 Proprietary Single user Windows 2000+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
RiskAmp Professional[10] Structured Data LLC USA 2005 11.5 Proprietary Single user Windows 2000+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+), Excel 64-bit
Simtools xla[11] Roger Myerson, University of Chicago USA  ? 3.31a Freeware N/A Windows 95+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 5+)
Simular[12] Luciano Machain Argentina  ? 2.5 Freeware N/A Windows XP+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 2003+)
Tukhi[13] KALX, LLC USA  ? 0.2.11.5 Freeware N/A Windows 95+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 5+)
YASAI[14] and YASAIw[15] Rutgers University and Washington State Department of Ecology USA 2001 2.4, 2.0w29 Freeware, Open source N/A Windows 95+ Excel 32-bit (Excel 97+), Excel 64-bit

Technical specification I[edit]

Name Distribution fitting Correlation fitting[16] Time series fitting Optimizer included Database connectivity VBA calls to functions[17] C++ calls to functions[18] Six sigma supported
@RISK Industrial Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
@RISK Professional Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
@RISK Standard No No No No No No No Yes
Crystal Ball Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes
Crystal Ball + Decision Optimizer Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
Crystal Ball EPM + Decision Optimizer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
DiscoverSim + SigmaXL Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes
Ersatz No No No Yes No No No No
Lumenaut No No No No No No No No
ModelRisk Industrial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ModelRisk Professional Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
ModelRisk Standard No No No No No Yes Yes No
Quantum XL Yes No No Yes No No No Yes
Risk Analyzer No No No No No No No No
Risk Kit Suite Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes[19] No
Risk Solver Pro Yes No No No No Yes Yes No
Risk Solver Pro + Premium Solver Pro Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No
RiskAmp Personal No No No No No No No No
RiskAmp Professional No No No No No No No No
Simtools xla No No No No No Yes No No
Simular Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No
YASAI and YASAIw No Yes No No No Yes No No

Technical specification II[edit]

Name Converters for Probability calculation functions[20] UDF error analysis[21] Extreme value modeling[22] Expert elicitation tools[23] Data previsualizer ODE and numerical integration Assumption library
@RISK Industrial Crystal Ball Yes No No Yes No No Yes
@RISK Professional Crystal Ball Yes No No Yes No No Yes
@RISK Standard Crystal Ball Yes No No Yes No No No
Crystal Ball No Yes No No No No No Yes
Crystal Ball + Decision Optimizer No Yes No No No No No Yes
DiscoverSim + SigmaXL No No No No No Yes No No
Ersatz No No No No No No No No
Lumenaut No No No No No No No No
ModelRisk Industrial Crystal Ball, @RISK Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ModelRisk Professional Crystal Ball, @RISK Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
ModelRisk Standard Crystal Ball, @RISK Yes Yes No No No No No
Quantum XL No No No No No No No No
Risk Analyzer No No No No No No No No
Risk Kit Suite No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Risk Solver Pro No No No No No No No No
Risk Solver Pro + Premium Solver Pro No No No No No No No No
RiskAmp Personal No No No No No No No No
RiskAmp Professional No No No No No No No No
Simtools xla No No No No No No No No
Simular No No No No No No No No
YASAI and YASAIw No No No No No No No No

Simulation Controls[edit]

Name Control of seed values Maximum numbers of draws[24] Random number generator Lock / unlock random variables[25] Multiple simulation runs[26] Run macros before/after simulation[27] Stop run when output generates error[28] Apply specific sample in model[29] Precision control[30] Spreadsheet interpreter[31] Sampling method[32]
@RISK Industrial Yes Unlimited Several Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No MC, LHS
@RISK Professional Yes Unlimited Several Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No MC, LHS
@RISK Standard Yes Unlimited Several Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No MC, LHS
Crystal Ball Yes Unlimited MCG[33] No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No MC, LHS
Crystal Ball + Decision Optimizer Yes Unlimited MCG[33] No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes MC, LHS
DiscoverSim + SigmaXL Yes 1e7 Marsaglia KISS + Monster No No No No No No Yes MC, LHS
Ersatz No Unlimited 7 RNGs Yes Yes Yes No No No No MC
Lumenaut Yes Constrained by Excel Mersenne Twister No No No No No No No MC
ModelRisk Industrial Yes Unlimited Mersenne Twister Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No MC
ModelRisk Professional Yes Unlimited Mersenne Twister Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No MC
ModelRisk Standard Yes Unlimited Mersenne Twister Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No MC
Quantum XL No 10000 Mersenne Twister No No No No No Yes Yes MC
Risk Analyzer No Constrained by Excel  ? No No No No No No No MC
Risk Kit Suite Yes Unlimited Mersenne Twister No Yes Yes Yes No No No MC
Risk Solver Pro Yes Unlimited Several No Yes No No Yes No No MC, LHS, Sobol
Risk Solver Pro + Premium Solver Pro Yes Unlimited Several No Yes No No Yes No No MC, LHS, Sobol
RiskAmp Personal Yes Constrained by Excel Mersenne Twister Yes No No No No No No MC, LHS
RiskAmp Professional Yes Constrained by Excel Mersenne Twister Yes No No No No No No MC, LHS
Simtools xla No Constrained by Excel Excel's RAND No No No No No No No MC
Simular No Constrained by Excel  ? Yes No No No No No No MC
YASAI and YASAIw Yes Constrained by Excel L'Ecuyer's MRG32k3a[34] No Yes Yes No No No No MC

Reporting results[edit]

Name Includes reporting tool Free report viewer[35] Save and retrieve results Editing of graphs[36] Histogram Cumulative Time series plot[37] Spider[38] Tornado Scatter Pareto Box Statistics Simulation data Results filtering[39]
@RISK Industrial Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
@RISK Professional Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
@RISK Standard Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Crystal Ball Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Crystal Ball + Decision Optimizer Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
DiscoverSim + SigmaXL Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ersatz No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes No No Yes No No
Lumenaut No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
ModelRisk Industrial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ModelRisk Professional Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ModelRisk Standard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Quantum XL No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Risk Analyzer No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Risk Kit Suite Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Risk Solver Pro Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Risk Solver Pro + Premium Solver Pro Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
RiskAmp Personal No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
RiskAmp Professional No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Simtools xla No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Simular No N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A
YASAI and YASAIw No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes N/A

Help file, support and training[edit]

Name UDFs linked to help file[40] Interfaces linked to help file[41] Help file in PDF Help file online Technical support available Language versions[42] Online videos Online training Onsite training
@RISK Industrial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ZH, EN, FR, DE, JA, PT, ES Yes Yes Yes
@RISK Professional Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ZH, EN, FR, DE, JA, PT, ES Yes Yes Yes
@RISK Standard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ZH, EN, FR, DE, JA, PT, ES Yes Yes Yes
Crystal Ball No Yes Yes Yes Yes EN, JA, ES No No No
Crystal Ball + Decision Optimizer No Yes Yes Yes Yes EN, JA, ES No No No
DiscoverSim + SigmaXL N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes EN Yes No Yes
Ersatz No No Yes Yes Yes EN No No No
Lumenaut N/A No No No Yes EN No No No
ModelRisk Industrial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes EN Yes Yes Yes
ModelRisk Professional Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes EN Yes Yes Yes
ModelRisk Standard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes EN Yes Yes Yes
Quantum XL N/A Yes No No Yes EN No No Yes
Risk Analyzer N/A N/A No No Yes EN No  ?  ?
Risk Kit Suite Yes Yes No No Yes EN, FR, DE Yes No Yes
Risk Solver Pro No No Yes Yes Yes EN Yes Yes Yes
Risk Solver Pro + Premium Solver Pro No No Yes Yes Yes EN Yes Yes Yes
RiskAmp Personal No No Yes Yes Yes EN No No No
RiskAmp Professional No No Yes Yes Yes EN No No No
Simtools xla No No No No No EN No No No
Simular No No Yes No Yes EN, ES No No No
YASAI and YASAIw No No No No No EN No No No

See also[edit]

Footnotes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c @RISK manual http://www.palisade.com/downloads/manuals/EN/RISK5_EN.pdf: Guide to Using @RISK, version 5.7, made September, 2010, Palisade Corporation http://www.palisade.com
  2. ^ a b Crystal Ball manual: Oracle® Crystal Ball http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/crystalball/index.html, Fusion addition Release 11.1.1.3 Statistical Guide
  3. ^ DiscoverSim Workbook: SigmaXL® DiscoverSim http://www.sigmaxl.com/DiscoverSim_Features.shtml
  4. ^ Ersatz website: http://www.epigear.com/index_files/ersatz.html
  5. ^ Lumenaut online resources: http://www.lumenaut.com/info.htm
  6. ^ a b c ModelRisk online help file: http://www.vosesoftware.com/vosesoftware/ModelRiskHelp/
  7. ^ Help file downloadable with software at http://www.sigmazone.com/
  8. ^ The Risk Kit Suite consists of Risk Kit for Monte-Carlo simulations, Risk Kit R for advanced statistical analyses, and Risk Kit Data for an online data feed of financial data and social statistics from the European Central Bank ECB, the World Bank, the Federal Reserve Economic Data FRED, Eurostat and Yahoo!Finance. Risk Kit Suite on corporate website: http://www.wehrspohn.info/Wehrspohn-GmbH-Co-KG.656.0.html?&L=1
  9. ^ a b Risk Solver online user guide: http://www.solver.com/suppxlsguide.htm
  10. ^ a b RiskAmp online user guide: http://www.riskamp.com/library/howto.php
  11. ^ http://home.uchicago.edu/rmyerson/addins.htm#simt
  12. ^ Help file downloadable with software at http://www.simularsoft.com.ar/
  13. ^ http://tukhi.com/
  14. ^ http://www.yasai.rutgers.edu/
  15. ^ http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/models.html
  16. ^ Excel has tools for calculating correlation statistics for a data set. This refers to the software's ability to fit correlation structures to a data set and, where more than one correlation structure is available, to compare the levels of fit.
  17. ^ Some add-ins provide VBA versions of their UDFs, which allow the user to build their own stochastic UDFs in VBA. Some add-ins also provide VBA functions that control a simulation. This allows the user to create VBA macros that will automatically run simulations and generate results.
  18. ^ Some add-ins allow calls to C++ routines. These allow the user to create a stand-alone DLL that represents a part of the model which needs to be as fast as possible by making use of the faster performance of the original code (usually C++)
  19. ^ Integrable as .NET-assembly
  20. ^ Provides the facility to calculate probability mass (or density), cumulative probability, moments, etc. of a distribution directly in the spreadsheet.
  21. ^ Standard error messages like #VALUE! when an input parameter is invalid is replaced by a message describing the reason of the error.
  22. ^ Toosl to evaluate the distribution of the minimum or maximum sample from a set of IIDs
  23. ^ Graphical interfaces to facilitate determining distribution of uncertainty of some model parameter based on expert opinion.
  24. ^ Some add-ins do not have a custom results viewer and export the data directly into the spreadsheet for analysis using the spreadsheet's native charting and statistical tools. The number of draws is then restricted by the ability of the spreadsheet to handle the size of the generated data.
  25. ^ The ability to replace a random variable with a fixed value.
  26. ^ Some add-ins allow the user to automatically run a model multiple times replacing decision variables with different values for each simulation run
  27. ^ Some add-ins allow the user to run a VBA macro before a simulation (e.g. to import data from an external source), after a simulation (e.g. to export the results to a database) or before or after a random draw of the model (e.g. to perform an optimization).
  28. ^ Stopping a simulation run when an output variable generates an error is a useful feature for debugging a model
  29. ^ After a simulation run the user is able to insert a specific generated result back into the spreadsheet. This is useful, for example, if one wants to investigate the generated scenario that created the greatest profit or loss.
  30. ^ The ability to specify a required level of precision for output results, usually the accuracy with which the mean or a percentile of the output has been determined. Precision control will stop a simulation run when the required accuracy is achieved
  31. ^ Some add-ins will create a compiled version of the spreadsheet model before simulation. This has the benefit of a far faster simulation speed, but will not work with many types of models e.g. models that include VBA calls or functions like OFFSET and VLOOKUP.
  32. ^ Only Monte Carlo sampling is compatible with copula correlation structures. Using Latin Hypercube or Sobol sampling removes the possibility of using other correlation structures like Archimedean copulas.
  33. ^ a b Multiplicative Congruential Generator
  34. ^ L'Ecuyer et al. 2002. An object-oriented random-number package with many long streams and substreams. Operations Research 50(6)1073-1075. http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~lecuyer/myftp/papers/streams00.pdf
  35. ^ A reports viewer is a stand-alone application that can present the simulation results from a results file without the user needing to own a copy of the add-in or have a copy of the original model.
  36. ^ Ability to change colour schemes, fonts, add markers and legends, etc.
  37. ^ See, for example: http://vosesoftware.com/ModelRiskHelp/index.htm#Presenting_results/Other_plots/Time_series_plots.htm
  38. ^ See, for example: http://vosesoftware.com/ModelRiskHelp/index.htm#Presenting_results/Other_plots/Spider_plots.htm
  39. ^ The ability to select a subset of the simulation results (e.g. scenarios that result in a loss) thereby allowing the user to investigate scenarios of greatest interest.
  40. ^ In Excel the Insert Function dialog box includes a 'Help on this function'-hyperlink. Some add-ins use this feature to provide a direct link to the applicable help file topic.
  41. ^ Some add-ins with visual interfaces and dialog boxes include a help icon that directly links to the applicable help file topic for that interface
  42. ^ ZH = Chinese, EN = English, FR = French, DE = German, JA = Japanese, PT = Portuguese, ES= Spanish

Further reading[edit]

  • Albright, S. (2011), Data Analysis and Decision Making, 4th Edition, USA: Cengage Learning, ISBN 978-0-538-47612-6 
  • Charnes, J. (2012), Financial Modeling with Oracle Crystal Ball and Excel (2nd edition), USA: Wiley, ISBN 978-0-471-77972-8 
  • Day, A. (2003), Mastering Risk Modeling, Great Britain: Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-273-65978-2 
  • Evans, J.; Olson, D. (1998), Introduction To Simulation And Risk Analysis, United States of America: Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-621608-0 
  • Iman, R. L. and Conover, W. J., (1982). 'A Distribution-Free Approach to Inducing Rank Order Correlation Among Input Variables', Commun Statist-Simula Computa 11(3) 311-334
  • Lehman, D.; Groenendaal, H.; Nolder, G. (2010), Practical Spreadsheet Risk Modeling for Management, United States of America: CRC Press, ISBN 978-1-4398-5552-2 
  • Machain, L. (2011), Simuación de Modelos Financieros, ISBN 978-987-33-0705-8 
  • Ragsdale, C. (2008), Spreadsheet Modeling & Decision Analysis: A Practical Introduction to Management Science (5th edition), Great Britain: Thomson South-Western, ISBN 0-324-65664-5 
  • Vose, D. (2008), Risk Analysis: A Quantitative Guide (3rd edition), Great Britain: Wiley, ISBN 978-0-470-51284-5