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Decision Support Systems

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A Decision support system is a computer based information system that supports business or organizational decision making activities. The decision support systems help decision makers to compile useful information from raw data combination, personal knowledge, documents or models of business to spot and tackle problems and make decisions. (Power, 2004)

Some of the information that a decision support system or application might present after gathering includes: projected revenue figures that are based on the sale assumptions of new products; comparing the figures got from the sale of products between one week and the next; the consequences that may arise due to the use of alternative decisions putting into consideration the experiences in the past.

One such software used as a DSS is the Web FOCUS Reporting software. What makes it suitable for this task is that it has the interactive facilities, it can capture a wide range of information, it can be developed within a short span of time, and it has ad hoc capabilities of reporting and can be deployed from the web easily. What DSS do mainly is collect, analyze and sharpen collected information and construct strategies and come up with decisions used on the analyses. It is not important whether these processes were obtained by people, computers or databases.

There are varied ways to classify DSS since they are as varied as the theories that have been used to define them. Some of these types include the pressure models that only collect and organize data effectively; a cooperative decision support system that collects data, analyses it and then the data is given to a person who helps refine and revise the data; and a model driven DSS is where the decision makes use of financial models or statistical stimulation to get a strategy or a solution to the problem.

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