Decision Theater

ASU Decision Theater technology

Powerful software tools invite decision-makers to capture a system and take action

Decision Theater software engineers collaborate with stakeholders, graphic designers, data scientists and researchers to represent scenarios, integrate data and perform powerful analytics. Because all content is built and displayed in browsers, DT’s models are accessible anywhere a high-speed internet connection is available.

Scenario-based gaming and simulations

Participants role play what-if scenarios by engaging with Decision Theater’s game and simulation-based learning techniques. This rich experience creates an environment where participants explore to understand the consequences and impacts of varying degrees of risk. The result of our simulations and gaming is deeper understanding of the underlying governing models that prepare participants to be more be effective decision-makers.


In order to connect multiple databases and models, Decision Theater uses an in-house, open source complex systems framework software platform. The platform powers multi-screen model interaction to visually follow the effects and consequences of decision alternatives as they ripple throughout an integrated system. Decision Theater constantly reduces cycle time and costs through increasingly growing capabilities and a mature technology shelf.

Data analytics

Decision Theater’s data analytics capabilities leverage staff expertise in geographical information systems and spatial optimization/modeling, social network analysis, statistical analysis, data mining, agent based modeling, machine learning, textual analysis, social media analysis, transportation systems, and more to customize solutions for a variety of innovative projects across a wide variety of topic areas.

User experience and user interaction

Decision Theater models are designed to communicate the intricacies of a problem as well as the broader landscape of consequential action. Decision Theater builds custom graphic dashboards for users to engage with databases, analytics and computations in real-time. A design team led by a UX/UI specialist works with researchers and end users to design dashboards that reflect data and research integrity in a user-friendly composition. Projects developed with Decision Theater empower non-experts to engage in research, data exploration and computational modeling. The UX/UI team questions how users will interact with software tools and the types of insights they might gain, and carries the intent and goal of the project to the eventual software product.

Rapid data visualization

Decision Theater’s Applied Research team builds rapid data visualizations for a variety of research, development, and communication purposes.These can be utilized as a final product, as a way to explore data, or as a step in the iterative process for a larger project. To build these visualizations, DT works with the expert to determine the best process to create the visualization, utilizing programs like Tableau, ArcGis, etc.. DT then creates visualizations based on direction and need from the expert. This rapid prototyping increases research accessibility and allows for immediate impact. Rapid data visualizations can take the form of interactive dashboards, exploratory data maps, timelines, or a combination of the three, among many others.

High-performance computing

The use of high-performance computing supports the integration of a wide range of computationally intensive models in various fields, including genetics, weather forecasting and climate research, among others, enabling near-real-time decision-making.