Thought for the day

It is unwise to pay too much, but worse to pay too little; 

When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the things it was bought to do.  The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot.  It can’t be done. 

If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is as well to add something for the risk you run.   And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. 

There is hardly anything in the world that someone can’t make a little worse and sell a little cheaper – and people who consider price alone are this man’s lawful prey.

John Ruskin (1819-1900)

The interconnectedness of all things

I’m very glad you asked me that, Mrs Rawlinson. The term `holistic’ refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I do not concern myself with such petty things as fingerprint powder, telltale pieces of pocket fluff and inane footprints. I see the solution to each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often much more subtle and complex than we with our rough and ready understanding of the physical world might naturally suppose, Mrs Rawlinson.

Let me give you an example. If you go to an acupuncturist with toothache he sticks a needle instead into your thigh. Do you know why he does that, Mrs Rawlinson?

No, neither do I, Mrs Rawlinson, but we intend to find out. A pleasure talking to you, Mrs Rawlinson. Goodbye.

–Douglas Adams

Two minute video guide to the Risk Insights Brexit impact assessment tool

Brexit represents the biggest disruption to business in a generation, impacting all industries and sectors. Businesses must prepare and assess their exposure to Brexit. The countdown to 29 March 2019 – when the UK officially leaves the EU – has now passed 60 days.

There is still time to develop a strategy and protect your interests, however a quantified assessment of risk is an essential prerequisite. At Risk insights our Brexit Impact Assessment model is specifically built for conducting Brexit impact assessments.

Using our unique online survey, respondents complete simple scenarios estimates which are then modelled using our simple-to-use risk engine. The process can be completed by your own risk team, with support from Risk Insights experienced consultants. No technical skills are required, and answers are linked directly to business objectives and risks you define.

The outputs are equally simple to understand, and present a robust range of scenario outcomes, ready for decisions to be made.

Business leaders must take ownership and act now to assess the impact of Brexit on their business.

To learn how we can help, contact us today.

4D Analytics: Unique to Risk Insights

Risk Insights 4D Analytics™ approach has been developed to gain enough  information to make a first-pass at estimating and evaluating uncertainty, and to elicit information in a way that is comfortable for those providing the estimates e.g. not using High-Medium-Low ratings!

Explorer is revolutionary.  Explorer isn’t like other risk software.   It is the application of  uncertainty management science, advanced algorithms, powerful analytics, and scenario-based assessments.

Since Explorer makes it quick and easy to identify and structure uncertainty, it is especially useful when deciding where to focus further activity, or as a precursor to Monte Carlo simulation and deeper dive analysis.

Our Risk Interconnection Map is an unique way of presenting risk information. Compared to Probability Impact matrices which only display severity and likelihood, the interconnection map enables four dimensions to be visualized:

Risk likelihood – pessimistic and optimistic scenarios
Risk severity – worst-case and best-case
Risk interconnection – identify the connections between risks
Strength of interconnection – identify your most influential and influenced risks


Risks are represented by circles (nodes)

Risks are presented on the Connectivity map as circles and linked to other Risk nodes through connections. The colour of the circle matches the risk category (you can select a category from the top menu). The size of the circle is relative to other risks in the data set, and can be changed to illustrate key aspects of the assessment e.g. impact, influence rating.

Risks are represented as circles (nodes)
Risks are represented as circles (nodes)

On the ZOOM screen use the mouse wheel to zoom in or out of the map. On the ADD screen simply Drag-and-Drop to create a new Risk or to create new connections between risks.

Control Panel

Explorer Control Panel
This area is the control panel where you can customise how your data is visualised, including:
    • Show Risk Labels, Connection lines and Arrows.
    • Use ‘Gravity‘ to increase or reduce the pull between risks and so improve visibility for large maps.
  • Use the dropdown list to visualise the impact assessment of different assessment factors such as Impact value or Influence weighting.

The lines between nodes are the Connections

It is understood that in complex systems, risks do not exist or operate in isolation. The value of Risk Insights Explorer is the ability to see and make sense of the connections between Risks. Risks can either be the source of uncertainty e.g. Rate of climate change, or the target e.g. Availability of fresh water.

Hover over a Risk to see its most important connections.

Risk Insights Explorer – Connectivity Map

Since we have insight into the connections between risks, we then asked, is it possible to identify and respond to those risks that have the greatest influence? By determining the direction from Source to Target, and measuring the strength of the connection on a scale from 0 to 5, it is a straightforward process to establish the most influential – and influenced – risks. Calculating Influence in this way enables, for example, management to respond differently to highly influential risks, putting in place additional monitoring if necessary and targeting the impact of the Influence as well as the Risk element itself.

Menu Bar and template data sets

Explorer Menu Bar
Explorer Menu bar

Use the menu bar to Filter the data or select a new data set. If they have been set up then data can be filtered by Assessment, Category or Scenario.

Assessment usually refers to a time period such as Quarter or Year but could equally refer to a company division, function or site.

Category can either be hierarchical as found in a Risk Taxonomy or – more importantly – set up as Uncertainty Factors. Read more on our website on how this can drive significant insight for your business.

You can select a different Data set using the Data menu. The following demonstration data sets are include:

  • WEF Demo – Replicates the World Economic Forum 2018 Risk Report updated to include scenario risk assessments using exclusive Risk Insights analysis of event impacts.
  • HS2 Demo – HS2 is a new UK high-speed rail network from London to Manchester with a projected cost of £56 billion, up from the initial projection of £32.7 billion. The first phase is due to open in December 2026, but this has been called “overly ambitious”. This dataset supports the infographic here.
  • Mr Whimsy – A good friend recently came into some money and wants to invest it all in his life-long dream – Mr Whimsy’s Ice Cream Emporium! This dataset supports the infographic here.
  • Project Pipeline – Based on a case study from the risk paper: Estimation and evaluation of uncertainty: a minimalist first pass approach, this dataset is a simple illustration of the power of Risk Insights Explorer as a tool to support decision-making.

Data Visualisation quotes

The purpose of visualization is insight, not pictures.
―Ben Shneiderman

Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice.
―Stephen Few

There is a magic in graphs. The profile of a curve reveals in a flash a whole situation — the life history of an epidemic, a panic, or an era of prosperity. The curve informs the mind, awakens the imagination, convinces.
―Henry D. Hubbard

Visualizations act as a campfire around which we gather to tell stories.
―Al Shalloway

The art and practice of visualizing data is becoming ever more important in bridging the human-computer gap to mediate analytical insight in a meaningful way.
―Edd Dumbill

By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.
―David McCandless

The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.
―Carly Fiorina

Above all else show the data.
―Edward Tufte

The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see.
―John Tukey

If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.

―Jim Rohn

Mapping risk interconnectedness

When we accept that risks are interconnected it follows that we should consider interconnectivity in our risk analysis and management. When the interconnectedness of events is frequently cited as being at the root of large-scale failure, then why are risks still largely analysed and managed independently or in isolation?  While there has been progress in looking at risks from a portfolio perspective and balancing the total amount of risk, more can be done to factor dependencies and linkages in the assessment of risks and how they are addressed.

Identifying and assessing interconnectedness promotes a broader and deeper understanding of the risks to your organisation.  Risk Insights Explorer is a unique tool which can help organisations:

  • Identify relationships between risks
  • Ensure that risk connections are analyzed and addressed
  • Understand the ripple effects of decisions
  • Avoid unintended or unanticipated consequences
  • Inform risk responses and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of risk action plans
  • Encourage proactive communication and engagement.

Risks are represented as circles (nodes)