BigPicture Example Series: Using BigPicture for oil drilling decisions

BigPicture is a useful visual tool in illustrating drilling decisions if you are an oil company.  The purpose of this map is to help the decision maker understand the various aspects of a problem.

These include the inputs to the problem (monetary values and probability distributions), the decisions involved, any uncertainties, and important outputs. Each of these is represented by a topic (an object of some color and shape), and the topics are connected logically by arrows to show what affects what.

Normally, problems like this one are represented, and solved numerically, by decision trees, which can be created with the Palisade PrecisionTree add-in. However, a map like the one shown here is useful as a preliminary step to a formal decision tree. It lets decision makers see the important issues in the decision problem and how they are related.

By studying the map (and using the Topic Key at the top left), the elements of the problem should be fairly clear. However, if this isn’t enough, you can Play the slide show that accompanies the map. This shows how the decision process unfolds through time, and text boxes to the left of the map explain each slide in some detail.

Once you create the basic map with BigPicture’s tools, you can then use Excel’s Shape tools to reshape or recolor topics or connectors. For example, the Yes/No connectors in this map have been coloured dark red.

Screenshot 2015-08-19 11.33.08


For more information on BigPicture, or to download a copy visit our website.

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