by Dinesh Thakur

Decision Support System refers to a class of systems which support in the process of decision making and does not always give a decision it self. Decision Support Systems (DSS) are a specific class of computerized information system that supports business and organizational decisionmaking activities.

A properly designed DSS is an interactive softwarebased system intended to help decision makers compile useful information from raw data, documents, personal knowledge, and/or business models to identify and solve problems and make decisions

DSS is an application of Hebert Simon model, as discussed, the model has three phases :

 i) Intelligence

ii) Design

iii) Choice  

The DSS basically helps in the information system in the intelligence phase where the objective is to identify the problem and then go to the design phase for solution. The choice of selection criteria varies from problem to problem.

It is therefore, required to go through these phases again and again till satisfactory solution is found. In the following three phase cycle, you may use inquiry, analysis, and models and accounting system to come to rational solution.

These systems are helpful where the decision maker calls for complex manipulation of data and use of several methods to reach an acceptable solution using different analysis approach. The decision support system helps in making a decision and also in performance analysis. DSS can be built around the rule in case of programmable decision situation. The rules are not fixed or predetermined and requires every time the user to go through the decision making cycle as indicated in Herbert Simon model.


Attributes :  


i) DSS should be adaptable and flexible.

ii) DSS should be interactive and provide ease of use.

iii) Effectiveness balanced with efficiency (benefit must exceed cost).

iv) Complete control by decision-makers.

v) Ease of development by (modification to suit needs and changing environment) end users.

vi) Support modeling and analysis.

vii) Data access.

viii) Standalone, integration and Web-based


DSS Characteristics :  


i) Support for decision makers in semi structured and unstructured problems.

ii) Support managers at all levels.

iii) Support individuals and groups.

iv) Support for interdependent or sequential decisions.

v) Support intelligence, design, choice, and implementation.

vi) Support variety of decision processes and styles