This is the third instalment in my series of different types of information systems. Last week I looked at Management Information Systems so for those of you who missed it you can check it out @MIS.
Today I am going to explore ‘Decision Support Systems’, so to start off with a definition: A decision support system (DSS) is a computer-based information system that supports business and organizational decision-making activities. In contrast to Executive Information Systems, DSSs are used by management, planning and operations levels of a firm.
A DSS works by gathering data from the mass of business operations and activities. The system then analyzes the information using advanced statistical techniques and finally narrows down the information into useful data based on the managers’ requirements. The objective of a DSS is not to replace a manager judgement but merely to provide data to help support them when making important decisions.
If implemented correctly, DSSs can prove to be highly effective in the workplace. In the following short video we can see how Sheba Medical Centre incorporated Meta Visions’ DSS into its practice:
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of DSSs include:
- Overall improvement in efficiency
- Speeds up decision making
- Generates new evidence in support of a system
- Advantage over competitors
- Monetary cost of setting up system
- Mangers may not use Systems appropriately
- Overreliance on computer software
- Information overload
I appreciate all the blog support thus far and please feel free to leave a comment. Next week I will be looking at Knowledge Management Systems so stay in touch!