ForeTell provides a low risk virtual environment for "test driving" your critical decisions
Our ForeTell software provides modeling, simulation, and analysis capabilities
to enable the process of test-driving your critical decisions. Each function is
accessed by a separate Graphical User Interface (GUI).
Using ForeTell is an iterative process.
You start by using ForeTell's Scenario Editor GUI to build, browse and maintain
your scenarios. Scenarios model the situational context for your decision,
describing relevant people, organizations, places, and things. Each scenario
depicts a "possible future" by making assumptions about forces, trends, events, and stakeholder behaviors that will shape how the initial situation evolves over time. Finally, you can define a decision to evaluate as a candidate response to the problem, threat, or opportunity posed by your situation. A decision typically depicts a plan, strategy, investment, or combination of these elements.
Next, you use ForeTell's Simulator GUI to project the outcome of your scenarios.
Simulator controls allow you to load a scenario from the database and execute
it, either in single steps or automatically, in "cruise control". You can pause scenarios, inspect key performance metrics, modify scenario data, and resume executing. Your ForeTell solution and your scenario assumptions and decisions define the dynamics that drive the evolution of your situation. As the ForeTell Simulator runs, it records snapshots of the entities in your scenario as they change over time.
Third, you use ForeTell's Analytics point-and-click GUI to create summary charts and reports that help you explore scenario outcomes. For example, you can create time series plots of any metric for any scenario entity, such as net sales of a drug or cumulative fatalities from a terrorist attack. You can also create reports that drill down and isolate the effects of forces, trends, events, your proposed decision, or individual entity behaviors. Most importantly, you can compare performance metrics across scenarios. This enables you to identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of alternate decisions and to determine their efficacy across different possible futures. ForeTell's greatest support for decision-making derives from these comparative exercises.
Analyze, Learn, Refine, and Repeat the Process.
Typically, your analyses of decision outcomes suggest ways to refine your strategies and different assumptions to make to test the effectiveness of your strategies. You then create new scenarios to pursue these insights and repeat the decision-support cycle until you are satisfied.
As you work through a decision analysis cycle, you will typically discover new
possiblities to investigate, such as alternate scenarios, new strategies, or
strategy refinements to explore. This leads naturally to another iteration of
modeling, simulation, and analysis, as you deepen your understanding of your
Execute Your Decision and Use ForeTell to Monitor and Adapt
After you make your decision and start to execute it, your environment continues to change and you monitor actual results. You can now update your scenarios to reflect your new situation and re-project your decision. If ForeTell's projected outcomes continue to be favorable, you have re-validated your decision. If the new projected results are unfavorable, you can use ForeTell to diagnose the problem, adjust your decision, and revalidate it using this process.
It's NOT Rocket Science, Just an Extension of What You Used to Do in Your Head
This process may sound intimidating, but it is actually surprisingly simple and straightforward.
What Goes Into a ForeTell Model
Consider our Drug Marketing Mix solution as a concrete example. A scenario in this case contains one Economy, which contains one or more Markets corresponding to Diseases such as lung or breast cancer. Drug Companies devise Strategies to sell their Drugs to Consumers in these Markets. A Strategy for a Drug simply consists of current and target monthly spending rates for sales forces to physicians, consumer advertising, and rebates to Payors. The Strategy for your Drug represents a possible decision to take action. This solution provides a set of templates for Market, Drug, etc. You simply select the template, make a new copy, and populate it with relevant data using ForeTell's Scenario Editor GUI.
You can easily copy this baseline scenario and then extend it with alternate assumptions about competitor behaviors, trends, and events that will shape the future. A Strategy for a competing Drug captures your assumptions about rival Drug Company behaviors. Example trends are rising inflation, which will impact prices, and increasing Government pressure to reduce Drug costs. A Drug's losing patent protection is an example of an Event. Adaptive behaviors that change Strategy are equally simple: you might infer from observation that Drug Company X tends to increase its consumer advertising budget by 10% if it detects a drop in its Drug's market share of 10% over 3 months.
ForeTell Outputs and What You Do With Them
Once you construct suitable scenarios, you use ForeTell's Simulator GUI to execute them. You can pause simulations and inspect key performance metrics for the Drugs competing in your Market - namely market share, net sales, profits, and net present value. The Marketing Mix solution updates these values automatically for every simulated month in a five year interval. Once you have finished simulating your scenarios, you use the Analytics GUI to assess the performance of your Drug's strategy, plotting time series that compare metrics across Strategies and scenarios, reviewing Drug Financial reports, etc. Your goal is to identify the Strategy that maximizes your Drug's financial performance.