RECAL versions: demo, free and paid

Which RECAL version is right for you?

We'd like to take your money. But why not sample RECAL first?

Using the demo version you can look at core functionality just using your web browser, with no requirements or commtment from you – not even a registration.

Using the free version you can can go further – testing and storing your own data. See what others think. Try it for a while. No nag screens, no spam.

Of course there is a paid version, and this page sets out simply what is (and isn't) available using a set of tables, with ticks and dashes. Do feed back to us!

Finally RECAL: business benefits gives a relatively high level description of the most important reasons to use RECAL.

How we cover the three versions

We cover the three versions in four tables:

  • Business benefits: Most of these business benefits were covered in RECAL: business benefits. There's a little more explanation here.
  • Technical features: Some "clever stuff". But we explain why it makes sense to use the feature – it's the risk management that matters.
  • Hybrid features: In reality all RECAL features were written with risk management rather than software in mind. The "hybrid" area reflects that point.
  • Requirements to use: Is there such a thing as a free lunch? The demo version has no requirements and the free version requirements are very limited.

Specifically the coverage of features looks like this:

FeatureDemo versionFree versionPaid version
Feature 1 brief explanation
Feature 2 brief explanation
Feature 3 brief explanation

Feature 2: additional points

We may explain a feature, especially its commercial and risk management applicability, or how it can make your analysis easier and faster.

Enough background. Let's get our hands dirty.

Business benefits by version

Business benefitDemo versionFree versionPaid version
Risk management insights e.g. accessible information via the risk-control matrix
Focus your attention on the task in hand audience-based modes of working
Share expertise and experience within your organisation
Share expertise and experience outside your organisation
Bundled items to get you on the fast track – part 1: enhanced risk classification system
Bundled items to get you on the fast track – part 2: 60 intelligent controls
Material methodology improvements: beyond probability-impact risk assessment
Free health checks: advanced and automated monitoring tools keep risk information tuned

Most of these business benefits were covered in RECAL: business benefits. The "free health checks" weren't so we briefly cover how these help you stay in control.

Free health checks: a short summary

These are part of RECAL's advanced mode. The following checks (warnings and errors) are automatically produced in three areas:

  1. Scoring errors and warnings: Errors relating to assessment of gross risk, warnings relating to assessment of (a) net risk, (b) generic controls and (c) controls
  2. Date warnings: Generic controls or detailed controls past target review date, events or actions past target date
  3. Synchronisation errors: Events, controls or actions with with no corresponding risk

It's good to be in control, and to be seen to be so.

Hybrid features by version

Technical featureDemo versionFree versionPaid version
Save your changes permanently i.e. between web sessions
Find things fast e.g. sort (and rank) columns, filter columns, freeze first column – see note 1
Change things fast including the ability to create, update and delete – see note 2
Save your changes permanently i.e. between web sessions
Robust data storage via a single central database, not lots of spreadsheets – see note 3 below
Security within your organisation via passwords and control – see note 4 below
Security outside your organisation via passwords and control – see note 5 below

Note 1: Find things fast

No one likes using a tool with inferior features to something more familiar. So RECAL includes features enabling sorting and filtering with minimal clicking:

  • Sorting: Clicking the top of a column sorts that column
  • Reverse sorting: Clicking again sorts that column in reverse order
  • Filtering single column – simple: Typing "Smith" at the top of a text column does what you'd expect. So does typing 4 at the top of a numeric column.
  • Filtering single column – complex: For a numeric column of whole numbers typing >=4 and <6 will return any scores of 4 or 5.
  • Filtering multiple columns: Easily find operational risks with a probability of occurrence of more than 5%, for example.
  • Global search: Want to find all references to a committee, no matter what column the text is in? Just type "committee" into the global search box.
  • Clearing: After all that sorting, filtering and searching you can clear all the criteria with a single click.

RECAL's simple table structure means this goes beyond risks; others can create, update, delete or simply view risks. But also events, actions and controls. People outside the risk team can run their own reports, pushing power to the front line. The result should be that people get more inquisitive and even creative.

And it's not just about today. RECAL's audit mode can:

  • Wind the clock back to any point in the past, reproducing any past data and results.
  • Compare snapshots i.e. look at the changes between any two dates.
  • Produce a full audit trail i.e. look at all movements between any two dates.

RECAL's advanced mode has time functionality which can track variables over time. How about this?

Naturally user-defined variables such as "risk score = probability * impact" can also be tracked – as can all other variables.

Note 2: Change things fast

Click on the "add record" icon at the top of the table. Or the edit (pen) icon at the end of a row. Or the delete (dustbin) icon also at the end of a row.

The above screenshot also shows a simple filter in operation; we're looking at all risks with a risk score of more than 15.

But there's more. Practical sharing of Excel-based risk registers is often simply through email, with consequent issues of updating and version control. Web-based tools such as RECAL solve this problem, avoiding the monthly collation of changes in multiple spreadsheets and giving "one version of the truth" at any one time. Say goodbye to problems of version control, overwriting cells, running / crashing Excel macros and more.

Note 3: Robust database storage

Bundling together presentation, data and business logic is not robust; data and rules especially can easily get "out of sync" and have to be put back together carefully. Instead RECAL uses a multi-tier architecture – three layers: [1] data storage, [2] business logic and [3] front-end presentation.

This structure has additional benefits which can be exploited through RECAL's audit mode. RECAL can:

  • Wind the clock back to any point in the past, reproducing any past data and results.
  • Compare snapshots i.e. look at the changes between any two dates.
  • Produce a full audit trail i.e. look at all movements between any two dates.

Note 4: Internal security

To view items in your free or paid database requires a person to have an appropriate username (email address) and password. Additionally (paid version only):

  • Restrictions on what someone can do. The central admin function can limit a user to particular modes e.g. view and update, but not admin mode.
  • Restrictions on what someone can see. The central admin function can optionally limit a user view to "his own" risk owner.

Note 5: External security

This works as per internal security, but please note that the ability to share externally is limited to the paid version.

Technical features by version

Technical featureDemo versionFree versionPaid version
Create user-defined variables beyond (e.g.) risk score, which is bundled
Use global variables e.g. counts of risks, events, controls and actions
Set content and appearance of reports permanently, using admin mode
Hide / show columns in a report temporarily by "right clicking" and choosing columns

Since RECAL: business benefits did not cover this material we briefly explain the above, noting that this is about risk management, not software.

Create user-defined variables

These are variables which are not stored in the database but instead are created on-the-fly, using other variables. Three such variables are supplied in the demo and free versions, namely GrossScore, NetScore and TargetScore. These multiply the corresponding probability and impact variables to produce a risk score, for example NetScore = NetProb * NetImp. The paid version of RECAL allows you to edit the definitions and add new user-defined variables.

As an example, in June 2010 the UK Charity Commission changed its risk management guidance to suggest that high impact (I) but low likelihood (P) should have a greater risk score than low impact but high likelihood, rather than using a common risk score of P*I. Their suggestion was that the risk score could be redefined from P*I to (P+1)*I. Although we are not in favour of these probability-impact risk assessments, this can be achieved using RECAL's user-defined variables.

Use global variables

It is quite common for a presentation of a list of risks to include a list of controls against each risk. This may make the presentation of lists longer. A list of controls presented in this way is rarely read and indeed can be almost unmanageable. The RECAL approach is very different:

  • Simpler presentation: Rather than a list of controls we present a count of controls and, separately, of actions and events.
  • Simple analysis: Controls have a separate table and can be analysed. Risks and controls can be analysed together in a risk-control matrix.

Set content and appearance of reports permanently

Let's take an example. RECAL's Risks table comes with a number of description fields. As well as (or instead of) an overall risk description you can opt to include more granular information: the cause, effect and outcome relating to a risk and, additionally, an associated metric and trigger level. All of this fields can be included or omitted from risk listings and also from the process by which people add or update risks. This is controlled centrally by you, using RECAL's Admin mode.

Hide / show columns in a report temporarily

Sometimes you want to experiment. Or perhaps just focus on something for 15 minutes rather than permanently. All versions of RECAL provide the facility to show/hide columns in an output listing by "right clicking" the table header and choosing columns.

Requirements to use by version

Requirement to use versionDemo versionFree versionPaid version
Registration using your email address and password
Our manual confirmation of your registration we email you back
6-monthly feedback complete short web-based questionnaire
Payment up front and annual maintenance

We are confident you will gain great benefit from the paid RECAL product. To show this we make many of its features freely available.

There are no requirements whatsoever to use the demo version. The requirements for the free version simply give us the information to help manage. They identify you (for example) if we need to intervene on your behalf. We will not spam you.

© 2014-2017: 4A Risk Management; a trading name of Transformaction Development Limited