Here in the Product Development team at Decision Lens, the team is constantly running at 100 mph developing new features, fixing bugs, and making the product more useful, stable, and easy to use. We often are so focused on what’s ahead but it’s important to take a breath and look back at the accomplishments of last year. And there are many accomplishments in 2022 that we are extremely proud of!
Below are a few of the highlights for me but these represent just a fraction of the work that went on in 2022.
Qualitative Value Fields
One of the capabilities released towards the beginning of the year was an ability to add qualitative Value fields. We know that not every organization has hard metrics to drive decision making so it’s critical to be able use verbal scales or 1-5 star ratings as a proxy for evaluating projects. Decision Lens developed Category based Ratings to be able to “score” given options for a project. These scores provided a quick means for auto-scoring giving a linear extrapolation of all the options but there was also a manual scoring option developed to be able to fine tune the scoring to represent the value judgements of each category option.
The Score page was perhaps the marquee new feature developed in 2022. The Score page provides a dedicated view to assess the Value contribution to the portfolio through powerful purpose-built visualizations. Dynamic sliders allow for a sensitivity analysis of the impact of changing priorities. The Score page provides the ability to gain insight into the Value scoring contributions of each Project and have real time 1-N list updates as Project data changes.
Historically, Decision Lens was required to be very rigid in its data formatting. All numeric data was set to display to 2 decimals precision without any ability to update or change. There have been many cases whereby the data points are in the order of magnitude in the millions where having 2 decimal precision (i.e., down to the cents) is of no utility. Additionally, the constant display of 2 decimal precision leads to unnecessary visual clutter with extra data being displayed with little value. Another area customers wanted control over was designating data with symbols for currency (i.e., US Dollars/$). Having the symbolic prefix helps to easily identify currency-based data points. The implementation of Display Settings provided a new ability to customize the data display to best meet each organization’s needs.
Getting data into Decision Lens is a vital step of the application workflow. Ease of use and ensuring that the data is accurate is critical for users to trust the application. Our import capabilities are widely used to bring new data in and update existing data. However, as customers came to rely more on this feature, enhancements were requested. First was the ability to preview the data prior to import nor to select which data to import. Second, we wanted to make it easier to discern between newly created fields being vs updating existing fields to reduce incorrect data being imported.
A new capability was introduced into Import Wizard to improve data import by better understanding the data that is being brought in. A new step in the import process was added that visualizes the data from the originating Spreadsheet allowing users to more easily see and manually determine what data is bringing brought it as well as having targeted warnings where applicable to alert the user of key import issues.
These are but a few of the major upgrades we have made to Decision Lens in 2022 in addition to closing over 200 bugs and working behind the scenes to improve our architectural foundations to ensure security and stability.
We’re looking forward to another productive and successful 2023 with even greater capabilities for our customers!