On this page... 

  • How to get the Silico software
  • Notable differences between the current version of SILICO and that used when recording our classes.

How to get the Silico software

There are many software applications for building Dynamic Business Models. You can build time-based models in any field with these tools - healthcare, environment, economics, transport, education and so on. (Technically, they all enable you to build models with the principles of the 'system dynamics' method). But SILICO has been specifically built to support the modelling approach in this course:

  • ... it is very easy to use
  • ... it allows you to show real-world data alongside the model's data 
  • ... it shows time-charts on everything that moves, so you can see how and why every item is changing
  • .. it shows the causal relationships driving every item
  • ... you can share models instantly with a simple link

So you will need to get a Silico account. There is a free 'Community' option that allows you one private project and unlimited public projects, simply sign up for a free account on https://silicoai.com

Notable differences between the current version of SILICO and that used when recording our classes.

This should not be a problem, but note that the SILICO browser-application is constantly evolving, so the models you get in our lessons may differ slightly from the images and videos in these classes. And there may be small differences in the steps you take with the software. At the current time, the main differences are as follows.

The main modelling screen. When you start a new project or open an existing project, the main modelling screen opens. This screen layout changed with the latest version of SILICO ...

Old modelling screen ...

New modelling screen ...

Other changes that follow compare how things look in the lessons with how they look in the latest software.

The "Inspector" panel to edit objects. When you click an object, a panel opens to change its settings or values. Previously, this panel "floated" near the chosen object. Now, the panel opens at the right of the screen.

In our lessons ...

In the latest software

Real-world-values display.  Many of our models show simulated results compared with a "sketched" time-series - usually real-world actual values and future targets. These values are 'sketched' into their own time-series for an object.

Old base-case display ...

New base-case display...

"Sketched" time-series now named "Actual" Those real-world values for an object can be entered by sketching a time-chart with the mouse, entering values directly in the object's data-column or pasting values from other sources. This was named the Sketched time-series, but is now named Actual to indicate its purpose.

You can now define 'Actuals' with a Formula - including looking up values from a data-table.

  • Click the Actuals tab at top of the item's settings panel
  • Toggle the 'Define using Formula' button
  • Use the usual Formula syntax to get time-series out of a data-table ... "data table name"->"column X". This Formula then replaces any hand-sketched values. 

In this image, we have actual and forecast data on hiring and promotion. We want the in-flow trainees hired/quarter to take the data on actual/planned hiring from that table. With no Formula in the SIMULATED series, this input-data will determine the item's values. This leaves you free to use a different Formula for the SIMULATED series to compare with ACTUAL data.

Actual (sketched) time-series can now be calculated You can still sketch or enter values into the Actual time-series, but can also calculate the Actual series with a Formula. You can toggle between the Sketched series and this Formula. The Formula can pull values from a Data-table.

New zoom-able time-bar The time-bar at bottom of the screen can be "zoomed" to focus on a shorter time-range within the overall time-scale of the model - great for checking exactly what is happening over short periods.

New  Scenarios You can now set up Scenarios, in which values or Formulae for any object or objects can be varied from the base-case, and model-results compared with different colours.

Discontinued: Decision-setting and comparison-runs This feature of the software is no longer available, but the new time-bar and Scenarios offer many benefits.