Decision Support System (DSS)
Decision support system (DSS) refers to an information system that uses computer to support organizational or business’ making decision process. Decision support system (DSS) serves at the operations, planning and management levels of a business or organization usually in higher and mid management levels in helping them in making accurate decisions that may change rapidly and that are not easy to specify in advance.
These support systems can be controlled by humans, computerized or both human-controlled and computerized. Although academics perceive these systems as a tool that support the decision making processes, users of DSS see them as tools that facilitate the organization processes. This has resulted in many and slightly varying definitions of decision support system (DSS).
Generally, DSS is a computer based application or system that facilitate collection, organization and analyzing of business data that enables the management, planners and business operators to make quality decisions. When designed properly, DSS helps decision makers in a company to compile different data from a wide range of sources. This includes raw data, personal knowledge of the employees, documented data, knowledge of the executives and management as well as business models.
Using this data, companies are able to identify problems and come up with solutions that will address them as well as guide in proper decision making processes. The typical information that is gathered using DSS can include the projected sales and revenue figures on the basis of the projected sales of new products. It may also include the figures of comparative sales of selected periods and inventory data that is organized in relational databases which make timely analysis easier.
Over the years, decision support system (DSS) has been used in different fields. These include medical diagnosis, evaluation of credit loan, bids evaluation in engineering projects, agricultural production, policy making, forest management as well as management of business to business operations. These fields have realized efficiency in decision making by using decision support system (DSS) because it makes sifting through massive data and analyzing it as well as compiling information that is used in solving problems and making better decisions easier.
Businesses have been able to learn more and improve efficiency by using this system. Well designed DSSs help in compiling and presenting information for different aspects of the business operations including actual versus the projected sales, sales trends, and profitability mix as well as worker productivity among others. All this information is crucial in guiding the business management and executives in making business decisions.
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