Entering evaluation criteria information
Click on Eval Criteria on the main menu to bring up the Evaluation Criteria form shown below.
This form allows you to add and delete evaluation criteria, name them, rank them in importance, and indicate if each criterion is "more is better" (MIB, the default) or "less is better" (LIB). MIB means that higher values for that criterion are better than lower ones (e.g., profit). LIB means that lower values are better (e.g., cost).
Adding and removing evaluation criteria
You add and remove criteria by clicking on the +EC and -EC buttons on the menu. Just keep in mind that rows are added and removed on the bottom. You'll be prompted before SquidMat removes a row, in case you forget that it's the last row that gets removed.
Prioritizing criteria/moving rows
Move rows in the Evaluation Criteria form by clicking on the row's header (first column, under the heading Priority) and dragging and dropping it at the desired location. The priority values in the leftmost column will renumber themselves automatically.
Note that moving the rows in the Evaluation Criteria form moves the corresponding columns in the decision matrix (main program view). This also wipes out the weights in the affected rows (not necessarily all rows, just those that are affected by the move). These are the only actions performed in the Evaluation Criteria form that are immediately translated to the decision matrix. Otherwise changes in the Evaluation Criteria form are not made in the decision matrix until those changes are formally sent by way of the Evaluation Criteria form's Send Values button.
You can enter data row by row. Hitting Enter will move you sideways across a row, allowing you to complete information one criterion at a time. The first cell is Short Title. Enter a title for that criterion.
Indicate how much more important this criterion is than the one after it (i.e., the row directly below it). I give you five choices from a pulldown menu. The default choice is "Equal to," which corresponds to an Importance value of 1.00.
If you don't like the five choices I give you, you can enter any value from 1.00 to 9.99 in the Override cell. A legitimate value in the Override cell causes SquidMat to disregard whatever is in the Importance cell.
Some find it useful to indicate somewhere what the unit of measure is for the values for a criterion. The Unit cell allows you to type in that information, if you desire.
Select from a pulldown menu whether for this criterion higher values are better (more is better, MIB) or worse (less is better, LIB).
Sending evaluation criteria information to the decision matrix
After you get all of the information entered, you can send it to the decision matrix by pressing the Send Values button on the menu. With the exception of swapping rows (and the wiping out of weight information that goes with those swaps), any changes you make in the information in the Evaluation Criteria form is unknown to the decision matrix unless you hit the Send Values button. So don't forget to send changes before closing this form.
In both the main program view and the Evaluation Criteria form, you can change column widths by grabbing the right border of that column and either double clicking on it or dragging it to the desired size.