Information Systems Analysis
Topic: Decision Support Systems
Uma V Devi
Role of Decision Support System for DecisionMaking Process in Global Business Environment Decision Support System: A Decision Support System is an integrated set of computer tools allowing a decision maker to interact directly with computer to retrieve information useful in making semi structured and unstructured decisions. Example of this decisions include such things as merger and acquisition decisions, plant expansion, new product decisions portfolio management and marketing decisions. Decision making is a fundamental managerial activity. It may be conceptualized as consisting of four stages: intelligence, design, choice and implementation. Important aspects of the Decision Support System: 1) The most important consideration is the Decision Support System's ease of use - its ability to allow non -technical people to deal with it directly. The single greatest and most enduring problem with computers has been their inflexibility, their inability to let the person who actually needs the data to deal directly with the computer. 2) The ability to access information should not be restricted to only the part of an organization or to only certain managerial or professional groups. Instead the resource should be distributed to all of the people and part of an organization needing it without widespread access; the power of advanced Distributed Processing System will go untapped as they typically have in the past. 3) The ideal Decision Support System in sharp contrast to previous method of designing applications should not be a 'system' at all in the strict sense of the term. Rather, it should be a highly adaptive decision support generator that can easily be used by professionals to quickly design data support prototypes suited to each specific decision-making task. This adaptive tool must allow quick design changes if the original design does not closely match a person's information gathering style or needs. 4) To adequately support the human element, this highly adaptive support capability must be able to provide access to operational data and as well as to summary data that already has been processed by application programs designed for other specific operational tasks. Equally important this tool must provide the professional with 1
access to an organization's raw data and it must allow the access to be accomplished in one step using a single uncomplicated procedure or command and without having to re-key non summary data. 5) The organizations need to access original data sometimes because efficiency is related to how well the original data is organized in the system; the Decision Support Generator should be able to interface with a true DBMS. It should also be able to access standard 'flat' files indirectly using the power of the host computer to facilitate both the user interface and data access without changing existing files. 6) The Decision Support Generator should let the user decide whether information should be displayed on the CRT screen for immediate use or whether it should be printed for later use. The best way to accomplish such flexible data presentation is through a work station. The management or professional information workstation would incorporate a keyboard, display screen and an interface to a printer which could print everything from straight text to graphics like pie charts, bar charts and line charts. 7) The support tool must interface with several different systems and capabilities, it must be compatible with all of them, the tool must provide users with a single easily used language to access manipulate and present data in a way that will best support the end-user. 8) To facilitate formatting and manipulating displayed data, the decision support generator should ideally be able to interface with word processing software. With this capability, the DSS becomes the critical link between data processing and...
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