This Guide describes how to use all three current releases of Oracle Crystal Ball:

Unless otherwise noted, when this Guide refers to Crystal Ball, the information applies to all three versions.

Crystal Ball is a graphically oriented forecasting and risk analysis program that takes the uncertainty out of decision-making.

Through the power of simulation, Crystal Ball becomes an effective tool in the hands of decision-makers. You can answer questions such as, "Will we stay under budget if we build this facility?" or, "What are the chances this project will finish on time?" or, "How likely are we to achieve this level of profitability?" With Crystal Ball, you will become a more confident, efficient, and accurate decision-maker.

Crystal Ball is easy to learn and easy to use. Unlike other forecasting and risk analysis programs, you do not have to learn unfamiliar formats or special modeling languages. To get started, all you have to do is create a spreadsheet. From there, this manual guides you step by step, explaining Crystal Ball terms, procedures, and results.

And you do get results from Crystal Ball. Through a technique known as Monte Carlo simulation, Crystal Ball forecasts the entire range of results possible for a given situation. It also shows you confidence levels, so you will know the likelihood of any specific event taking place.

The following sections explain more about Crystal Ball and how it works: