Logical Decisions® (LDW) is decision support software that helps you evaluate and select the best choice for your most difficult decisions. LDW is designed for one-of-a-kind decisions where you need to think about many concerns at once and make judgements about which concerns are most important to you.
A Classic Example
The classic example of this type of problem is buying a car. There are hundreds of possible choices and almost as many considerations you can use to choose between the possibilities -- price, mileage, performance, reliability, and attractiveness are just a few.
No one car has it all. Cars with better performance and features cost more. Bigger cars have poorer performance. You have to make tradeoffs and compromises to make a choice. Different people will make different tradeoffs. If they weren't, everyone would have the same kind of car!
LDW helps you make these kinds of decisions. Its the tool you need to organize information about your choices, to make the value judgements you need to find the best choice, and to display your results so you can get insights into the choices.
Organizing Your Information
LDW combines features from spreadsheet and database programs that let you organize information about your choices. You can include "hard" data like price or miles per gallon and "soft", judgmental, information like attractiveness or driving feel. You can import data from spreadsheets or database files.
LDW lets you organize your evaluation measures into a structure -- like an organization chart -- that shows how your individual concerns (like "miles per gallon") relate to your overall concerns (like "buy the best car"). This powerful feature turns an ordinary data table into a sophisticated hierarchical database that links your detailed information to your broad overall goals. It can turn an incomprehensible mass of numbers into a roadmap that points the way to your best decision.
Making Value Judgments
Value judgments are a crucial part of most decisions. LDW draws on tools from an academic discipline called Multi-Attribute Utility Theory" to help you make the value judgements needed for a particular decision. One type of judgement is the relative importances (weights) of the evaluation measures. LDW provides several methods to help you make these judgements, and lets you use the method you are most comfortable with. LDW provides 5 different methods for assessing weights, ranging from the easy-to-use "Smarter" method, to the sophisticated "tradeoff" method, to the popular "Analytic Hierarchy Process".
LDW provides many results displays designed to give you insights and to make you feel comfortable making a final choice. You can rank your choices from best to worst on any goal or evaluation measure. You can compare pairs of choices to identify their most important differences. You can use charts and interactive displays to see the effect of changes in weights on the overall ranking results. Finally, you can see the effects of uncertainty on the ranking results.
LDW is a very flexible tool that has been used for a wide variety of decisions by a diverse range of professionals including Academics, Managers, Planners, Engineers, Civil Servants, Military personnel and other decision makers. Possible applications include:
Planning and Policy Decisions Location Problems Purchasing Decisions Engineering Design Optimization R&D Planning and Proposal Evaluation Financial and Investment Decisions Consumer Choice Modeling Personnel Hiring and Evaluation
What Our Reviewers Say A program like this is absolutely necessary when you are making complex business and scientific decisions. ... Logical Decisions is a pleasure to use. -- Harvey Kaye, author of "Decision Power" (Prentice Hall, 1992) A powerful assessment tool for analyzing alternatives and preferences to clarify and expedite decision making. -- Windows Magazine (June, 1995) An interesting program that forces you to systematically examine your measures, your pattern of preferences and their interaction. ... Even if you do not decide in the same way the program does, your decision will be better informed and you will better understand why you made it. -- Chance Magazine (Summer, 1994) It is a good tool, not only for analyzing all the permutations of a hard decision, but also for defending a decision once you've made it. -- PC Magazine (April 12, 1994)