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End to End Modelling

Case Study with PwC

Responsible for auditing and accounting for prestigious clients, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) uses many different techniques to provide business advice. One of those techniques is simulation.

Find out why this method of data analysis is so successful in the most complex of circumstances. And why PwC uses the AnyLogic software to provide greater accuracy when making future predictions about productivity in business.

Simulation allows the building of a digital representation of a system to see how predictions will unfold.

When a large corporation asks where they should invest their money in the future or where they can cut costs now, PwC’s use of simulation modelling helps the client make the most profitable decision.

Traditional tools for auditing, like cluster analysis, economic regression, and data processing can give answers needed for less weighty questions that pose a smaller risk. But for compound queries, Paul Edkins, a Data and Analytics Strategy Manager at PwC’s London headquarters, believes the use of simulation software is the only method that will get you there.

Building a 3D computerised replica of the processes of the system allows a preview into the future. For a business manager, the use of a simulation model to test interventions before investment or commitment to any financial decision. It understands how the system works with real data plugged into the system. Once the process is established, it can answer the immediate follow-on question: ‘What happens if a change is made?’

Simulation models are built using real company data to ensure that what is seen is right for the business

Many clients looking to discuss simulation “already know what they want to do but might be struggling to put a business case together,” says Paul. “With a simulation model, we can validate your assumptions and give you the evidence you need to go to your CEO to get funding.”

By watching a simulation model of the entire operation, bottlenecks can be observed forming over time. AnyLogic can run lots of different scenarios very quickly to test alternate outcomes. “It’s not necessarily the case you’ll be able to do that with your standard spreadsheet models,” says Paul.

The evidence presented using AnyLogic simulation software is both numeric and visual. Whilst it remains true to reality showing factual information, it’s also visual, removing the dryness of the cold, hard data.

“The combination of the technical and the visual married together creates in a Chief Transformation Officer’s mind the vision of what they want to see in the future. Showing them this visually in a simulation model is powerful.” – Paul Edkins

AnyLogic simulation software gives an end-to-end view of the processes, so they can be improved

Paul chooses to use AnyLogic simulation software because “it’s the most advanced option on the market,” he says. It allows PwC to give senior managers the level of detail you need to present a business case but, importantly, in an accessible, engaging format that anyone can appreciate.

“AnyLogic might statistically be the biggest simulation software in the world but it’s also ultimately malleable,” says Paul. “With other simulation software, you’re restricted to their environment; I have to use what’s available to me in those programmes, I can’t build my own visual. Whereas AnyLogic is flexible. I can do pretty much anything I want to do, so long as I can think of it in my brain.”