Collaborate, Build, and Share Models
Vanguard Studio™ is a key component in the
In multi-user setups, Studio is used
with Vanguard Server™ to create a Web-based,
collaborative modeling environment where you build models
with Studio and make these models available to others
using Server. Studio and Server are delivered together as
a pre-configured application when you purchase the Vanguard System.
In single-user setups, you need only
Studio to build models and perform high-end planning and
Studio and Spreadsheets
A good way to understand Studio is to compare it to
spreadsheet applications. Studio and spreadsheets are
similar in that both are desktop applications for
building a wide variety of planning models. They are
different in that Studio is more visually-oriented,
offers greater analytic capability, and provides an
infrastructure for enterprise-scale collaboration and
Studio does not replace spreadsheets; it provides the
functionality that spreadsheets cannot when shifting from
simple, one-off analyses to enterprise-scale models. In
fact, spreadsheets are an integral part of the Vanguard
System. You can use existing spreadsheets as components
in Vanguard models and Vanguard will roll up the separate
spreadsheets into a consolidated, high-level model. This
way you get the best of both tools.
Studio's hierarchical tree interface makes it easy to
apply the Divide and Conquer concept to
problem-solving. That is, to solve a complex problem you
simply divide it into two or more simpler components. To
solve these component problems, you apply the same
process again, breaking them down into still finer
elements. The result is a hierarchical tree.
Studio's graphical interface makes
a model's function easy to understand.
Like spreadsheets, Vanguard trees are essentially
networks of user-defined formulas that can be built for
almost any purpose. Unlike spreadsheets, Vanguard
automatically constructs a diagram that matches the
logical structure of your model. This is a key benefit
that makes it easier for you to tackle complex,
Vanguard's tree structure not only provides a great
way to solve business problems, it also provides a great
way to present your analysis to others. With Vanguard,
your models are inherently outlined. The root node
represents the solution you seek and each branch provides
increasingly detailed information about how that solution
is derived. This feature makes it easy for someone who is
unfamiliar with your model to quickly understand its
Studio will help you make business decisions that are
more likely to yield favorable results by providing you
with a rich set of techniques for dealing with risk,
planning contingent actions, and comparing competing
alternatives where future outcomes are uncertain.
The system combines all of the basic quantitative
methods in management with features of spreadsheets,
artificial intelligence tools, and math applications to
produce an advanced business modeling system. Unlike
spreadsheet add-ons and special-purpose utilities,
Vanguard's analytic capabilities have been designed right
into the core product allowing you to seamlessly combine
a variety of quantitative methods into high-performance
Vanguard is specifically designed to perform a wide
range of tasks required in business decision analysis.
These tasks include:
- General Modeling and Problem Solving
- for tackling logically complex problems and
communicating your ideas clearly.
- Collaborative Modeling - for
building large-scale, distributed models using a
- Data Analysis - for pulling
valuable information from historical or
- Advanced Analytics - for
building models that push the envelope in
state-of-the-art business analysis.
Using one or more of the Vanguard Add-in products, you
can build models that perform decision analytics using
methods such as:
- Forecasting - for extrapolating
historical performance data to aid in planning.
- Decision Tree Analysis - for
choosing the best course of action when future
outcomes are uncertain.
- Sensitivity Analysis - for
determining which assumptions drive your
- Monte Carlo Simulation - for
modeling uncertainty to help manage business risk
and simulate complex systems.
- Optimization - for allocating
resources most efficiently using linear
programming and non-linear techniques.
- Application Development - for
building mission-critical applications based on
Enterprise-Scale Collaboration and Modeling
Perhaps Studio's greatest strength is that of scale.
In order to build realistic enterprise models, you need
- Ability to involve many people in the modeling
- Virtually unlimited capacity and speed
- Support for the full spectrum of decision
Vanguard delivers all three of these. Used alone,
Studio lets you break down complex models into a
collection of smaller, linked component models that
encourage collaboration and reuse of prior work. Used in
a multi-user environment as part of the Vanguard System,
Studio's collaboration capabilities come alive.
In terms of capacity and speed, your models can grow
to almost limitless size without becoming unmanageable or
bogging down. Studio's native processing speed is about
60 times that of spreadsheets. Used with a Monte Carlo
Simulation grid, your simulations will run at 1,500 times
the speed of spreadsheets.
Finally, you are not likely to encounter a situation
where Vanguard does not support the analytic method you
need. However, if you do, you can easily integrate
calculations performed in other applications into your
Vanguard model. What's more, you can directly link core
systems such as your data warehouse, production
scheduling, sales management and other systems into your
The combination of these capabilities elevates
Vanguard from a tool in your planning and analysis
toolbox to a central, unifying application that brings
together the people, systems, and analysis you need to
manage more effectively.