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Defining Decision Support System

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1 Defining Decision Support System
The concept of a (DSS) is extremely broad and its definitions vary: It is "a computer-based system that aids the process of decision making, (Finlay, 1994) It is "an interactive, flexible, and adaptable computer-based IS - especially developed for supporting the solution of a non-structured management problem for improved decision making, (Turban, 1995) Defining DSS ….. (Contd…) “DSS couple the intellectual resources of individuals with the capabilities of the computer to improve the quality of decisions”, (Keen & Scott, 1978) DSS are "interactive computer-based systems that help decision makers utilize data and models to solve unstructured problems", (Sprague & Carlson, 1982),

2 Defining DSS ….. (Contd…)
“DSS couple the intellectual resources of individuals with the capabilities of the computer to improve the quality of decisions”, (Keen & Scott, 1978) DSS are "interactive computer-based systems that help decision makers utilize data and models to solve unstructured problems", (Sprague & Carlson, 1982),

3 Defining DSS Architectures is extremely broad too:
Sprague and Carlson (1982) identify three fundamental components of DSS (a) DBMS (b) Model-Base Management System (MBMS), and (c)     the dialog generation & management system (DGMS)

4 Power (2002), discussed building DSS in terms of 4 major components:
a) the user interface b) the database c) the model and analytical tools, and d) the DSS architecture and network.

5 Marakas (1999) proposes a generalized architecture made of five distinct parts:
(a)   the data management system, (b)    the model management system, (c)     the knowledge engine, (d)     the user interface, and (e)     the user(s).

6 But in this unit we define:
DSS as a computer program application that analyzes business data and presents it so that users can make business decisions more easily. It is an "informational application" that collects the data in the course of normal business operation).

7 Typical example a DSS might gather and present would be:
Comparative sales figures between one week and the next Projected revenue figures based on new product sales assumptions

8 Furthermore DSS is: A computer based program for solving structured and semi-structured problems A DSS consists of : Model base management system Database management system Dialog generation management system Database Model base

9 Decision Support Systems
Solving structure problems Person compared the problem with available models Person find match between model and problem Person runs the model using available data and gets solution Person plays “what if” analysis Person may use different models

10 Decision Support Systems
Solving unstructured problem Force fit the problem into one of the available models Solve problem regular way What we do is turn an unstructured problem into a structured problem What to do when we fail?

11 Decision Support Systems
Solving non structured problem There are no known methods to solve unstructured problems Turn unstructured problem into semi-structured problem Turn semi-structured into structured problem How to accomplish above steps?

12 Decision Support Systems
Problem Solving Define the problem usually as mathematical model Get relevant data Suggest a possible solution Run the model against the data Evaluate results of proposed solutions

13 Decision Support Systems
Problem Solving (...contd.) Change model parameters to see how robust your solution is Change model to see how robust your solution is

14 Decision Support Systems
What is a good model? Know how each input determines output Know how each output depends on the inputs For each output be able to work out the necessary inputs Model simplicity Model understandability by manager

15 Decision Support Systems
Model Management science has many models: Statistical Mathematical Linear programming Integer programming Linear models Non-linear models Dynamic models Transportation models

16 Decision Support Systems
Model If all else fails use simulations Waiting lines Store clerk placement Inventory control

17 Decision Support Systems
Data Transaction data Corporate data Environmental data Economic data Competitive data Marketing data Data Warehouse Integration of above data types

18 Decision Support Systems
Problem with models Lack of input data Do not understand model output Models age Managers have no confidence in model Model base lacks integration Models are difficult to make Input/Output relations complex

19 Decision Support Systems
Case example School districts needed a new bus schedule to ensure district be racially balanced A typical transportation model Consultants worked out a new bus schedule satisfying requirement District rejected the model District wanted to maintain old schedule but want to back this up scientifically

20 Decision Support Systems
Graphical functions Time series Scatter diagram Bar/Pie charts Geographic maps Organizational charts Event schedule

21 Decision Support Systems

22 Decision Support Systems
EIS/ESS presents executives with Performance data Internal data arising from communications Environmental data EIS/ESS helps executives to do their job Adapted to executives tasks and management style

23 Decision Support Systems
How things get done wrong No executive support Lack of objectives Lack of data Lack of support staff No thought about DSS future

24 Decision Support Systems
Presentations Tables Graphics DSS development GDSS anonymity DSS generator Marketing case

25 How about Executive Information Systems, (EIS)?
Def: (EIS) is a computer-based system intended to facilitate and support the information and decision making needs of senior executives by providing easy access to both internal and external information relevant to meeting the strategic goals of the organisation.

26 EIS Def.… Contd It is commonly considered as a specialized form of DSS. The emphasis of EIS in on graphical displays and easy-to-use user interfaces. EIS are enterprise-wide DSS that help top-level executives analyze, compare, and highlight trends in important variables. So that they can monitor performance and identify opportunities and problems

27 Can you see the difference between DSS and EIS?
Do you know a software package which is appropriate for decision making? What package(s) do we have here at Goldsmith that can be used as a decision making tool? How do we decide what software package to use? How do we justify our choice?

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