Decision Support Systems: Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. PLANselect Benefits Decision-Support Tool Frequently Asked Questions
  2. 1.1 A brief history of Decision Support Systems
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This is perhaps a further justification of the need for an advanced database system since the Internet is the most comprehensive network of thousands of interconnected databases and web pages. The Data Warehouse. DB generally provides current information about the organization relating to the underlying transactional processes, but it fails to provide historical, contend rich information that are often more important to the decision making process than stand alone islands of information. The data warehouse fills this gap by capturing operational data and presenting it in a more meaningful format, using a relational database, and ultimately complimenting the functions of the DB used in the DSS.

Thus the data warehouse and the DB coexists to provide synergistic outcomes which supports information requirement of the DSS superimposed on the systems platform. Information uses and requirements differ at each managerial level.

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Top management commonly use information to make decisions about long term planning and thus analyze long term trend information to make their decisions Gore et al, At lower management levels, information emphasis is internally generated and relies on short-term goals. However, reports and analyses generated by lower management teams are often used in decision-making efforts of top management, and it is thus crucial that the DSS supports the lower management just as much as it lends itself to top management. In short, the information needs for different levels of management are directed towards supervisory functions for lower management, tactical decision making for middle management and strategic decision making for top management.

See appendix 1 for a more elaborate outline of information requirements of managers. Moreover, because the DSS are employed to improve management control, it should address the primary tasks of management control. These are:. Allocating resources to specific activities. Preparing budgets covering both the expenditure of resources and the expected achievement goals and objectives. Observation of results achieved in return for resources used.

Evaluation of these results.

Modification of activities and resource allocation in accordance with the evaluation of results. Intangible payoffs of Decision Support Systems.

PLANselect Benefits Decision-Support Tool Frequently Asked Questions

Amongst the many benefits of using a Decision Support Systems, some of the intangible advantages include:. Improved internal control. Better management awareness of internal strength and weaknesses and external threats and opportunities. Enhances long term profitability by improving quality of decision making.

Faster response to changes in the business environment. Recorded experience becomes information once it is used in the managerial decision making process 7 and it is part of a bigger sub-category of MIS called knowledge management.

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Keeping these benefits in mind, it is not surprising that Decision Support Systems has enjoyed widespread recognition and support over the last decade and are increasingly being used in companies to enhance their strategic competitiveness within various industries. The DSS design and development process involves input from every aspect of the business process that is going to be affected within the firm.

3 Examples of DSS

Business executives and managers should familiarize themselves with DSS so that they can more accurately communicate their needs and requirements, making it easier for the formulation of deliverables, outline of capabilities, outcomes, needs, and what decisions should be supported by the proposed DSS. First and foremost, the organization wishing to deploy a DSS needs to clearly outline its strategic focus within the industry, with relevant emphasis on future objectives and the direction in which the firm is moving.

1.1 A brief history of Decision Support Systems

This will in turn provide the basis for information requirements and scalability of the DSS and will give a framework for the project team charged with designing and implementing the system. Creating an evaluation team. Using a multi-disciplinary team approach with individuals from database, networking, communications, accounting, etc. This team will perform an initial analysis that will provide the blueprint for the rest of the project. Team formation forming, norming, storming and performing and group dynamics are key aspects, which ensures optimal performance of the team as a whole.

Consequently, the following issues should be considered during this important phase of the project:. Defining requirements. The more the team know about DSS categories, the better they will be able to fine-tune the specifications of the system and select the appropriate type of the Decision Support Systems. A multi-disciplinary team approach is necessary with feedback from all relevant stakeholders who are involved in the implementation of the DSS.

Team members should be made responsible to communicate with other members of the organization who will be affected by the selected DSS and they should try to express all the relevant needs from different players in the firm. Costs involved? Negotiating with vendors.

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Keywords Geographic Information Systems. Recommended articles Citing articles 0. Published by Elsevier B. About ScienceDirect Remote access Shopping cart Advertise Contact and support Terms and conditions Privacy policy We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. It seems worthwhile, then, to consider how a Decision Service compares. Dan had 11 items that characterize these systems, so here goes with some notes on each when it comes to decision services:. Technorati Tags: business rules , Decision Automation , decision management , decision service , DSS , knowledge management , decision support system.

Can AI be successfully managed to help drive sustainability while not veering into the danger zone? Will you be there? Authors News Events Contact. Topics Please select the blog topics that you are interested in select all : All topics. Customer Development. Decision Management. Scoring Solutions. Invalid email address. He says: "In general, a knowledge-driven DSS suggests or recommends actions to targeted users. Dan had 11 items that characterize these systems, so here goes with some notes on each when it comes to decision services: Asks questions While a decision service might have an interactive dialog, often the information is "pushed" into the service rather than built with questions.

This is a reflection of the forward-chaining approach to rules-based decisions and contrasts with the backward-chaining approach of expert systems Backtrack capability This is not typically a feature of a decision service and deliberately so. By and large the rules that should be followed are defined and there is little need to go back and forward in this way.

Indeed, as most decision services are trying to make a decision absent human interaction, this is largely moot anyway.