Are your challenging analytics goals leading to more complex decisions? As your organization and decision models grow, it might be time to upgrade the capabilities of your Solver. 

The Excel Solver that Frontline Systems developed for Microsoft offers a great baseline. You can easily tell, however, when it’s time to upgrade your basic Excel Solver to handle larger, more ambitious models with far greater speed, inside or outside Excel. 

Entry Point: Starting With Basic Excel Solver 

The basic Solver makes sense for early optimization model exploration, especially as you’re just getting started. Solver comes standard with Excel, so why not kick the tires, right? 

You can do a lot with the basic Solver, often realizing ROI for your business. Bigger organizations dealing with large numbers of decisions and constraints might consider skipping ahead, but the basic Solver is great until the limitations are reached. This is common if you’re really leveraging the technology for decision analytics.

Four Reasons to Upgrade and Scale Your Solving Abilities

In most programs, an error message is a bad thing. In this case, however, a message stating, “Too many Variable Cells” or “The problem is too large for Solver to handle,” simply means your model is ready to scale and advance. The error is triggered when your model reaches the maximum number of variables or constraints in the basic Excel Solver. From here, you must upgrade to expand the possibilities.

  1. Your Model Is Too Large

    This is a great problem to “solve” for. When the error message is triggered, it means your model is growing and beginning to yield interesting results. It’s time to scale up your model’s capacity. 

    While that pesky error message is not something you necessarily want to see, it does mean that your model has exceeded the basic level of variables and constraints. Basic Excel Solver allows for 200 variables and 100 constraints. 

    Keep in mind, simple lower and upper bounds on the variables are not factored into the total. An upgrade is in order when you want to solve larger models at incredibly faster speeds.
  2. Your Model Isn’t Optimized

    When you experience slow model solve times, and/or when you encounter solution outputs that are not true optimal values, it often means your model has outgrown the basic Excel Solver and you are ready to upgrade. 

    Moving to Analytic Solver® gives you faster solvers that decrease time to results delivered. Often more important, it gives you tools like Analyze Model and Guided Mode to understand why you aren’t getting true optimal values. The upgrade will help you build a better model that quickly returns optimized outputs.

    Tip: Read these optimization problems to see what we mean.
  3. Your Business Models Involve Uncertainty

    Like other “conventional optimization” tools, the basic Excel Solver assumes that all inputs you include in your model are known with certainty. What if they aren’t? When your model depends on key inputs like interest rates, exchange rates, commodity prices or delivery times, you need a tool like Analytic Solver that can explicitly model uncertainties when seeking the best solution. Analytic Solver goes far beyond other tools, with methods like simulation optimization, robust optimization and more. 
  4. You Require More Than Excel for Desktops

    The basic Excel Solver is limited to the desktop version of Excel. It’s great for getting started, but many organizations support their teams beyond Excel.

    With the Analytic Solver upgrade, you get a more powerful desktop version and a new cloud version that works in Windows, Macintosh and a Web browser. You also get the ability to deploy and share your model on other platforms like Teams, Power BI and Tableau, which connect team members and enable sharing in a secure, cloud-based hosting environment.

Solve More Ambitious Problems and Increase Your Decision Intelligence

Even our low-end Analytic Solver upgrade product increases your solving ability to 2,000 decision variables. That 10x increase can be expanded up to millions of decision variables and constraints with Analytic Solver Optimization and optional Solver Engines. Counts of variables and constraints are also clearly displayed in the sidebar for reference.

With more computing power and faster solving capabilities, your team can:

  • Replace emotion with objectivity in the decision-making process.
  • Explicitly model and mitigate risk.
  • Save time, money and resources by making better decisions.

The upgrade essentially brings Ph.D.-level capabilities to every analyst. The ability to make quick changes to decision models without any coding requirements enables high-powered decision intelligence.

Are you ready to upgrade and take your models to the next level? Start your free Analytic Solver trial today.

ATTENTION STUDENTS: Please get a course code from your professor to register and download Analytic Solver Basic for your course. The free trial is not what is needed for your classes. Thanks!