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Developing Spreadsheet Based Decision Support Systems

Developing Spreadsheet Based Decision Support Systems

Developing Spreadsheet Based Decision Support Systems – A decision support system is a management information system that combines analysis models (information, processes, etc.) and data to solve semi-structured and unstructured problems involving the user through a friendly interface. Its main purpose is to support and improve the decision-making process throughout its stages: intelligence, design, selection and implementation. This support is given at different levels of management, from senior management to line managers, and can be used individually (by users) or in a group way. DSSs are mainly used for strategic and tactical decisions in management at the higher level, where situations considered as problematic occur with low frequency but nevertheless have high potential consequences; Because of this the organization must focus on finding a solution and obtaining long-term beneficial results.

As a definition of a decision support system is a management information system that combines analysis models (information, processes, etc.) and data to solve semi-structured and unstructured problems involving the user through a friendly interface . Its main purpose is to support and improve the decision-making process throughout its stages: intelligence, design, selection and implementation.

Intelligence. It is the stage of the decision-making process in which the individual collects information to identify problems that occur in the organization.
Design. Stage in which the individual conceives the possible alternatives to the problem in the organization.
Selection. Stage in which the individual selects an alternative between the possible solutions.
Implementation. It is the stage in which the individual finally executes the decision and informs the progress of his decision.
This support is given at different levels of management, from senior management to line managers, and can be used individually (by users) or in a group way.

 

Typical areas of application of the DSS are: business management and planning, healthcare, military. As more specific applications in different sectors we have: market planning and research focused on consumer buying patterns; Prediction, evolution and growth of the market; Operation and short-term strategic planning for monitoring, analysis and reporting of market trends, financial indices, consumption and production; MELSIS in the health sector for medical engineering in the management of information and health care, education and medical research for increasing attention to the problems of treatment to patients; And geographic information systems (GIS) of INEGI.

 

DSS are mainly used for strategic and tactical decisions in management at the higher level, where situations considered as problematic occur with low frequency but nevertheless have high potential consequences; Because of this the organization must focus on finding a solution and obtaining long-term beneficial results.

Among the benefits that can be obtained with the proper implementation and successful use of a DSS are: the reduction of costs and low dependence on people outside the decision-making process, increase in productivity, better communication, time savings, satisfaction Of clients and employees, as well as the flexibility to adapt to a variety of decision-making styles -autocratic, participatory, etc.- flexibility in the development of user decision models, external interaction and inter-organizational communication, The quality and efficiency of the value chain, and achieve a competitive advantage in the performance sector due to an efficient, conscientious and truthful transformation of data to relevant information in value processes whose objectives and results are aligned with the strategy of the organization.

Depending on the type of problem facing the organization, there are different types of decision support systems, such as the Executive Information Systems (EIS), Group Decision Support Systems, GDSS), Management Support Systems (MSS) or Executive Support Systems (ESS).

Regardless of the type of problem, these decision support systems aim to facilitate the knowledge acquired through experiences under certain circumstances through which the organization has gone. The accumulation of experience is one of the most risky processes since the greater the learning, the consequence of the mistakes themselves and the achievement of a high level of experience in the business world can be very expensive. Therefore, the ideal of this type of support systems to decision making should be used to minimize risks (cost) so that the whole experience can be gained without the effects that could derive from a wrong decision or simply a decision Not optimal.

The DSS does not substitute the decision-making process, but presents the different alternatives of solution and projection of results from the analysis and transformation of data into information through structured models to generate useful information using intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces . By transforming data into strategic information, the DSS will lend the ability so that the decision maker will not only be able to answer the questions Who? and that? But also to What would happen if …? and because? The system will then provide a vision and certain recommendations from the generated knowledge that was provided to the system in a transactional way.

Depending on the needs of the organization, there are four categories of DSS tools listed below, which can be implemented with various products – from spreadsheets, query tools, tool development applications, browsers, Business, statistical packages, etc.

1. Query Tools and Reporters
2. OLAP tools (ability slice and dice)
3. Executives Information Systems (EIS) tools – access to data in formats selected by the user.
4. Data Mining or Knowledge Data Discovery – to search for patterns of information in the data.

The mentioned tools have the function of providing information in a timely manner -just in time- when data relations are complex and required of it regardless of the dimension or level of the data, so that the user does not have to have knowledge of The complex relational structures of the tables of the transactional system, facilitating the understanding of the information and an expedited decision making process.

Today, to ensure a successful implementation of DSS, technological aspects, data integration and organizational culture must be considered. Strategic goals must be clearly communicated and understood by users, and the organizational culture and its policies should include the administration of information in the decision-making process to standardize definitions, concepts and actions. High-level executives should be committed to strategic objectives and define performance measures and indicators, since a clear vision of the scope of a DSS is a critical success factor because the value of the organization will depend on the administrative and managerial commitment To base decisions on the information presented by the system, thus also obtaining as a parallel benefit an added value to the decision-making process within the organization.

conclusion

Decision support systems facilitate and make the decision-making process in the intelligence, design and selection stages more efficient by transforming data into useful information (intelligence) for the application of the model (design) Of information necessary to solve a problem by providing possible solution options (selection) in the environment that the organization lives in the administrative, financial, productive, etc. areas. However, it is essential that the high and medium levels of management be committed to the organizational strategy and objectives established in the process model approach so that the use of the SDH is successful and the return on investment is convenient in terms of profits. Costs.

References:

Callan, Kathy. (August, 2000). Preparing for a decision support system. Topics in Health Information Management. Vol. 21, Iss. 1; Pg. 84, 7 pp.

Maya L., Julian. Information Systems for Decision Making (DSS). UEAFIT University.

Moussaoui, L. (2001). The Strategic Role of Information Systems in Organizations. DIT. Department of Telematics Systems Engineering.

 

Picaza J.M .; Sobrado F.J .; García J.J .; Ocariz C .; Aldamiz-Echevarria L. MELSIS: a framework for the construction of Decision Support Systems in monitoring problems. ERABAKI Group. Medical Informatics Laboratory

Department of Languages ​​and Computer Systems. Faculty of Informatics (UPV / EHU). Donosita-San Sebastián.

Rivera A., Manuel. (March, 2001). DSS, Impact on the Decision-Making Process. Enterprise Solutions.

Turban, E., Aronson, J. E. Decision Support Systems and Intelligent System, Ed. Prentice Hall, 1998 .6a. Ed., 3.1-3.4, pp. 94-100; 8.2-8.5, pp. 306-314.

Developing Spreadsheet Based Decision Support Systems