Palo Alto, Calif., April 1 – The Reliable Analyst Group has unveiled a new system designed to model the software industry. Designed for use by software development managers and investors, the new system, dubbed the “Mystic Sextant,” is said to offer uniform standards for accurately assessing disparate technology vendors.

The heart of the Mystic Sextant is a six-dimensional hypersphere that graphs key performance indicators for technology companies using a variety of metrics, explained Buffy DeJour, principal analyst for RAG, who is also associate professor of n-space mathematics at CalTech and part-time Santa Monica lifeguard.

“The log-log axes on each of the six dimensions makes it super-duper-easy for buyers and investors to compare each of the technology offerings in a specific market segment,” she said. “Anyone can use the model, as long as you can visualize and mentally transform a Euclidean space in which 6-polytopes and 5-spheres are constructed. Like, who can’t do that? Totally!”

Long-range perspective, operational efficiency and commitment to purchasing RAG’s comprehensive consulting services are three of the Mystic Sextant axes, said DeJour. The others are the depth of the company’s net cash balance, percentage of budget devoted to research and development, and percentage of annual budget used to hire RAG analysts to author white papers and host Webcasts, she explained.

The Mystic Sextant system is both transparent and facilitates comparisons of competing technology and vendors, said J. Marcus Wellington-Smythe IV, senior design pattern expert at the Institute for Software Behavioral Studies, who helped formally prove the theoretical mathematical underpinnings of the model. “It’s foolproof!” he said.

When asked about the metrics based on a technology company’s commitment to buying RAG services, DeJour said, “The ‘RAG Spend’ axes are key to understanding the Mystic Sextant 5-sphere, which you might also know as a hypersphere in six dimensions. Quantifying how much a company is willing to spend with RAG demonstrates management’s long-range vision and their ability to execute on that vision. As if they could execute vision without our help. Like, seriously.”

DeJour is writing a book explaining the industry modeling system, “Mystic Sextants and Six-Dimensional Hyperspheres for Dummies.”

The biggest challenge facing RAG, said Wellington-Smythe, is finding the appropriate technology for disseminating the Mystic Sextant results to clients. “It’s not easy to accurately reproduce a 5-sphere in a PDF,” he sighed, “and current browser-based AJAX controls are sadly lacking.” The analyst firm hopes to have the problem solved shortly, said DeJour. “Totally!”