Decision support systems:
These systems give direct computer support to managers during the decision-making process. For example, advertising managers may use an electronic spreadsheet program to do what-if analysis as they test the impact of alternative advertising budgets on the forecasted sales of new products.
Decision support systems are computer-based information systems that provide interactive information support to managers and business professionals during the decision-making process. Decision support systems use (1) analytical models, (2) specialized databases, (3) a decision maker's own insights and judgments, and (4) an interactive, computer-based modeling process to support the making of semistructured and unstructured business decisions.
Therefore, DSS are designed to be ad hoc, quick-response systems that are initiated and controlled by business decision makers. Decision support systems are thus able to directly support the specific types of decisions and the personal decision-making styles and needs of individual executives, managers, and business professionals.
Unlike management information systems, decision support systems rely on model bases as well as databases as vital system resources. A DSS model base is a software component that consists of models used in computational and analytical routines that mathematically express relationships among variables. For example, a spreadsheet program might contain models that express simple accounting relationships among variables, such as Revenue — Expenses = Profit. Or a DSS model base could include models and analytical techniques used to express much more complex relationships. For example, it might contain linear programming models, multiple regression forecasting models, and capital budgeting present value models. Such models may be stored in the form of spreadsheet models or templates, or statistical and mathematical programs and program