Decision Support Systems To Build or Not to Build:
The power of a DSS lies in its:
A decision support system (DSS) creates new information on demand to help you make decisions of different types. A DSS can help with decisions that are unstructured or somewhere between structured and unstructured. You can develop a decision support system (DSS) for your own use or be part of a team of experts that develop a decision support system (DSS) for numerous people.
Steps For Developing a Decision:
In either case, the procedure for developing a decision support system (DSS) involves four steps that parallel the decision-making process.
a. Intelligence: Step 1
In this step, you need to answer the following questions:
If the answer to the first questions is yes,
The first step is to examine the problem and consider whether you need a decision support system (DSS) or whether you could more effectively solve the problem with some other IT system, such as an MIS report or an EIS. If you choose decision support system (DSS) support, then carefully consider what it will take to support your decision making process. If the problem is complex and has several parts, the best strategy is to "divide and conquer." In other words, decide on a portion of the problem and construct your decision support system (DSS) to help with that portion first. Give careful thought to the information you'll use, where it will come from, and what models you'll need to process the information.
If many knowledge workers will use the DSS, or if the DSS is very complex, then you'll have to invest a lot of time and effort in a formalized approach to planning, organizing, and coordinating the development process. If, however, you're the only one who will use the decision support system (DSS), you could simply build one yourself or seek the advice of a decision support system (DSS) builder.
The development process can be much less precise; however, you still must be specific about what you want to do with your decision support system (DSS) and how you want to do it.
b. Design: Step 2
This step requires you to answer the following questions:
You can buy specialized DSSs for particular types of problems. There are, among others, financial modeling packages, statistical packages, inventory control packages, and project management packages. Commercial packages have the models already built and provide an interactive user interface that allows you to enter the information you need to analyze and access the right models.
If you don't find a fully developed decision support system (DSS) to fit your needs, you can develop your own. You can build your own models, use models already available, or choose a combination. A DSS generator like Excel or Quattro Pro simplifies the building of a DSS. A decision support system (DSS) generator is software that enables you to develop a DSS for a specific task. The menu system serves as the user interface. So the decision support system (DSS) generator provides a user interface management system that you can enhance with macros. The spreadsheet page holds the information. You can build your own models using formulas and functions, or you can use the predefined analysis models (templates).
You can integrate many commercially available models into spreadsheets or combine them to fit your needs.
c. Choice: Step 3
This step involves answering the following questions:
What will you buy?
What will you build?
Now it's time to decide what you're going to buy and what you're going to build. When considering commercially available packages, regard the flexibility of the user interface. If you're combining models, consider compatibility. If you don't make these decisions first, you might find yourself entering the same information multiple times.
d. Implementation: Step 4
This step involves the following:
- Build or install the decision support system (DSS).
- Learn, test, and evaluate your DSS thoroughly.
This step involves making your decision support system (DSS) operational and testing it. If you buy a DSS, you'll have to install it and learn to use it properly. If you build your own, you'll have to put together the information, models, and possibly, the user interface. Then you test the decision support system (DSS). The testing will ensure accuracy and indicate the benefit of the system to you. It's very important to verify the results of the analysis you run on your decision support system (DSS). You should test the decision support system (DSS) thoroughly with as much and as varied information as possible.
If you follow these four steps, you'll have a working decision support system (DSS). But you'll have to fine-tune and improve it continually, especially if you use it often. The purpose of a DSS is to provide you with decision-making support, and because your decision-making approach changes with time, your decision support system (DSS) must change too.