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Dss Research And Decision Support System Information Technology Essay


During our analysis and research on DSS we came to mutual agreement that DSS can be an ever evolving domains. Large amount of research has been carried out on the consumption of DSS in a number of domains especially in Center. But we discovered that research on the DSS System all together (irrespective of which domains) has not been conducted often in the past. Based on the initial study we've identified the following problems 1. There is no universally accepted description for DSS, 2. There were a many studies of inability of DSS systems.

In the study paper below we've tried to specify DSS system predicated on the Characteristics and the Targeted users. Paper also covers the decision making process, the decision analysis cycle, Framework of DSS which form the base of the DSS. We have also made an attempt to formulate the Critical success factors of the DSS and Known reasons for the failure of DSS.

We have attempted to collect the majority of our data through extra research which involves collating of data from existing research documents and literature.

In 1960 J. C. R. Licklider published a newspaper on his observation of the way the connection between man and computer can enhance the quality and competency in recognizing and problem solving. His paper proved to be just like a guide to numerous future studies on DSS. In 1962 with use of hypertext online system helped in storage and retrieval of documents and creation of digital libraries. SAGE (Semi Auto Ground Environment) built by Forrester is probably the first data motivated computerized DSS. In 1964 Scott Morton built up an interactive model powered management decision system that could help professionals make important management decisions. In 1970 John D. C. Little known that the requirement for building models and system to produce a management decision was completeness to data, simplicity, ease of control and robustness, which till time frame are relevant in enhancing and analyzing modern DSS. By 1975, he developed a DSS called Brandaid which could support promotion, advertising, costs and product related decisions. In 1974 the focus was on providing managers with information that was from accounting and exchange processing system with use if MIS(Management Information Systems) but MIS was found to not helping out professionals with making key decisions. Hence in 1979 Scott Morton and Gorry argued that MIS just mostly focused on organised decisions and therefore the machine which also supports unstructured and semi-structured decision should be referred to as Decision support systems.

Gorry and Scott Morton coined the saying 'DSS' in 1971, about ten years after MIS became popular. (David Arnott, An Examination of Decision Support Systems Research, p. 1) Decision support system now-a-days are critical for the daily procedure and success of several organizations. Due to which there's a huge investment being made on development, customization, implementation and upgradation of these systems.

Despite the rapid growth of information technology within the last 10 years, the success of Decision Support System remains doubtful because of the lack of inadequate studies on the outcomes. As David Arnott and Gemma Dodson stated in Decision Support System Failing (David Arnott, Gemma Dodson, p. 1) "The development of a decision support system is a dangerous affair. The Volatile activity environment and vibrant aspect of managerial work means that DSS Projects are inclined to Failure. "

As per David Arnott and Gemma Dodson classification above its very important to understand why business take such a major risk and choose Decision support system. (Efraim Turban, Ramesh Sharda, Decision Support and Business Brains Systems, 8th Model, p. 12) A number of the factors why company use DSS Systems suggested by Efraim and Ramesh are:

Speedy Computation

Improved Communication and Collaboration

Increase Production of group members

Improved data management

Managing Giant Data warehouses

Quality Support

Agility Support

Overcoming cognitive limits in processing and storing information

The paper here deals with the analysis of how decision examination happens in DSS, Problems and there types, Why DSS are needed or put in place by business, Decision making process, Types of DSS, Reason behind the failing of DSS, Critical success factor of DSS.

Activities that want decision making form a collection or several problems, differing from structured problem to unstructured problem. As Simon Areas "The boundary between well set up and ill set up problems is vague, fluid rather than susceptible to formalization. " (The composition of ill organized problems, 1973, Herbert A. Simon) the Decision making process, decision made and the style of making decision can be inspired by the personality of the average person and their cognitive style, and which is one of the major reasons for different decision helps being looked for.

(Management Information System 8/E Raymond McLeod, Jr. and George Schell)

Decision types in conditions of problem composition:

Structured problems can be resolved with algorithms and decision guidelines.

A organised decision can be explained as one in which three the different parts of a decision-the data, process, and evaluation. Structured decisions are made frequently in business conditions. If a rigid platform is located for your choice making process it helps to solve the trouble.


Unstructured problems haven't any framework in Simon's phases.

These decisions have the same components as set up ones-data, process, and evaluation- but there characteristics is different. For example, decision maker use different group of data and process to attain a conclusion or goal. Furthermore, as the nature of the decision is different a few quantities of folks within the business are even certified to evaluate the choice and to confirm one.

Semi organized problems have structured and unstructured phases.

Most of the DSS System is focused on Semi Structured decision. Characteristics of this kind of decisions of this type are

Having some agreement on the data, process, and/or evaluation to be utilized,

Efforts to keep up an even of human-judgement in your choice making process.

To determine which Support system is required it's important to analyze extensively and understand the limitations and side effects, that your decision machine are manifested with.

Apart from which additionally it is important to understand the objectives of the machine.

(Management Information System 8/E Raymond McLeod, Jr. and George Schell)

Decision Support System Goals:

Efficiency of the system.

Making decisions.

To support professionals, never to replace people.

Used when your choice is "semi set up" or "unstructured. "

Incorporate a data source.

Incorporate models.

It is also important that like any other computer founded system the DSS should be:



Easy to Use


Easy to communicate with.

Now that people have a short idea about the kind of issues that are encountered by the managers and the attributes that the DSS system should pertain understanding your choice making process would give an perception to the what sort of decision is manufactured.

Decision Making:

(Administrative Patterns, Herbert Simon, 1947) Herbert Simon in 1947 defines decision as "the behavioral and cognitive techniques of making logical human options, that is, decisions. "

It claims that any decision making is a behavioral and cognitive process of making options from a couple of options available. So, it is important for the DSS, to be correct enough for making a decision from many different options available. To make accurate choices from your options available DSS calls for help from constrains identified and the goals which it must achieve.

(Administrative Tendencies, Herbert Simon, 1947) Simon expresses in his journal

"The individual trying for rationality and constrained within the limits of his knowledge is rolling out some working types of procedures that partially overcome these difficulties. These procedures consist in let's assume that he can isolate from the rest of the world a sealed system containing a limited number of variables and a limited range of effects. "

By this Simon signify that folks with limited understanding of a particular process or domain will establish some technique that will assist the person to triumph over these issues. This in a way defines the basic purpose of DSS system to make help professionals with making decision. Additionally it is important to understand the word isolated from all of those other world, by this Simon recommended that the decision should be solely be based on the goals to be obtained and predicated on the criteria defined it will not come under some other influence.

He also produced a style of decision making. (David Arnott, An Research of Decision Support Systems Research, p. 1) Simon's model of decision-making has been used in DSS research since the field's inception and was an integral element of Gorry and Scott Morton's seminal MIS/DSS platform.

(Image Taken from Wikipedia, Physique 1)

In Simon style of decision making (Physique 1) there are several phases through which someone goes through to attain his targets or goal. Phases of Decision Making according to Simon Model are as follows:


Identify fact.

Get problem/opportunity understanding.

Obtain required information.


Make decision conditions.

Make decision alternatives.

Look for related unmanageable happenings.

Identify the links between requirements, alternatives, and happenings.


Logically assess your choice alternatives.

Make recommended activities that best meet up with the decision criteria.


Consider the decision research and diagnosis.

Evaluate the price of the suggestions.

Have confidence in your choice.

Make an execution plan.

Secure required items.

Set execution plan into work.

Based on your choice making process by Simon and the problem structure explained above we can establish the precision of decisions can be assessed by the following criteria:

The methods or technique with which it achieves the required results or goals; and

The efficiency with that your goals and sub goals are obtained.

By this we mean members of the business may focus on the technique and technique used to reach to the effect or goal, but the administrative management must focus on the efficiency with which the desired consequence was obtained.

To understand the efficiency of your choice made it is essential to analysis the decision made. Decision Research in itself is a huge field and handles many methodologies to measure the efficiency of the decision.

Decision Analysis:

(Ronald Howard, 1965, Decision Research: Applied Decision Theory)Decision Evaluation is a discipline that was developed to deal with the challenges of making important decisions which engaged handling major uncertainty, long-term targets and intricate value issues. Decision Evaluation comprises the philosophical, theoritical, methodological, and professional practice essential to formalize the analysis of important decisions.

(Ronald Howard, 1965, Decision Research: Applied Decision Theory) "Decision research is a logical process of the balancing of the factors that affect a decision. The procedure incorporates uncertainties, ideals, and personal preferences in a basic structure that models the decision. Typically, it offers technical, marketing, competitive, and environmental factors. The essence of the task is the engineering of a structural style of your choice in a form ideal for computation and manipulation; the realization of this model is often a group of computer programs. "

Decision-making contains assigning beliefs on the outcomes of interest to the decision-maker. Thus, decision analysis evaluates the decision-makers trade-offs between monetary and non-monetary results and also establishes in quantitative conditions his tastes for final results that are dangerous or distributed as time passes.

Ronald A. Howard in his newspaper Advances: Foundations of DA Revisited continues on to go over the "Pillars of Decision Research"

The First Pillar: Systems Analysis

Systems examination grew out of World War II and was concerned with understanding dynamic systems. Key notions were those of point out variables, feedback, balance, and sensitivity evaluation. The field of systems anatomist happens to be in circumstances of resurgence. Decision analysis and systems anatomist have many complementary features (Howard, 1965, 1973).

The Second Pillar: Decision Theory

Decision theory can be involved generally with making decisions in the face of uncertainty. Its origins go back to Daniel Bernoulli (Bernoulli, 1738) and Laplace. Bernoulli unveiled the thought of logarithmic utility to describe the puzzle called the St. Petersburg paradox. In the most influential booklet on probability ever before written (Laplace, 1812), Laplace discusses the Esperance mathematique and the Esperance morale. Today we'd call these the mean and the certain equal.

The Third Pillar: Epistemic Probability

Jaynes taught that there is no such thing as an objective possibility: a possibility reflects a person's knowledge (or equivalently ignorance) about some uncertain distinction. People think that probabilities can be found in data, nonetheless they cannot. Only an individual can assign a likelihood, considering any data or other knowledge available. Since there is no such thing as a target probability, using a term like "subjective probability" only creates misunderstanding. Probabilities explaining uncertainties have no need of adjectives.

This understanding goes back to Cox (2001), Jeffreys (1939), Laplace (1996) and maybe Bayes, yet somehow it was a concept that had been lost over time. A famous scientist put it best over 150 years ago:

The actual research of reasoning is conversant at the moment only with things either certain, impossible, or completely doubtful, none which (fortunately) we must reason on. Therefore the true logic for this world is the calculus of Probabilities, which requires account of the magnitude of the possibility which is, or should be, in a reasonable man's mind. (Maxwell, 1850)

The Fourth Pillar: Cognitive Psychology

In the 1960s few treasured the important role that cognitive psychology would play in understanding human behaviour. At the time of DAADT, we just have our best to help experts assign probabilities. In the 1970s the work of Tversky, Kahneman, and more provided two valuable efforts. First, it demonstrated that people making decisions relying only on the intuition were at the mercy of many errors that they would recognize after reflecting on what that they had done. This emphasized the necessity for a formal treatment like decision evaluation to assist to make important decisions. The second contribution was showing the necessity for those who are assisting in the possibility and desire assessments to be aware of the many pitfalls that are quality of human being thought. Tversky and Kahneman called these heuristics -- methods of thought that may be useful in general but could trick us in particular settings. We are able to think of these as the "optical illusions" of your brain.

An important differentiation here's that between "descriptive" and "normative" decision-making. Descriptive decision-making, as the name signifies, can be involved with how people make decisions. The test of descriptive decision-making models is if they actually describe human behavior. Normative decision-making is decision-making regarding to certain guidelines, or norms, that people want to follow inside our decision-making processes.

The underlying idea of decision evaluation is to distinguish between a good decision and a good outcome. An excellent decision is termed as reasonable decision which is dependant on the information, worth, and choices of the decision-maker. A good outcome is the one which benefits the end user. The goal is to arrive at good decisions in all situations which would go on to ensure as high a share of good outcomes. But sometimes it may be observed that even a good decision has achieved a good outcome. But for majority of the situations we may face making good decisions is the best way to ensure good final results.

A decision can be explained as a decision among alternatives that will produce uncertain futures, for which we have personal preferences. To describe the formal aspects of decision analysis the image of the three-legged feces shown in Amount 3. 1 (Howard, 2000).

The hip and legs of the feces will be the three components of any decision: what you can do, the alternatives; what you understand, the information you have; and what you would like, your preferences. Collectively, the three feet represent your choice basis, the specs of your choice. Remember that if any knee is missing, there is absolutely no decision to be made. When you have only one alternate, then you haven't any choice in what you need to do. If you don't have any information linking what you do to what will happen in the future, then all alternatives serve equally well because you don't see how your actions will have any effect. If you have no tastes regarding exactly what will happen therefore of choosing any alternative, then you will be equally happy choosing anybody. The seats of the stool is the logic that operates on the decision basis to create the best alternative. We shall soon be building the seat to make certain that it runs correctly.

Decision Analysis offers a formal dialect for communication for folks mixed up in decision-making process. In this, the foundation for a conclusion becomes clear, not merely your choice itself. The views may differ on whether to look at an alternative solution because individuals own different relevant information or because they could value the results differentlly.

Decision analysis Routine:

The professional practice of decision evaluation is decision engineering. Creating a concentrated analysis requires the continual elimination of every factor that will not contribute to choosing. This winnowing is a feature of decision analysis since the starting (Howard, 1968, 1970). Since DAADT, the procedure has been referred to as a decision research routine, depicted in Number 3. 4 (Howard, 1984a).

The application of decision research can be modeled in form of any iterative process called your choice Analysis Routine.

Decision Analysis Pattern:

The treatment is divided into three phases:

Deterministic period: the variables affecting the decision are defined and relations between the variables founded, the beliefs are assigned, and the value of the factors is measured upto a satisfactory level of certainity.

Probabilistic phase: the associated likelihood assignments on values are produced. We also look at the evaluation of risk preference, which identifies the best possible solution when confronted with uncertainty.

Informational phase: the results of the first two stages are reviewed to look for the financial value of eradicating uncertainty in each one of the important factors in the condition. It is the most crucial phase on the list of three since it evaluates in financial terms to have the perfect information.

Decision Support System:

There is not any universally accepted meaning for the DSS system as of this moment. It is the major reason we must rely on the Characteristics and Goals of the DSS to understand the system. Below are a few famous description for the DSS we would refer to formulate a definition for the machine.

(Decision Support Systems: An Organizational Perspective, Willing & Scott-Morton, 1978) Keen and Scott define DSS as "Decision support systems few the intellectual resources of people with the capabilities of the computer to enhance the quality of decisions. It is a computer-based support system for management decision designers who offer with semi structured problems. "

If we correlate this is from Willing and Morton and Simons meaning stating

"The individual striving for rationality and limited within the limits of his knowledge is rolling out some working types of procedures that partially beat these difficulties. These methods consist in assuming that they can isolate from all of those other world a shut down system containing a restricted number of factors and a restricted range of repercussions. "

We recognize that the bottom of the DSS system is to aid the manager. But one of the drawbacks of the definition from Keen and Morton is that they state that the machine handles only semi organised problems however the present DSS system also grips Unstructured and Structured issues.

Peter Eager in 1980 described DSS as "Personal System to assist Manager must be built from the Managers point of view and must be predicated on a very specific understanding of how the administrator makes decision and how the manager corporation functions. " (Donald R. Moscato, 2004, p. 1)

In the aforementioned definition Peter Willing tries to determine DSS in terms of the execution and customization of DSS and says that it ought to be done predicated on Managers perspective, styles of decision making and the organizations function. Drawback with this meaning is the fact that it defines DSS as a employees system and with the release of Group DSS and Communication DSS this is becomes outdated.

Bonczek, Holsapple and Whinston (Foundations of Decision Support Systems, Bonczek, Holsapple and Whinston, 1981, p. 19) argued "the system must own an interactive query facility, with a query words that. . . is. . . easy to learn and use".

The above definition tries to describe that DSS systems should be interactive and really should have a vocabulary of its so that constrains of your choice and the goals can be attended to to the machine and is easy to comprehend and use. (We've explained in the section targets of DSS).

(Daniel J Electricity, 2001, p. 1)Sprague and Carlson (1982) establish Decision Support Systems broadly as interactive computer structured systems that help decision-makers use data and models to resolve ill-structured, unstructured or semi-structured problems.

Sparague and Carlson discussed the DSS system as an interactive system and which can help professionals solve ill-structured, unstructured and semi-structured problem. In the event that you observe the definition is a co-relation of explanation provided by Peter Willing, Willing & Scott-Morton - 1978 and Bonczek, Holsapple and Whinston-1981 by detatching there drawbacks.

A few more classification that people thought explains DSS are the following:

Marakas in 2002 (Marakas, 2002, p. 4) mentioned the next is a formal definition of DSS: "A decision support system is a system under the control of 1 or more decision manufacturers that helps in the activity of decision making by providing an organized set of tools designed to impose framework on servings of the decision-making situation and enhance the ultimate performance of the decision outcome. "

Importance of Marakas description is that it requires into consideration the tools that a manager can use to work with DSS system (can term it as alternative party tools in some instances) other that the query terminology or the normal interactive display of the DSS.

From the above example it is fairly clear that to determine a DSS not only we will have to analyze the characteristics and the various tools, types of DSS but also the framework of the DSS to choose a definition or even to identify one.

(Ralph H. Sprague, Hugh J. Watson, Decision Support System - Placing Theory into practice, 3rd model, 1993, p. 4)

Characteristics of DSS:

They have a tendency to be aimed at the less well set up, underspecified issues that upper level professionals typically face.

They attempt to combine the utilization of models or analytic techniques with traditional data access and retrieval function

They specifically give attention to features which make them simple to operate by non-computer people in an interactive mode

They emphasize versatility and adaptability to support changes in the environment and the decision making methodology of an individual.

Framework of DSS:

From (Daniel J Powers, 2001, p. 1) we come to know that the platform for the Decision support system should be based on the following factors: (by this Daniel J Ability designed "System should be reviewed and discussed in conditions of four descriptors to keep up better communication:")

Dominant Technological Component

The Targeted Users


Deployment Technology

(Daniel J Power, 2001, p. 1) As well as the Five generic types of DSS are:

Communication Driven

Data Driven

Document Driven

Knowledge Driven

Model Powered decision support system.

(Daniel J Forces, 2001, p. 1) DSS Deployment technology can be:

Mainframe Computers

A client server LAN

Web Founded Architecture

Marakas (2002) intended that it's important to understand the sort of DSS to determine the best design and strategy of a fresh DSS.

In 1976 Steven Alter, a doctoral student created a taxonomy of seven DSS types on Gorry and Scott-Morton construction based on a report of 56 DSSs. In 1980, Steven Alter (Daniel J Electric power, 2001, p. 2) proposed his taxonomy of Decision Support Systems. Alter's seven category typology is still relevant for discussing some types of DSS, but not for all those DSS. Alter's idea was that a Decision Support System could be grouped in conditions of the common operations it functions, independent of type of problem, practical area or decision point of view.

His seven types included:

File Drawer Systems

Data Evaluation Systems

Analysis Information Systems

Accounting and Financial models

Representational Models

Optimization Models

Suggestion Models.

Alter's first three types of DSS have been called data focused or data motivated; the second three types have been called model oriented or model motivated; and Alter's suggestion DSS type has been called sensible or knowledge motivated DSS.

Importance of Alters Review was:

Supports idea of Expanding Systems that address particular decisions.

Makes clear that DSS need not be restricted to a particular Software Type.

Based on Alters analysis Daniel J Ability formulated an broadened framework. The goal of expanded DSS construction is to help people understand and apply the framework to integrate, assess, implement and choose appropriate means for assisting and informing decision-makers.

Expanded Framework advised by Daniel J Power (Daniel J Electric power, Expanded DSS framework, June 2001, p. 5)

Dominant DSS


Target Users:

Internal / External


General /Specific





Driven DSS

Internal teams, now

expanding to external


Conduct a gathering or Help users collaborate

Web or Client/



Data-Driven DSS

Managers, staff, now


Query a Data Warehouse

Main Frame, Consumer/

Server, Web

Document base



Internal users, but

the customer group is expanding

Search Webpages or

Find documents

Web or Client/


Knowledge base


Driven DSS

Internal users, now


Management Advice

or Choose products

Client/Server, Web,

Stand-alone PC




Managers and personnel,

now customers

Crew Arranging or

Decision Analysis

Stand-alone Personal computer or

Client/Server or Web

(Ralph H. Sprague, Hugh J. Watson, Decision Support System - Placing Theory into practice, 3rd edition, 1993, p. 4) Three Technology Levels:

Specific DSS - System that actually accomplishes the work might be called the specific DSS.

DSS Generator - This is a couple of related hardware and software which provides a couple of capabilities to efficiently create a specific DSS.

DSS Tool - These are hardware or software elements which facilitates the development of a particular DSS or DSS Generator.

Based on the facts above we wish to explain DSS as

DSS can be defined as use of computer application that will help managers, staff members, or people who work together within the business to make decisions and identify problems by using available data and communication technology.

It is also very important to understand the reason behind the failure of DSS. And what exactly are the factors that might lead to the failure of system and which factors are to be referred to as the success factors of DSS.

Reason for Failing of DSS System:

Despite the benefits that DSS offers the execution of such system has been limited. Some of the reasons can be the following:

Proper analysis of the DSS preceding and during DSS development.

DSS output will not fit the producer's decision-making style.

Complexity included while working the DSS.

Post Execution support.

Benefits from these systems are not always realized

Other than these reason few drawbacks of the DSS system are:

Over dependency for Decision making

Assuming it to be correct.

Unanticipated effects

Deflect personal responsibilities

Information overload.

Considering the above mentioned reason, to improve the rate of success of DSS implementation and customization, the following factors should be considered and monitored.

Critical Success Factors of DSS:

Hartono (Hartono et al, 2006, p. 257) uses the next words to describe their interpretation of Critical Success Factors: "Success antecedents are those key factors that organizations can take care of so the management information system is favorably received and the execution is regarded as as successful"

(Johannes Johansson; Bjorn Gustafson, Critical Success Factors impacting on Decision Support System Success, from an end-user point of view, 2009, p. 1)Johannes Johansson and Bjorn Gustafson discovered three factors that significantly have an impact on end-users perceived net benefits, namely Data Quality, Problem Match and Support Quality.

(S. Newman1, T. Lynch, and A. A. Plummer; Success and inability of decision support systems: Learning once we go, p. 1)The research study "HotCross, " a DSS under development to judge crossbreeding systems in north Australia, provided proof a shift in the development process because better emphasis was placed on the learning process of breeding program design by end-users rather than focus on learning how to use the DSS itself. Higher end user participation through participatory learning methods (action learning, action research, and soft systems methodologies), iterative prototyping (evolving development procedures), as well as keeping DSS development manageable and small in opportunity, will provide strategies for improving the rate of DSS adoption.

(Johannes Johansson; Bjorn Gustafson, 2009, p. 13)

Implementation Factors:

Management Support - Among the main factor that significantly results the entire success of pre-implementation

Champion - someone who actively facilitates the task and provides it with important and relevant resources

Resource - Resources will be the money, people and time that are required to complete the project

End-User Participation - This leads to better communication of their needs and really helps to ensure that the system is implemented successfully. The importance of this factor stretches beyond just in the implementation situation. By obtaining a high user participation in the execution phase the system is more likely to be accepted once integrated.

Team Skill - the right people who have the right models of skills in a task is of great significance

Source System - existing data quality within an group have a serious influence on the success of a new system. Data must be regular in the complete organization in order to benefit

Development Technology - The technology which the system is built will affect the entire performance of the system

(Johannes Johansson; Bj¶rn Gustafson, Critical Success Factors affecting Decision Support System Success, from an end-user perspective, 2009, p. 14)

Implementation Success:

Organizational Implementation Success - The execution is not successful unless the system it produces is accepted in the business.

Project Execution Success - Success in projects can be measured by how well the various teams meet finances, critical deadlines and practical goals

Technical Implementation Success - implementations are rather large-scaled given that they need to incorporate root systems, this also escalates the intricacy of such implementations and the team should me officially sound to handle the difficulties.

(Johannes Johansson; Bj¶rn Gustafson, 2009, p. 14)

System Success:

Data Quality - It concerns the grade of data that are provided to the system and by the machine.

Systems Quality - This factors target is on the machine itself and is often assessed by the systems versatility, integration, response time and reliability.

Perceived World wide web Benefits - a system with high Data Quality and System Quality can result in perceived net benefits for various users such as stakeholders, decision producers and eventually the organization

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