A decision support system (DSS) is a computerized information system designed to support decision making in an organization. Finlay (1994) explains that a decision support system gets input from routine transactions of an organization, analyses it using statistical techniques and generates meaningful information that can be used in decision making.
Decision support system (DSS) and Management information system (MIS) are all information systems used in the corporate world. However, the difference in the two information system lies on their functions. The DSS enables an organization’s employees to make decisions for their daily tasks whereas MIS facilitates management of the internal operations and documents. Generally, MIS focuses on an organization’s operational efficiency whereas DSS focuses on effective decision making in an organization.
A typical DSS has 4 components: Data management, knowledge management, model management and user interface management component. Data management component stores and maintains information to be used by the decision support system in a database management system (DBMS). Model management component is used to represent an event, fact or state. The user interface model enables users to communicate with the database management system using the DSS. Lastly, the knowledge management component provides information regarding the relationship between data that is too complex to be represented in the database.
Most organizations across all industries largely depend on decision support tools, techniques and models to help them make correct and viable decisions (Power, 2002). For instance, decision support system used in American Airlines assist top level managers in making high level decisions affecting performance in the airport such as capacity, safety, noise, flight delays and cost effectiveness. For this reason, decision support system tools are core for the success of decision made in the airport.
Decision support systems - Technology to assist market research. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.boundless.com/marketing/consumer-marketing/technology-to-assist-market-research/decision-support-systems/
Finlay, P. N. (1994). Introducing decision support systems. Manchester, United Kingdom: Blackwell Pub.
Power, D. J. (2002). Decision support systems: Concepts and resources for managers. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.