DSS definition

In IT, what is the definition for DSS or Information and Decision Support System? The definition is an integrated computer system designed to help managers make decisions. The decision support system is a very important part of the management information system. It differs from the management information system.

Its main function is to provide information and data analysis tools. It enables relevant decisions to be taken, particularly in view of the constantly changing competitive and regulatory environment.

Definition of DSS in IT

The decision support system, subpart of the larger information system, is also called a computerised decision support system.

Indeed, the DSS holds a major place in information systems, particularly because of the changing environment where relevant information is increasingly valuable. It contains data from different databases as well as a knowledge base.

It works with a computer language, mainly SQL and MDX. As well as a modelling program that gives business managers the ability to analyse the business activity. This ability allows for the study of several budget planning hypotheses, for example, and thus to estimate the returns.

A decision support system is based on analysis axes called dimensions, for example:

  • Time
  • Geography
  • Product or service line
  • Company hierarchy

The DSS is composed of an OLAP system, as it is a database dedicated to analysis.

Different types of DSS

The decision-making system is dedicated and domain oriented, and exists, for example, within the same structure, multiple variations:

  • Human resources DSS also called HR DSS or EHR decision support system
  • Sales DSS
  • Accounting DSS
  • Logistics DSS
  • Quality and compliance DSS
  • etc.

What are the objectives of a DSS ?

To learn more about the DSS definition, let’s talk about its goals. The DSS allows the managers of an organisation to identify problems via management alerts. And also, to observe the evolution of the activity. However, it does not provide explanations or comments. Comments are entered by hand to explain variations.

For example, seasonality or difficult weather conditions that influence purchases in the shop and impact on turnover.

It also provides a synthetic presentation. For this purpose, the IT DSS feeds into all areas of the organisation.

Furthermore, with data from different sources, data comparison poses technical and functional problems.

An effective DSS is built on selected and relevant indicators

The decision support information system presents useful information. It is built selectively. In other words, its designers choose the statistics with the decision-makers. Its construction requires a needs analysis. It provides users with an easy-to-use consultation tool.

Providing statistics and sending queries in real time is expensive and degrades performance. The decision support system therefore protects the operational databases.

Indeed, it comes between the operational databases and the users. The system processes the data, often at night for large processing operations. A DSS uses Data Warehouses in particular.

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