from DSSResources.com

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                          DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
                December 17, 2000 -- No. 17
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM
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    Check the Articles On-line at http://dssresources.com
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Featured:
* DSS Wisdom
* Request for Help - Replacing IFPS
* Ask Dan! -- How many DSS related pages are on the Web? 
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories
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We have more than 2300 unique visitors each week at DSSResources.COM 
and more than 375 subscribers to this newsletter. Please forward this 
email to people interested in Decision Support Systems. 
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DSS Wisdom
"Briefly stated, to contribute to good decisions information and control 
systems should:
        1. Produce measures that are complete, objective, and
           influenceable by whatever is being measured.
        2. Use standards set by decision makers or someone who is
           knowledgeable.
        3. Have the decision maker or some other credible person act            
as the discriminator.
        4. Provide information to the decision maker.
        5. Provide some sort of motivation for the decision maker to 
           use the information.
        6. Provide data rapidly and at an appropriate time interval.
        7. Avoid information overload.
        8. Present data in an understandable form and language 
           (p. 190)."
from Lawler, Edward E, and John Grant Rhode. Information and Control in 
Organizations. Pacific Palisades, California: Goodyear Publishing 
Company, 1976. 
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Request for Help - Replacing IFPS
What is a good replacement for models built using IFPS?.  The largest 
model contains more than 1500 variables (rows) and approximately 80 
columns (time periods).  Please send me your comments and I will try to 
address this question in a future Ask Dan.
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Ask Dan!
How many DSS related pages are on the Web?
One means of finding Web sites relevant to DSS is to use a search 
engine.  Another way is to use a Web index.  AltaVista (URL 
http://www.altavista.com) is a search engine that provides searches of a 
large database.  AltaVista provides word count and number of pages found 
in a search.  Word count is the number of times the word or phrase 
appears in documents.  In 1997, a search using AltaVista for the phrase 
"decision support systems" resulted in a word count of about 10,000, 
"decision support" resulted in a word count of about 50,000; and "DSS" 
resulted in a word count of more than 51,000.  Today, performing a 
simple text search using AltaVista for the phrase "decision support 
systems" results in a word count of about 70,000, "decision support" 
results in a word count of about 330,000, and "DSS" results in a word 
count of 441,000.  The number of results has increased from 6 to 10 
times over the past 3 years.    
If one examines the "hits" or documents found, not all of them are 
related to decision support in organizations.  For example, if one 
examines document 1 of about 235,000 matching the query DSS, with the 
best matches first, the first Web site identified is "Digitized Sky 
Survey", an archive of digitalized photographic plates from telescopes. 
However, DSSResources.COM comes first in a search for "decision support 
systems".  An AltaVista search will identify some useful links, but it 
also identifies many false leads.  Also, in a basic search you are 
limited to the first 200 pages. With some manipulations of the search 
string, you can view the first 1000.  Also, not all of the links 
identified are still active or working.
Another popular search program is Lycos (URL http://www.lycos.com/).  
Lycos is one of the best Internet search engines in terms of quantity of 
information and relevancy of results.  A Lycos search on the phrase 
"decision support" found 4,067,140 documents, "decision" found 
13,507,000 and "support" found 37,682,956.  In 1997, a Lycos search on 
the phrase decision support found 291,439 documents with the words 
decision (56,604), decisions (34,125) and support (29,295).  When one 
examines the documents returned the results are again a mix of relevant 
and irrelevant Web sites.  
One of the initial search programs called Webcrawler (URL 
http://www.webcrawler.com/) found fewer matches, and the URLs were not 
much more relevant.  The first five titles of 1470 from the search for 
the phrase "DSS" show the many diverse links that must be sorted: "The 
STScI Digitized Sky Survey", "DSS / DirecTV and DirecPC Satellites", 
"DSS: What's New", "dss test cards decoder free hack cable DSS TEST 
CARDS cartoo...", and "Digital satellite systems (DSS) products and 
supplies".  The first relevant link is number 6, "ISWorld Decision 
Support Systems Research".
Searches using Excite (URL http://www.excite.com), Google (URL 
http://www.google.com), and Northern Light (URL 
http://www.northernlight.com) show similar results.
Finally, a search of YAHOO! (URL http://www.yahoo.com/) presents a more 
organized view of DSS on the WWW.  YAHOO! is the pioneer Internet guide 
and Web index.  It is updated daily and it allows users to both browse 
and search subject categories.  A search found 79 matches containing 
"decision support systems"; 221 matches containing "decision support" 
and 136 matches containing "dss".  In 1997, a search found 30 matches 
containing "decision support systems"; 102 matches containing "decision 
support" and 46 matches containing "dss".  Some matches are still 
irrelevant but in general the links are useful.  One main problem for 
managers and MIS researchers and practioners is that links need to be 
registered with YAHOO so the database is incomplete in the area of 
Decision Support.  Second, the links are presented in alphabetical order 
by YAHOO! category.  The categories are very general and often of 
limited use.
        
Despite the problems with using search engines to find Decision Support 
Systems information, the Web is an outstanding source of current, 
relevant information about DSS software and DSS companies. On the Web 
people can visit or "surf" sites quickly and easily.  The challenge for 
researchers and managers is to find relevant, organized information on 
DSS resources available on the Web. I recommend starting with 
DSSResources.COM.
Thanks to Alex Power for updating the searches.
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What's New! at DSSResources.COM
12/16/2000 Updated DSS Glossary of the DSS Hyperbook. It is 
print-enabled.
12/16/2000 Posted Table of Contents and Preface of the DSS Hyperbook. It 
is print-enabled.
12/16/2000 Posted Chapter 12 "Evaluating Decision Support Systems 
Projects" of the DSS Hyperbook
12/15/2000 Posted Power, D. J. "Supporting Decision-Makers: An Expanded 
Framework".
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DSS News Stories - Dec. 4 to Dec. 17, 2000
12/15/2000 Data Warehousing Institute announced the TDWI World 
Conference -- Winter 2001, Palm Springs Convention Center, Feb. 25 - 
March 2, 2001.
12/14/2000 Business Objects announced integrated Business Intelligence 
solutions for the IBM Enterprise Information Portal.
12/13/2000 IBM announced new portal services to deliver a range of 
business and technical services.
12/13/2000 Oracle announced the integration of Dun & Bradstreet's 
intelligent business information with the Oracle E-Business Suite. 
12/12/2000 Hyperion announced enhanced versions of its financial 
consolidation and budgeting applications, including improved integration 
with leading ERP systems.
12/11/2000 Intuit unveiled Web-Based tool for sharing information; 
QuickBase can change how small businesses and workgroups collaborate 
with employees, vendors and customers. 
12/11/2000 DecisionPoint Applications announced its entry into the 
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market. 
12/08/2000 BI Europe 2001, conference and exhibition on Business 
Intelligence and Decision Support, returns to CNIT, Paris,
on January 31 2001 - 1st February 2001. Check www.bieurope.com. 
12/07/2000 At Scandinavian telecommunications company Telia, an IBM G6 
mainframe with 1,500 virtual Linux servers replaced 70 Unix servers.
12/06/2000 Hummingbird announced that Norton Rose, a top international 
law firm, has purchased Hummingbird's Enterprise Information Portal 
(EIP) and document management (DM) system. 
12/06/2000 Business Objects announced support for Microsoft's XML for 
Analysis protocol. It offers standard access to analytical data sources 
over the Internet.
12/05/2000 Logility Voyager Select supports transportation decisions for 
B-to-B Web-Based Exchanges. 
12/04/2000 SPSS launched its new Corporate Donation Campaign to ensure 
data mining tools and training are available to business students.
Note:  The full press releases are available at 
DSSResources.COM.
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http://dssresources.com/newsletters/ .
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