DSS is an information system application that helps in decision-making. DSS is used in planning and analyzing alternatives. DSS differs from most traditional information system in that each DSS is distinct from the other information system and is specifically made for managers.
All though it is used by managers it is part of organization’s MIS. A DSS is prepared for a specific managerial task and special problem and thus its use is limited to that problem. Decision support systems tend to be designed to serve management control level and strategic planning level managers.
The elements of DSS include a database, a model base and a software providing interactive dialogue facility for a manager. The data in the database is a combination of master files, and data from external sources. The second component of DSS is a library of models to manipulate and analyze the data in the desired ways.
The third component is the user interface through this the user can communicate with the DSS. The physical interface generally consists of a terminal attach to the mainframe computer either directly or by telephone. DSS can be differentiated from MIS in terms of its processing capabilities. whereas MIS process data to convert it into information, DSS processes information.
to support the decision making process of a manager. e.g. a salary information system provides information to every employee regarding his basic salary, allowances and deductions. However if any employee wants to make deposits in some schemes for income tax rebates he can make use of DSS. DSS helps the user to decide in which scheme how much he should invest to get maximum benefits.