Discuss the Different Categories of Decision Support Systems Giving Practical Examples.

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DSS are interactive computer-based systems, which help decision makers utilize data and models to solve

unstructured problems (Scott Morton, 1971). A Decision Support System (DSS) is an umbrella term used

to describe any computer application that enhances the user’s ability to make decisions. More specifically,

the term is usually used to describe a computer-based system designed to help decision-makers use data,

knowledge and communications technology to identify problems and make decisions to solve those

problems.

Since the definition of Decision Support Systems can be stretched to include almost any application that

processes data there is some confusion as to exactly what constitutes a DSS. In an effort to clarify the

term, DS systems can be separated into seven broad categories, each aiding decision making by different

methods.

As with the definition, there is no universally accepted taxonomy of DSS either. Different authors

proposed different classifications which are:

i. Relationship with user Criterion

ii. Using scope as criterion

iii. Using mode of Assistance as criterion

Using mode of assistance

One classification for DSS has been suggested by Daniel Power in which he used the mode

of assistance as the criteria. Power believes DSS is categorized into Communications Driven

DSS, Data-Driven DSS, Document-Driven DSS, Knowledge-Driven DSS, Model-Driven DSS,

Spreadsheet-based DSS,

Communications Driven DSS
A C-D DSS is a type of DSS that enhances decision-making by enabling communication and sharing of information between groups of people. At its most basic level a C-D DSS could be a simple threaded e-mail. At its most complex it could be a web-conferencing application or interactive video. Communication-Driven DSS will exhibit at least one of the following characteristics: Supports coordination and collaboration between two or more people; Facilitates information sharing;

Enables communication between groups of people;
Supports group decisions.

Examples include intergrated tools like NetMeeting or Groove

Data-Driven DSS

Also called Data-Oriented DSS it emphasizes access to and manipulation of a time series of internal company data and sometimes external data. Data-driven DSS are a form of support system that focuses on the provision of internal (and sometimes external) data to aid decision making. Most often this will come in the form of a data warehouse – a database designed to store data in such a way as to allow for its querying and analysis by users. Another example of a data-driven DSS would be a Geographic Information System (GIS), which can be used to visually represent geographically dependant data using maps.

Document-Driven DSS

Document-driven DSS are support systems designed to convert documents into valuable

business data. While data-driven DSS rely on data that is already in a standardized format that

lends itself to database storage and analysis, document-driven DSS makes use of data that cannot

easily be standardized and stored. Documents can take many forms but can be broken down into

three categories: Oral, written and video. Examples of oral documents are conversations that

are transcribed. Written documents can be written reports, catalos, and letters from customers,

memos and even email. None of these formats lend themselves easily to standardized database

storage and analysis, so managers require DSS tools to convert them into data that can be

valuable in the decision making process. Examples of document-driven tools are Lexis-Nexis,

InfoSys, UNDERCOVER and Web Search engines such as WebCrawler, Alta Vista and Lycos.

Knowledge-Driven DSS

Can request or recommend actions to managers. These are Person-computer systems with

specialized problem solving expertise. Knowledge-driven DSS are systems designed to

recommend actions to users. Typically, knowledge-driven systems are designed to...
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