Decision Support System Development Tools:
We discussed earlier that there are three components of decision support system (DSS). Now we are discussing the different types of software tools that can be used to build decision support systems. The variety of such software tools is large and increasing, by far, the most common are database management systems, spread sheets, and modeling packages.
One of the most important packages for the micro computer is the "electronic spreadsheet". The electronic spreadsheet is a computerized version of a two dimensional worksheet of rows and columns. The term "spreadsheet" is loosely derived from the likeness to a "spreadsheet of paper" divided into rows & columns. The spreadsheets are designed for business environment and are used in wide variety of decision support system (DSS) functions. While originally used as an aid to accountants or financial specialists.
|Popular spreadsheet packages
||Lucid 3D development corporation
|Smart spread sheet
||Computer Association International inc.
Concept of the Spreadsheet:
A series of rows and columns of data is always on the screen. This series is really a matrix, or array of cells.
Each cell can be individually addressed with data entered or erased.
The cells can contains only three kinds of data items. Numeric data, Labels - alphanumeric, strings, Formula including reference to other cells.
The numeric data in the cell can be algebraically manipulated and the output of these calculations placed in another cells.
User friendly interaction with screen by toolbar and menus.
A wide variety of functions can be performed by menus and toolbars including retrieving or saving data on disk, moving around the spread sheet, formatting the data, or printing out piece of the spread sheet
b. Database Management System (DBMS):
In the early days of computerization it was normal to maintain specific files for individual applications. Data were processed centrally in batches and there was little or no on-line interaction of files. This approach meant that, there was duplication of data, inflexibility, and concentration on the need of the computer system rather then the user and difficulties of accessing files by on-line users. To overcome these problems databases were developed.
Databases are not merely a collection of files. Instead, a database is a central source of data shared by many users for a
variety of applications. The heart of a database is the DBMS (database management system), which allows the creation, modification, and updating of the database, the retrieval of data, and the generation of reports. The person who ensures that the database meets its objectives is called the database administrator.
Objectives of the Database :
- Ensuring that data can be shared among users for a variety of applications.
- Maintaining data that are both accurate and consistent.
- Ensuring that all data required for current and future applications will be readily available.
- Allowing the database to grow as the needs of the users grow.
- Allowing users to construct their personal view of the data without concern for the way the data are physically stored.
The first disadvantage of the database approach is that all of the data are stored in one place. Therefore, data are more exposed to disaster and require complete backup.
Other disadvantages come about when attempting to achieve two efficiency objectives for the management of the data resource:
- Keeping the time required to Insert, update, delete, and retrieve data to a bearable amount.
- Keeping the cost of storing the data to a reasonable amount.
|Your databases. My Pizza:
|You come home after a long day at college or work, tired and hungry. You don't feel like cooking: In some cities you can use your modern equipped computer for a quick solution, A software package called delivery system lets customers use their home computers to dialup local restaurants and fast food outlets and make menu choices. The meals are delivered to their homes.
Typically, a customer's call goes to a control phone number that links the customer to order taking center, where operators route the order to the closest outlet, The only Interaction with a human being is when the delivery person comes to the door.
Pizza firms have been leading the charge into computerized home delivery. .In 1994 in the world of e-commerce the first online pizza ordered from Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut has developed large scale computer systems. Pizza Hut has found that customers repeat the same orders for pizza 70% of the time. So the company keeps a database of customers' pervious purchases; this information cuts the normal order taking time half. Information in the database is also used to market their products. This database can be interrogated to provide a listing of all customers that have not ordered in the past 60 days. The company than sends them a flyer with an incentive to order.
Why You Need Database:
Suppose you had a collection of names and addresses, each on a separate index card stored in an index card file. If you had only 25 cards, sorting the cards into alphabetical order or even finding all the people who have the same zip code would be fairly easy. But what of you had 100, 1000, or 10,000 cards? What if you had several different boxes, one organized by names, one by cities, and one by zip code? What if different file clerks added more cards each day, not knowing if they were duplicating cards already in the file? And what if another set of clerk were trying to update the data on the card? As you can see, things might get out of hand. Enter to the world of computer and use databases.
|The dream of paperless office environment is now becoming true. Some companies have steady progress towards paperless. Many businesses found that they could cut printing costs by providing managers with on-line access to reports that were traditionally printed and distributed by Software centers.
Nestle, a multinational company started on-line access to management reports several years ago. The company estimates that it saves at least 2 million a year from this change. Before this move, the paper produced by the data center grew at annual rate of 21 percent. Since providing online access, the number of printed pages is reduced by more than 50%.
Manager who were initially resistant to the change, find that they now have faster access to fresher information. They also like the ability to customize the information contained In the reports (often by eliminating irrelevant information) to best suit their needs.
The on-line access system is just one of the steps that nestle Is taking towards paperless operations. The company regularly sponsors contests to generate new paper reduction ideas through its news letter, nestle keeps everyone informed about progress toward paperless operations, including, updates on how many trees are being saved and new employee ideas.
A DBMS is software that helps you organize data in a way that allows fast and easy access to the data. DBMS organizes the storage of data. Retrieval, and provide facilities to use this stored set of data in different applications.