Frontier Analyst® Key Features
Frontier Analyst® version 4 can handle from 5 to an “unlimited” number of units (depending on the license purchased). It also allows you to specify weightings for particular variables.
- Unit and input/output variables can be individually enabled or disabled. Version 4 now allows you to hide disabled items from the data viewer for easier focus.
- Built-in data editor.
- Paste data direct from spreadsheet.
- Import from tab-delimited file, clipboard or SQL database such as SQL Server or Oracle.
- Copy tables and graphs to clipboard for including in reports.
- Copy full results data to clipboard for further analysis (new in version 3, further improved in version 4).
- Input minimization or output maximization modes.
- Variable returns or constant returns to scale modes.
- Advanced analysis options available: additive, allocative models, and super-efficiency calculation.
- Malmquist indices for seeing how units are changing over time.
- Data inversion for automatic “undesirable” handling.
- Friendly user interface acclaimed in independent reviews.
- High quality graphical displays of all the aspects of the analysis
- Licenses for from 75 to over 20,000 (see below) Decision Making Units (all capable of analyzing from as few as 5 DMUs).
- Over 32 input and output variables (there is no limit placed by the software, but the analysis may work best with fewer depending on your data).
- Input data filtering and individual unit inclusion/exclusion provide flexible input data management. Units can be filtered by value or text field (select only units in “North”). Categorical values can be used to segment the data for analysis. Filter options are stored in the project.
- Flexible import facilities from file, spreadsheet or database using a “wizard”.
- Input/output variable selection to allows quick comparison with various variables.
- Printed reports of common information, with export to Word for easy editing.
- Weighting facility to ensure that important factors are always considered.
- Tabular scores report (with a variety of sorting methods).
- Additional correlation displays.
- Report designer for report customisation*.
- Export tables and detailed data to Excel for post-analysis use.
- Publish to Web facility for distribution via intranet.
- Fully multi-processor capable to split an analysis into multiple parts, and to analyse multiple comparisons at the same time, for fastest possible operation*.
- Many other features.
* Some features are subject to the licence purchased. See the pricing page for details.
See also the What is new in version 4 page for more detail on some of these items.
Because the heart of data envelopment analysis is a “linear program”, the actual maximum data size is not easily determined. Our top capability licence has no restrictions on the number of units, but no one can actually guarantee that a certain data set will analyse when it gets too big. A lot depends on the numbers and the variable arrangement. What we can say though is that we have two large data sets we use for testing. One is 50,000 units by 27 variables, and it works fine. The other is 100,000 units by 3 variables, and it too works okay. If you have a large data set that won’t solve, please let us know and we can see what we can do.
- Frontier Analyst® software for Windows™. (Web download with install code details)
- User Manual in PDF format (you can print this in whole or in part, or use the eBook version for Kindle or other reader.)
- Web download contains electronic manual, workbook, and white papers.
Frontier Analyst runs under Microsoft Windows XP (SP3), Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 pro. It requires 15Mb of hard disk space (plus additional space for your data files). It is advisable to use 1024×768 screen or better. Software sold under licence (available for inspection prior to purchase).
Information Displays Available
- Efficiency scores table – Quick summary of relative efficiency. Easy access to further data.
- Potential improvements graph – Determine how each unit can improve.
- Reference comparison – Graphical comparison against the efficient units.
- Frontier Plot – View relative performances (two dimensions).
- X-Y plot – Compare factors for all units. Allows you to find correlations and key factors.
- Efficiency plot – Relative efficiency display of variable and units.
- Reference set frequency – Display the number of times an efficient unit appears in other units’ ‘reference sets’. This identifies the best performers.
- Reference contributions – Identifies the key comparators for inefficient units.
- Improvement summary – provides two instant summary graphs.
- Efficiency distribution – shows you visual how your units compare.
- Data export – all the values used in the displays above are available for rapid export for further analysis in other applications (if needed).
- Process diagram modeller – create a diagram showing the process that the units operate.
- Group review – compare units against a set of other units in graphical and tabular form, including cross-efficiency.
All of the graphs and tables in these displays (except the Frontier Plot) can show multiple comparisons side-by-side. You can select which comparisons to view dynamically for easy operation. This allows you to see the effect of including or excluding variables, using different analysis options, and any other comparison you wish. This sort of information is only available in Frontier Analyst® 4.