# What is Decision Matrix?

Legal Definition
A decision matrix is a list of values in rows and columns that allows an analyst to systematically identify, analyze, and rate the performance of relationships between sets of values and information. Elements of a decision matrix show decisions based on certain decision criteria. The matrix is useful for looking at large masses of decision factors and assessing each factor’s relative significance. Decision matrix is used to describe a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) problem. An MCDA problem, where there are M alternative options and each need to be assessed on N criteria, can be described by the decision matrix which has N rows and M columns, or M × N elements, as shown in the following table. Each element, such as Xij, is either a single numerical value or a single grade, representing the performance of alternative i on criterion j. For example, if alternative i is "car i", criterion j is "engine quality" assessed by five grades {Exceptional, Good, Average, Below Average, Poor}, and "Car i" is assessed to be "Good" on "engine quality", then Xij = "Good". These assessments may be replaced by scores, from 1 to 5. Sums of scores may then be compared and ranked, to show the winning proposal.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
A table of alternatives for a problem. Alternatives are on the first column. Their criteria are on the following columns. It is given a score based on their value. The scores are added to see which is best.