Working with Visualization and Systems Thinking Tools

Posted on

Mohammad Mojtahedzadeh, Rod MacDonald
Attune Group, Inc
Albany, NY

TITLE: Working with Visualization and Systems Thinking Tools in Spreadsheet for Better Results

LOCATION: Redfish Conference Room, 624 Agua Fria Street, Santa Fe NM
TIME: Friday, December 14, 12:30p

Lunch will be available for purchase for $5.

ABSTRACT: The use of spreadsheets to organize and manipulate data is ubiquitous in business, government and nonprofits. However, tracing explicit and implicit assumptions, communicating the logic, and auditing spreadsheets remain a daunting task. Exposé is an add-on to Microsoft Excel that brings visualization and systems thinking capabilities to the spreadsheet. It allows users to more efficiently audit, analyze, understand, and communicate their spreadsheet models. In this presentation, through simple examples, we will demonstrate how systems thinking techniques can be used to better understand spreadsheets models.

The systems thinking modeling capabilities in Exposé helps organize and structure the data and carefully chose the most relevant metrics and key trends in data dashboards and reports. Managers examine repots every day to keep informed about the performance of their organization. The key to successful design of data dashboards and reports is to pick the “right” metrics to monitor the most appropriate trends.

About Exposé 2.0:
Exposé 2.0 visualizes the interrelationships among the cells and variables in a spreadsheet model and organizes them in tree and causal loop diagrams. The sliders enable the user to quickly perform “what if” analysis, create comparative charts and trace the assumptions and the structure that generate the output. Exposé allows the user to build models in the graphical environment with the equations translated into the spreadsheet instantaneously.

About the Presenters:
Mohammad Mojtahedzadeh, Ph.D., has focused his work in the area of process design and improvement and understanding the dynamics of nonlinear feedback systems. Mohammad is the managing director of the Attune Group, Inc, a firm that provides management consulting, tools and techniques for collaborative strategy development. He also collaborates with the System Dynamics Group at the University at Albany. Mohammad has served as a consultant to private companies, nonprofit organizations and public agencies in North America. He has also been an Assistant Professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Yazd, in Iran, where he taught system dynamics and quantitative analysis for decision-making. Mohammad holds a Ph.D. from the University at Albany specializing in system dynamics as well as a B.Sc. in Mathematics and a M.A. in Economics, both from the University of Tehran, in Iran.

Rod MacDonald, Ph.D., focuses on policy formulation and development for government and non-profit organization. He is the director of the Initiative for System Dynamics in the Public Sector located at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany. He earned his Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany where his graduate studies focused on the development of computer simulation models as decision support tools. Rod has used the tools and techniques of system dynamics computer simulation modeling to analyze deposit insurance issues in the banking industry and to address problems in the delivery of mental health services, fleet maintenance, Social Security disability programs, supply chain management, DWI recidivism, traffic safety, the criminal justice system and the management of large scale construction projects.