BigPicture Example Series: Investment Decisions

In the BigPicture Example Series, we’ll show you different ways you can make BigPicture work for you.  You can check out all these example files with your copy of the BigPicture software, which you can download here. Get BigPicture today and start playing with these fun and informative example models. The possibilities are limitless.

The BigPicture map below illustrates the investment decisions a company must make over multiple time periods. The purpose of such a map is to help the decision maker understand the various aspects of the problem. These include the inputs to the problem (monetary values and other inputs), 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.

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Normally, problems like this one are represented, and solved numerically, by Excel tools and possibly add-ins such as Palisade’s Evolver optimization add-in. However, a map like the one shown here is useful as a preliminary step to a formal analysis. 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 analysis unfolds in steps, and text boxes explain each step 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.



Introduction to BigPicture Maps: A Video Tutorial

BigPicture makes it easy for you to create concept and mind maps right in Excel–but if you’ve never tried this method before, creating your first map can be a little daunting.  Check out our video tutorial below for a step-by-guide on how to create and customize concept maps in Excel using BigPicture:



If you haven’t done so already, make sure to download BigPicture for free so you can start exploring all its features and capabilities.

Edit your maps easily! Outline and Topic views in BigPicture for Excel (with video)

We’ve designed BigPicture to be a versatile tool, with many ways to solve a problem or design an infographic.  Our Outline and Topic view features are just one example of BigPicture’s versatility. They help you to manage your maps and diagrams–more specifically, they enable you to view, select, and modify all the topics and connectors of your map.  It’s a more efficient way to view the information in your map and to quickly make changes throughout the map.


Check out this step-by-step video tutorial on how to use them:

More information in the Help Manual:

Try BigPicture for free so you can start exploring all its features and capabilities!

Introduction to “Live-Linked” Concept Maps: Video Tutorial

One of the best advantages of BigPicture is that its concept maps can contain topics that are ‘live-linked’ to data in your Excel spreadsheet.  This means you can perform simple or calculations in Excel and then create a map that has those calculations embedded within the topics.

This capability allows for endless applications and uses, making dry data and spreadsheets come to life with visual infographics that can be easily grasped.  To learn how to make a live-linked map, check out our step-by-step video tutorial below:

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to try BigPicture for free so you can start exploring all its features and capabilities.