Getting to First Base with DPL Direct

All versions of DPL 8 include DPL Direct, an easy-to-use yet robust decision modeling environment built as an add-in utilizing Excel’s ribbon interface. The DPL Direct version offers the Excel add-in environment only, while the DPL Professional, Enterprise, and Portfolio versions offer users a choice between building DPL models within Direct (i.e., Excel) or the standalone environment.

The latest DPL maintenance release (8.00.08) includes an important enhancement to DPL Direct – the addition of two buttons within a new Help section on the DPL tab. The buttons will launch resources that will help guide those new to DPL Direct efficiently to first base. We have always shipped licenses with example files and documentation for DPL Direct, but with the latest release those resources have been augmented and are now conveniently accessible via the DPL ribbon tab:

DPL Direct - New HelpButtons

The Quick Start Guide button opens the DPL 8 Direct Quick Start Guide. This helpful PDF is designed to get users started with DPL Direct in as short of time as possible by providing simple step-by-step instructions for building and analyzing a DPL model from a simple cash flow spreadsheet. The example spreadsheet used in the guide is installed with your license and can be accessed via the other new button…

The Examples button. This button will open DPL_Direct_Examples_List.xlsx, a spreadsheet that contains a clickable list of example files along with descriptions of the key features and skills covered in each. The new Lemonade Stand example is at the top of the list and is a perfect place for newbies to get started. Each of the cumulative Lemonade Stand examples files provide step-by-step modeling instruction and explanations of features and outputs right within the spreadsheet. To give you a visual, here is the sheet within the Lemonade_Stand_Output.xlsx file that contains a Risk Profile output:

Risk Profile Output in New DPL Direct ExampleFile

The Broadsword_Quickstart.xlsx file is the example you should launch when going through the DPL 8 Direct Quick Start Guide tutorials. And, as a last note, each example has a fully built version (appended with “_done”) so you can verify the end results of your modeling.

So if you’ve yet to take a swing with DPL Direct or tried but didn’t get far, we urge you to fire up Excel, click the new buttons on the DPL Tab, and let us help you “hit a homerun” with your next DPL Direct model (or at least a solid base hit)!