Risk software

There are several categories of risk software. They are itemised below together with some examples which The Risk Agenda have used. In exploring risk software you will see some flashy websites.

However there are many more in each category so use your search engine. It is often difficult to understand exactly what each one does, especially as many products present themselves as doing everything risky. The example products demonstrate this beautifully. Download the trial versions and read the tin carefully.

Risk Databases

List risks, their owners, treatments (and their owers) and so on. Produce reports on these factors. Best working in a web-enabled fashion so that large organisations can collect and analyse their risks. Three examples are Active Risk Manager from Sword Active Risk, Predict! Risk Controller from Risk Decisions Limited, Xactium Risk Management and Enterprise Risk Manager from riskHive Limited.

Monte Carlo Toolkits

Typically work in a spreadsheet or project planning environment which is used to construct the inputs and outputs of a risk model. The toolkit provides input functions and output presentations to demonstrate and understand the results. Examples are @RISK from Palisade Inc, Predict! Risk Analyser from Risk Decisions Limited or Arrisca Enterprise Analytics from riskHive Limited. However the one I use is RiskAMP from Structured Data LLC; it’s nice and simple (and cheap) and meets my needs perfectly. Alternatively you can use our own tool Natural Monte Carlo which you can download from our software page, though it is rather outdated now. For software which goes ‘beyond the spreadsheet’ and uses influence diagrams to construct models have a look at Analytica from Lumina Decision Systems Inc.

Integrated Project Risk Tools

Combines the functions of a planning tool, risk register and Monte Carlo toolkit for a project environment. The idea is to get you up and running quickly from a high level idea of what the project might comprise. Template risk registers might be provided which have to be used with care. The industry standard tool is Primavera Risk Analysis, which is horrible but links well with the standard Primavera project planning software. Another example is RiskyProject from Intaver Institute. You might also like to look at Acumen from Deltek which incorporates the famous Fuse project metrics as well as risk analysis.

Fault and Event Tree Tools

These provide graphical tools to develop the trees and calculational methods to estimate the risk. An example is FaultTree+ from Isograph Ltd.

Bayesian Networks

These are more sophisticated analysis tools which calculate coherent sets of probabilities for a set of interelated events. They enable sensitivity studies to be carried out and the effect of new evidence to be investigated. Their starting point is simple influence diagrams: a very useful concept for framing any problem. Two examples are Hugin from Hugin Expert A/S and AgenaRisk from Agena Limited. Interestingly both these companies seem to expanded dramatically since the initial listing here, for example into anti-fraud applications, indicating the power of Bayesian networks.

Decision Trees

A similar concept to the Bayesian network tools, but focussed on the concept of the decision trees which often result from problem framing and influence diagrams. An example is DPL from Syncopation Software.

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