Capture, explore, gain understanding of ideas

Theoretical background

Gain insight into your critical thinking

Decision Explorer® is a proven tool for managing “soft” issues – the qualitative information that surrounds complex or uncertain situations. It allows you to capture in detail thoughts and ideas, to explore them, and gain new understanding and insight. The result is a fresh perspective, and time saved through increased productivity, release of creativity and a better focus. Decision Explorer® has been developed by academics at the universities of Bath and Strathclyde and now by Banxia Software, in conjunction with major organisations. This innovative tool now has hundreds of major international users.

Whether you use Decision Explorer® as a personal tool or as the focus for group discussion, the views of all involved parties can be recorded. It works with ideas, not hard numbers. None of the expertise is lost, and contradictory and opposing views are captured, explored and worked through. When dealing with complex situations it’s very easy to overlook important details, but with Decision Explorer® all issues remain visible and do not have to be repeated. When a solution is arrived at, the decision making processes behind it will be clear and traceable, and all involved should be able to identify a contribution. Generally, a feeling of ownership is gained from this process which makes it more likely that the solution will be carried out. Your maps can be about anything; from possible solutions to everyday problems, to the future strategic direction of a large organisation.

In Decision Explorer® the links between ideas add structure to the model, revealing inter-relationships and the cause and effect of different elements. Decision Explorer® helps you to analyse your model, it’s not just a presentation tool, so you can work effectively with hundreds of concepts. Decision Explorer® maps are not static pages, but dynamic views of a much larger model. You won’t reach the limits of any page size, and you can keep working with and adding to a model over time. Textual reports add further depth to the information available.

It was an extremely useful tool to use, I just cannot think of any other way in which it would have been possible actually to bring together all this different information and weld it into a single report which everybody now looks at and can recognise some of their own input.” Tony Knight, Henley Management College.

Decision Explorer® is straightforward to understand and use. Features are provided in a variety of ways so you can choose your own working method. Ideas, known as ‘concepts’, are entered directly on to the screen and linked with the mouse. Access to the analysis, reports and options, is available via both menus and the unique command line.

Maps are displayed in ‘views’, each of which can be worked on separately to explore different areas of your model. Concepts can be displayed and printed using user-defined styles in Decision Explorer®. This allows additional meaning to be conveyed using colour, font and other attributes.

The analytical tools are great discussion prompts, great to focus the team and priorities and manage the discussion. Because of the speed they operate, they can be used ‘on the hoof’, and lots of good strategy work is done like this.” Kevin Page, Aggreko Generators.

Only Decision Explorer® provides advanced map analysis. A variety of commands, which have been developed over the past ten years, provide a means to explore the model and are a prompt for thought and discussion. ‘Sets’ are another unique facility used to organise concepts for analysis. Memo cards allow you to add background information, perhaps indicating the source of an idea.

As well as a Reference Manual, a variety of guides are provided to help you learn to use Decision Explorer®. An on-line tutorial on creating maps, and a printed User Guide all provide a thorough introduction. Of course, full context-sensitive help is also available.

Decision Explorer® can help to:

  • pull ideas together cohesively
  • discover the real issues
  • manage complexity without losing richness of detail
  • build feasible, practical and acceptable solutions
  • effectively present reasoning
  • maintain the creativity and focus in group meetings

[Decision Explorer®]’s development in a business research environment has certainly lifted it above other mind-mapping programs in terms of detail, and means that the program supports and understands a much wider range of link and concept types.” PC Direct .


Strategy Development & Management
Personal mapping
Focusing creativity in meetings
Scenario building
Stakeholder analysis
Qualitative data analysis
Cognitive mapping
Build corporate memory
Identifying training requirements
Plan sales tactics
Organisational learning
Personal development planning
Tracking implementation of plans
Identify competencies
Resolve conflicts
Organisational restructuring
Capture ideas
Interview analysis
Structured brainstorming
Problem solving
Report/document structuring
System dynamics modelling
Influence diagrams
Competitor analysis

For further information about Decision Explorer® and how it can help your business, please contact Banxia Software.