In a previous blog post, Business At Microsecond Speeds – How Fast Can You Go?, I wrote about how businesses can make faster and more profitable decisions by using business analytics in the same way that stock traders maximize their advantages using high-frequency trading algorithms.

Therefore, I was fascinated to read in a recent Wired article called Algorithms Take Control of Wall Street about how one of the first high-frequency stock trading algorithms was developed because the algorithms and approach were so similar to the technology we use in our project portfolio management software, Optsee®:

“He then tried to determine the proper weighting of each characteristic, using a publicly available program from UC Berkeley called the differential evolution optimizer. Bradley started with random weightings—perhaps earnings growth would be given twice the weight of revenue growth, for example. Then the program looked at the best-performing stocks at a given point in time. It then picked 10 of those stocks at random and looked at historical data to see how well the weights predicted their actual performance. Next the computer would go back and do the same thing all over again—with a slightly different starting date or a different starting group of stocks. For each weighting, the test would be run thousands of times to get a thorough sense of how those stocks performed. Then the weighting would be changed and the whole process would run all over again. Eventually, Bradley’s team collected performance data for thousands of weightings.

Once this process was complete, Bradley collected the 10 best-performing weightings and ran them once again through the differential evolution optimizer. The optimizer then mated those weightings—combining them to create 100 or so offspring weightings. Those weightings were tested, and the 10 best were mated again to produce another 100 third-generation offspring. (The program also introduced occasional mutations and randomness, on the off chance that one of them might produce an accidental genius.) After dozens of generations, Bradley’s team discovered ideal weightings.”

By some estimates, these types of systems are responsible for as much as 70% of total trade volume and they’re used because they can find trading advantages from massive amounts of information that human beings can’t.

You can use these same kind of analytics to maximize the value and control the risks of your project portfolios when you use Optsee®. Optsee® lets you prioritize your project portfolios by testing them in thousands of models with just a few mouse clicks, and then you pick the best set by using a specially designed genetic or “evolutionary” optimizer, just like Bradley used.

And it is all easy to do in a single application that you can have on your desktop today. Just click here to sign-up for your 14-day free trial of Optsee®.

If you were turned-off by a PPM software product that was too complex or didn’t give you an understandable result, then I’d encourage you click here to take a look at Optsee®, our project portfolio management tool. We have solved the problem of project selection by making it easy for ordinary business people to apply state-of-the art business analytics to project prioritization and portfolio optimization for results that are both understandable and defensible.