Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, or MCDA, is a valuable tool that we can apply to many complex decisions. It is most applicable to solving problems that are characterized as a choice among alternatives. It has all the characteristics of a useful decision support tool: It helps us focus on what is important, is logical and consistent, and is easy to use. At its core MCDA is useful for:

  • Dividing the decision into smaller, more understandable parts

  • Analyzing each part

  • Integrating the parts to produce a meaningful solution 

When used for group decision making, MCDA helps groups talk about their decision opportunity (the problem to be solved) in a way that allows them to consider the values that each views as important. It also provides a unique ability for people to consider and talk about complex trade-offs among alternatives.In effect, It helps people think, re-think, query, adjust, decide, rethink some more, test, adjust, and finally decide.

MCDA problems are comprised of five components:

  • Goal

  • Decision maker or group of decision makers with opinions (preferences)

  • Decision alternatives

  • Evaluation criteria (interests)

  • Outcomes or consequences associated with alternative/interest combination (NSU; 2011)

How to

  • Set up an MCDA of Acetone, Xylene and Hexane

  • Identify which material alternative is rated the best


  • Start the MCDA and add Product groups to the MCDA

  • Analyse products across dimensions and interpret results

  • Save the MCDA 

Step 1

  • There are two alternatives to conduct an MCDA: The “Product comparison” and the “Table view” applications. 

  • Both are accessible through the “Makersite tools” on the dashboard

  • Both options provide a step by step explanation to the MCDA. 

  • Choose now the “Table view” app, as the further explanation is based upon it. 

Note: also from the tool panels on the Mattermaps and the Product group the table view MCDA can be started. 

  • You have now added the Acetone data set to the comparison. Add now Xylene and Hexane. 

In the table view a detailed insight in the results of the data sets is provided. This includes a direct comparison of:

  • “General information”

  • “Environmental impacts”

  • “Chemistry”

  • “Uses”

  • “DNEL values”

  • “Hazard thresholds”

  • “GHS hazard classifications”

  •  “Precautions” and “Products”

Step 2

  • The MCDA window contains the following information: 

  1. When clicking the link the Analysis name, the Functional unit and the material application can changed 

(NOTE: The material application is only of relevance for Chemical risk based analysis. More info can be found in Product compliance )

2. These tools allow to  

  • change review the data inputs and define the amounts, 

  • add or change criteria (e.g. change the analyse methods)

  • add or change perspectives used in the MCDA (perspectives represent the weighting between criteria)

3. These tools allow to:

  • Reopen the table view (see above)

  • Change into the composer view

  • Fork the data set

  • Refresh the results (in case changes have been made to models or values have been changed manually in the “input data summary”)

  • Share (publish the MCDA on product view for simplified access to the MCDA)

4. Result presentation

Ranking if the data set by perspective: 

Based on the weighting on the different criteria included in the analysis the table indicates which product has dependent on the perspective the best performance. (in this case Acetone is rated  

Rank details:  
Shows the ranking of the top 3 products in each of the criteria. This is a more detailed insight in the “Ranking per perspective”.    

Criteria weights:  
See how the criteria in the different perspective are weighted in a simple and easy interpret manner.

Utility score:  
The line chart shown the utility score of the analyzed products between different perspectives.  

Category utility score:  
As the name says it shows the utility score between for each included category for the analyzed products.

NOTE: For the utility score the products are compared in relation to each other. The higher the value the better the product. 

Input data summary:  
Showing the numerical results for each category for all included products groups. The values can be changed manually, and the results be updated. 

Save the MCDA

The MCDA is saved automatically in your mydrive.

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