After almost a year of being buried deep in development, we are finally out with Portfolio Navigator 7! In this release, much of our attention has gone toward managing the tension between flexibility and understandability. Offering too much flexibility makes a product much more complex and makes it less understandable. Product management is about making decisions along that spectrum.
Our first major feature is Universal I/O. Any inputs, outputs, table inputs and table outputs in our system can now be exported to Excel quite easily, at any level in the tree. You can build an export schema on the fly and save it to the Action menu. You can apply the schema at any level in the tree to all nodes under it. What is really cool about this is that you can export the data to Excel, modify it and paste it back into the system! And when you paste it back in, the user interface will color the input and outputs that have changed. If the outputs match, they will be colored green, thus allowing you to bring in a test-driven approach to analytics.
You have to see this to believe it:
Viewing Probability Distributions
We have observed that it can be hard to cross-check the analytic connection between the Tornado and the decision tree in many of our templates. While documentation is one way to make things easier (and we have done that), we decided it was time to step it up. Your templates can now include a “Success Curve” — this shows a probability distribution given success and is derived from the top factors of your Tornado chart. The tornado factors produce anywhere from 27 to 81 probability-value pairs. A metalog distribution is then fit onto these pairs and you can visualize the cumulative and the probability distribution function. The metalog distribution lets you export the fitted points which can then be used to verify the value given success in the summary tree. Moreover, the CDF or the PDF help you communicate uncertainty in a powerful and intuitive way.
Metalog distributions are the pioneering work of Dr. Tom Keelin and Dr. Brad Powley. Those two distinguished gentlemen lay claim to having invented a new probability distribution and we are incredibly proud to have put the metalog distribution on the cloud!
At our last community of practice meeting, one of the requests that we heard from our users was around being able to understand what has changed across a portfolio. As a first step, we are now able to track changes to inputs at a portfolio level. You can directly head to the input through the hot-link in the changes dialog.
A special chart has been added to our repertoire – the bucket chart. We can now create histogram-like displays for any output quantity in the portfolio.
Look-and-feel is really important to us, and a big portion of our attention goes to the interface. We found our users spending unnecessary clicks to simply get more real-estate for the workspace. So, we have a magical little button that lets you maximize the screen real-estate with one-click. What is really cool about this is that in three directions, you will get summarized breadcrumb information from the panels that have been folded. You will always know which node you have selected, the action on that node that you’re on and the specific report options that have been applied.
We hope you enjoy this new release. We would love to hear from you — please feel free to drop a comment or write to me directly.