Frontline Systems’ Analytic Solver® Empowers Excel Users To Create And Deploy Analytic Models In Cloud-Based Applications
Frontline Systems has released a major new 2021 version of Analytic Solver®, its toolset for Excel for the Web, Windows and Macintosh, that makes it easier to build reusable models, and greatly simplifies the task of deploying analytic models in cloud-based applications.
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Analytic Solver works in Microsoft Excel to enable business analysts who aren’t data scientists to build and solve analytic models themselves. It is upward compatible from the Solver in Excel, which Frontline originally developed for Microsoft. Analytic Solver works with RASON, Frontline’s Azure-hosted platform, to empower users to ‘publish’ and manage analytic models as RESTful decision services, easily usable in Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, or any application that can consume JSON or OData.
Results from Analytics in Months, not Years
Analytic Solver plus RASON is a complete “decision management suite” that supports the full range of business rules, forecasting, machine learning, optimization and simulation methods, from small models to large, multi-stage analytics workflows.
Unlike other platforms, Frontline’s tools enable a company’s own analysts to get results in just months, by leveraging what they already have: business expertise and Excel skills for model creation, modern low-code/no-code tools such as Power Apps and Power Automate for model deployment, and Office 365, Dynamics 365, Common Data Service, OneDrive, and CData’s Cloud Hub tools for data management. By leveraging OData standards, RASON enables easy use of analytic model results as data – a key idea.
“We’re enabling business analysts to fully utilize their Excel skills, without having their models ‘trapped on a desktop’ or limited to use data in one workbook”, said Daniel Fylstra, Frontline’s President and CEO. “Analytic Solver and RASON users can ‘move beyond Excel’ to gain cloud-based model and data access, management and governance, without losing the advantages of Excel.”
New Ways to Build Reusable Models
New in this release, users can more easily build ‘reusable’ models, by encapsulating logic or business rules in custom functions – created using Excel’s new LAMBDA and LET functions, or the “box functions” defined in DMN 1.3, the open standard for business rules and decision tables. Such functions can be created directly in Excel, or in RASON’s high-level modeling language – and thanks to Frontline’s PSI (Polymorphic Spreadsheet Interpreter) technology, they can be used in optimization and simulation models, with best performance in all of Frontline’s advanced Solver Engines.
New Ways to Deploy Analytic Models in Cloud Apps
Excel workbook models built with Analytic Solver can be auto-translated to RASON modeling language, or they can be “used as-is” on the RASON cloud server. Among other benefits, this means that users of @RISK from Palisade Corporation can easily convert their models to Analytic Solver, where they can be run in Excel for the Web, published to RASON without coding, and managed as RESTful cloud services.
More Enhancements for Better Analytic Models
Analytic Solver users receive major functional and performance enhancements for analytic modeling every year. Besides new features in this release, enhancements in the last 12 months include:
- 15 new PSI Simulation Functions enable easy cloud use of time series simulation methods
- 9 new PSI Optimization Functions enable live sensitivity results on worksheets
- Analytic models in Excel or RASON work in Power BI, Tableau, server and desktop apps
- New Deployment Wizard enables business analysts to create RESTful services themselves
- Manage Models dialog enables monitoring of deployed cloud services from within Excel
- Multi-stage “data science flows” in Analytic Solver are deployed as RASON decision flows