Decision Support Systems
Lecturer in Computer Science
University of Education Okara Campus
• Define DSS
• Decision Making / Problem Solving
• Decision Making Process
• DSS Incorporates types of IS
• Basic Themes & Taxonomy of DSS
• DSS Benefits and Components
• Applications & Categories
Decision Support System
• A computer-based information system that supports
business or organizational decision-making activities.
• Interactive computer-based systems, which help decision
makers utilize data and models to solve unstructured
problems. [Gorry and Scott-Morton (1971)]
• Decision support systems couple the intellectual
resources of individuals with the capabilities of the
computer to improve the quality of decisions. It is a
computer-based support system for management decision
makers who deal with semi-structured problems. [Keen and
Decision Making/ Problem Solving
Decision Making Process
• Decision making process
• Sensing, finding, identifying, and defining problem/opportunity
• Diagnosing the problem/opportunity
• Generating alternatives
• Choosing the best alternative
• Adopting the selected course of action in decision situation.
• E.g. MS Excel for Merit List, Grade Distribution
DSS Incorporates Types of Info Systems
• Executive Information Systems
• Expert Systems
• Information Reporting Systems
• Transaction Processing Systems
3Types of Decisions
Basic Themes of DSS
• Information system.
• Used by managers for making decisions.
• Used to support, not to replace people.
• Used when the decision is "semi-structured" or "unstructured."
• Incorporate a database of some sort.
• Incorporate models.
Taxonomy of DSS
1. A communication-driven DSS supports more than one person
working on a shared task; examples include integrated tools like
Google Docs or Groove
2. A data-driven DSS or data-oriented DSS emphasizes access to
and manipulation of a time series of internal company data
and, sometimes, external data. Google: Examples
3. A document-driven DSS manages, retrieves, and manipulates
unstructured information in a variety of electronic formats.
4. A knowledge-driven DSS provides specialized problem-
solving expertise stored as facts, rules, procedures, or in similar
structures. Google: Examples
5. A model-driven DSS emphasizes access to and manipulation of a
statistical, financial, optimization, or simulation model. Model-
driven DSS use data and parameters provided by users to assist
decision makers in analyzing a situation; they are not necessarily
data-intensive. Dicodess is an example of an open source model-
driven DSS generator. Google: Examples
(Created by Daniel Power)
Database Management System
Knowledge-based Management System
Model-based Management System
Data Generation & Management System
Airline Reservation system
No more seats available
Provide alternative flights you can use
Use the info to make flight plans
Canadian National Railway
A Loan Manager can decide whether to grant loan to an applicant
Decision Making Software
E.g. Logical Decisions (30 days trial)
• Clinical decision support system for medical diagnosis.
• An engineering firm that has bids on several projects and wants to
know if they can be competitive with their costs.
• DSS is extensively used in business and management. Executive
dashboards and other business performance software allow faster
decision making, identification of negative trends, and better allocation
of business resources.
• A growing area of DSS application, concepts, principles, and
techniques is in agricultural production, marketing for sustainable
• A DSS can be designed to help make decisions on the stock market, or
deciding which area or segment to market a product toward.
Characteristics & Capabilities
• The key DSS characteristics and capabilities are as follows:
1. Support for decision makers in semi-structured and unstructured
2. Support managers at all levels.
3. Support individuals and groups.
4. Support for interdependent or sequential decisions.
5. Support intelligence, design, choice, and implementation.
6. Support variety of decision processes and styles.
7. DSS should be adaptable and flexible.
8. DSS should be interactive ease of use.
9. Complete control by decision-makers.
10. Ease of development by end users.
11. Support modeling and analysis.
12. Data access.
13. Standalone, integration and Web-based
• Improves personal efficiency
• Speed up the process of decision making
• Increases organizational control
• Encourages exploration and discovery on the part of the
• Speeds up problem solving in an organization
• Facilitates interpersonal communication
• Promotes learning or training
• Generates new evidence in support of a decision
• Creates a competitive advantage over competition
• Reveals new approaches to thinking about the problem space
• Helps automate managerial processes
• Create Innovative ideas to speed up the performance