Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have a question that you don't see answered here? Call us at 302.529.1193 or click here to send us a message. We'd be happy to answer your specific questions.

Is Optsee® hard to learn?

No. Like any new worthwhile business tool, Optsee® does have an associated learning curve, but it is not difficult to learn. Optsee® was designed for business people with basic computer skills. You don't need to be a mathematician, programmer, or an operations expert to use Optsee®. In Optsee® Pro, you can start with the more basic project prioritization features, and then move up to using the simulation and optimization features,

If you're interested in "getting up to speed" quickly with Optsee® you can click here to see the Optsee® Visual Quick Start Guide .

Optsee® uses a logical framework that you probably already use naturally to make choices. Each part of Optsee® is built to answer these 4 questions:

  • What attributes or criteria am I going to use to compare my projects?
  • Which attributes are the most and least important?
  • How do my projects rank in value using these attributes?
  • Which set of projects will give me the greatest value for my money and resources?

 Keeping those 4 key questions in mind while learning Optsee® makes it even easier.

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Do you offer on-site training?

Yes. Group training normally takes one day for up to 8 people per group. We also offer individual remote training and coaching. Please contact us for additional information.

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Do I have to know statistics to use Optsee®?

No. You can use Optsee® to create value-maximizing portfolios based on single data points very easily. To get maximum benefit from using the Monte Carlo Simulation-Prioritizer to process variable data and uncertainty, you only need to know the concepts of averages and standard deviations. You don't need to do any math or statistical calculations; Optsee® manages all of that for you.

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Can Optsee® use any data types?

Yes. Optsee® is fully customizable for whatever attributes and data types that you want to use for your projects. You can assign monetary attributes such as "Cost," "ROI" and "NPV;" you can assign risk attributes such as "probabilities;" and you can even assign text attributes such as colors, geographic locations, and other categories. You can have as many as 60 attributes.

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How do I collect the data for my projects?

The answer to this question really depends on your organization, and how well your project data is collected today. Normally, this data is collected across functional groups with collaboration between them to arrive at best estimates. For example, Finance might need data from R&D and marketing to develop the financial data. One of the most powerful features of Optsee® is its capability of processing data ranges instead of just single data points. This makes data collection much easier and more realistic. Contact us directly if you'd like to discuss your particular situation or needs.

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Can I share Optsee® data with other applications?

Yes. You can export data from Optsee® to text files that can be opened with programs such as Microsoft Excel®. You can export Optsee® charts and graphs as graphic files to use in presentations. You can also import portfolio data into Optsee® from spreadsheets.

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Aren't Monte Carlo simulations hard to run?

Not with Optsee® Pro. All the time-consuming work that needs to be done to run Monte Carlo simulations in spreadsheets has been done for you. Monte Carlo simulations are setup using a single easy-to-use Prioritizer form. The results and analyses are then generated for you automatically.

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Can I use Optsee® for presentations and real-time analyses?

Absolutely. Optsee® has been designed to be a presentation-friendly application so you can use it to present and analyze portfolios in real-time.

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Does Optsee® have an enterprise version available?

Please contact Data Machines for more information.

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Can Optsee® be used on other kinds of business and technical decisions?

Yes. You can use Optsee® on virtually any decision that involves multiple choices. You'll find Optsee® particularly valuable for management team decisions that require consideration of multiple attributes. Some examples include selecting new development projects, choosing the best combination of product design features, contractor or site selection, personnel selection, budget choices, and capital purchase decisions.

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What kind of teams can use Optsee®?

Many kinds of teams such as Senior Managers working to make strategic business decisions, Engineers and Project Teams selecting product design features, Search Committees selecting from a pool of qualified candidates, Quality Control Teams selecting contract manufacturers, and Special Task Force Teams charged with business reengineering or site selection decisions just to name a few.

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How can we quantify every part of a project? What if we don't have all the necessary information?

The Optsee® application works using a step-by-step process that begins with quantification and ends with an optimized decision. You or your business and technical experts provide the inputs. Based on those inputs, you'll know what information that is critical to the decision-making process. If you don't have all the information, then Optsee® can still help you model the portfolio using only the available information, and then quickly help you optimize the portfolio when the missing information becomes available.

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We're actually pretty good at making team decisions. How could Optsee® help us?

It's great that you're good at making team decisions. Optsee® can help you become even better by providing a technology and methodology for modeling and capturing the process that you're currently using so that you'll be able to work faster, share your system with other teams, and record the process. It will also give you another model with which to compare your current results.

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Does Optsee® make the portfolio decisions for us?

Yes and no. You'll get an optimized portfolio based on your values and project attributes. You can quickly and easily fine-tune this portfolio (by forcing projects in or out, for example) to examine different portfolios. You can then choose to use the optimized Optsee® model, or make different choices. But we're confident that you'll find your optimized Optsee® model so compelling, logical and powerful that you'll use the optimized decision model.

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Do you offer consulting services? How does a typical process work?

Yes, we can help facilitate your portfolio process using the Optsee® technology and methodology. Each project generally is performed in four (4) separate phases:

Phase 1: Assessment and Proposal: We provide a complete and detailed Proposal on the project, including objectives, scope, approach, organization, cost, timing, and deliverables

Phase 2: Prioritization: Kick-off meeting with thought leaders, assignments and responsibilities, data gathering including portfolio information, attribute determination and ranking, and database compilation.

Phase 3:: Validation: A detailed model containing the Optsee® portfolio analyses with commentary and suggestions for optimization. We can also prepare brief individual analyses for individual team members.

Phase 4: Optimization: One or two meetings to further refine and optimize the decision model. Following those meetings, we provide a detailed report containing the optimized model.

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How long does it take?

The Optsee® process is designed to maximize the efficient use of your time in relation to the decision-making process. You'll find the entire step-by-step process to be clear, focused, and easy to understand. The time involved for moving through the process from beginning to end can be as little as one day for a simple portfolio to several weeks for more complex problems involving multiple decision-makers, complex data-gathering and numerous choices. But you'll know at each step of the way where you are in the process, and how long it will take to reach the end. Plus, you'll be able to concentrate on your business during the process, and not worry about the system itself. Finally, once you have developed an initial optimized portfolio, future decisions involving the same portfolio can be re-optimized much much faster.

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What about choices involving variations or iterations of the same product or processes?

Optsee® is terrific at helping you visualize and choose from multiple iterations of the same product or process. For example, if you wanted to select the best bundle of products to market together or the best set of design features for a new product, Optsee® would let you quickly model multiple combinations of each mix so that you could select the best choices.

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