Automated Decision Trees

SmartDraw's Decision Tree Extension allows you to generate a decision tree diagram using data.

Watch the video to see how you can use the decision tree extension to create a decision tree diagram automatically from a data file.

Format Your Data

Before you can generate a decision tree, you'll want to format your data in a format that SmartDraw can interpret.

SmartDraw will be able to understand CSV, XLS, or XLSX files.

Format your data so it contains the following columns in order: "ID", "Label", "ParentID". The ID is the unique number given to each decision you want to appear in your diagram. The label will be the name that appears inside a decision box. The "ParentID" tells SmartDraw what decisions are the children of other decisions.

In the simplest terms if you wanted to diagram a decision tree of "Should I go running" with two possible outcomes "Yes" and "No", you would give the question ID 0, "yes" ID 1, and "no" ID 2. In the spreadsheet, you'll want to mark the parent of both yes and no as "0" to indicate that they're the children of the parent question.

Decision tree data

There are also optional items your decision tree can contain. These are "LineLabel", "Hyperlink", and "Description." LineLabels allow you to add text directly onto a line between decisions. A "Hyperlink" can be used to create a clickable link to supporting pages in Confluence or SharePoint for example. And lastly, the "Description" column can be used to add any detailed notes. The description won't appear in your final diagram.

Decision tree with more options

Launch the Decision Tree Extension

Once your data is in good shape, click on the Decision Tree icon in the Extension category of the SmartDraw template dialog to launch the extension.

Launch extension

Import Your Data

Browse to locate your data on your computer and click "Build Diagram". You now have a fully editable Decision Tree built from your data. Now, you can edit your diagram like you would any other SmartDraw diagram. Add, remove or move shapes around. Change labels or colors. Or change the direction that your diagram flows.

Import decision tree data