Information System and Decision Support System

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Module 9: Information systems and decision support systems
Overview
This module looks at information systems in the context of business management, and explores the key aspects of the various types of decision support systems. It begins with an introduction to the three types of management decision support systems — management information systems (MIS) (operational), decision support systems (DSS) (tactical), and executive support systems (ESS) (strategic). The functions of managers are analyzed to determine the type of information they need to perform their duties. The characteristics and functions of management information systems, decision support systems, and executive support systems are also analyzed. It is useful to know the differences between the various information systems and the different ways information systems can be used by management. The computer illustration provides hands-on experience with a simple application of a spreadsheet program in decision support.

Test your knowledge
Begin your work on this module with a set of test-your-knowledge questions designed to help you gauge the depth of study required.

Topic outline and learning objectives
9.1 Decision making and problem solving Outline and describe the stages of the problem-solving process. (Level 1)

9.2

Types and functional aspects Distinguish between operations support systems, management support of management information systems, management information systems, decision support systems, and systems executive support systems. (Level 1) Management information systems Decision support systems Describe management information systems, and explain how they work. (Level 1) Explain the purpose and general functions of decision support systems. (Level 1) Describe the characteristics of group decision support systems. (Level 1)

9.3

9.4

9.5

Group decision support systems

9.6

Computer illustration 9.6-1: Use a spreadsheet program as a decision-making tool. (Level 2) Using a spreadsheet for decision support Executive support systems Describe executive support systems, and explain how they work. (Level 1)

9.7

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Module 9: Test your knowledge
1. You have two bakeries in two locations that serve six food distributors and a fleet of five trucks that serve 50 local restaurants. You have 30 production employees, 10 front-office and clerical workers (who handle all accounting on two computers), and two outside sales representatives. Your business grosses close to $1 million per year and nets almost $100,000 before taxes. However, your sales representatives and drivers have reported declining orders in the past few months because of growing competition. You decide that you need an advantage over your competition to hold your market share, or perhaps you need to add some new dessert products. Briefly describe the design required for a DSS that could help improve the business: a. b. c. d. What kind of information do you need? In what form? From which source would you obtain the necessary information? What hardware and software tools would you consider using? Briefly describe the functions and features of such a DSS.

Source: Adapted from Nancy Stern and Robert Stern, Computing in the Information Age (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1993), pages 470-471. Solution 2. Chapter 10, Review question 3, page 434 Solution 3. Chapter 10, Review question 10, page 434 Solution 4. Chapter 10, Review question 16, page 434 Solution 5. How can management information systems be used to support the objectives of a business? Solution

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Solution 1
(Topic 9.4) a. You will need information about the current sales and production of your own...
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