from DSSResources.com

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                          DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
              March 25, 2001 -- Vol. 2, No. 7
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM
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  Check the Subscriber Zone Page at http://dssresources.com
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Featured:
* DSS Wisdom
* Ask Dan! -- What is a Group Decision Support System?
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories
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Each week, we have about 3000 unique visitors at DSSResources.COM. 
This newsletter has more than 500 subscribers from 50 countries. Please 
forward this newsletter to people interested in Decision Support 
Systems. Subscribe to the DSS Hyperbook at the special price of USD$20 
for 6 months.
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DSS Wisdom
In 1962, Doug Engelbart provided a hypothetical description of a 
computer-based augmentation system.  A "friendly fellow" named Joe 
described its capabilities.  Joe said ...
"Let me mention another bonus feature that wasn't easily foreseen. We 
have experimented with having several people work together from working 
stations that can provide inter-communication via their computer or 
computers. That is, each person is equipped as I am here, with free 
access to the common working structures. There proves to be a really 
phenomenal boost in group effectiveness over any previous form of 
cooperation we have experienced. They can all work on the same symbol 
structure, wherever they might wish. If any two want to work 
simultaneously on the same material, they simply duplicate and each 
starts reshaping his version--and later it is easy to merge their 
contributions. The whole team can join forces at a moment's notice to 
'pull together' on some stubborn little problem, or to make a group 
decision. Most points of contention are resolved quite naturally, over a 
period of time, as the developing structure of argument bears out one, 
or the other, or neither stand."
Engelbart, D. C., "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework", 
AFOSR-3233 Summary Report, October 1962 at URL 
http://sloan.stanford.edu/mousesite/EngelbartPapers/B5_F18_ConceptFrameworkInd.html.
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What is a Group Decision Support System?
Let's start with a definition. A Group Decision Support System (GDSS) is 
an interactive, computer-based system that helps a team of 
decision-makers solve problems and make choices. GDSS are targeted to 
supporting groups in analyzing problem situations and in performing 
group decision-making tasks (cf., DeSanctis and Gallupe, 1987; Huber, 
1984). The name is very descriptive.  A GDSS is a hybrid system that 
uses an elaborate communications infrastructure and heuristic and 
quantitative models to support decision-making.
Over the past few years I have received a number of questions related to 
Group Decision Support Systems and groupware.  I'll try to answer some 
of them a bit more systematically in this Ask Dan! 
In Reply to a question on GDSS posted by Teong Siew Meng.
>Describe the principal characteristics of a traditional Decision 
>>Room-based Group Decision Support System (GDSS).
A Decision Room refers to the physical arrangement for using a Group 
DSS.  In a single room, workstations are made available to participants. 
The objective in using a Decision Room is to enhance and improve the 
group's decision-making process.
Characteristics of a Decision Room include:
1) Each participant has a computer workstation
2) A leader (faciliator) coordinates the meeting
3) The room has a display screen that all participants can view
4) Computers are networked and client/server architecture is used
5) Specialized software is available to all participants
>Discuss relevant design issues relating to the development of GDSS.
The design issues are changing because of the Web. Researchers focused 
for many years on what tools to provide and how to collect and aggregate 
input. Those issues are still important, but I think
output display and "mixed" meetings (some participants are meeting
at the same time and other will participate at different times)
are creating new design challenges ...
In Reply to a question on GDSS posted by Scott Sobek 
>Would Email and Lotus Notes be considered GDSS? How about Domino? 
I would classify them as group support systems or groupware, but not as 
group decision support systems. GDSS should have tools that specifically 
support collaborative decision making. 
In Reply to another Email
>Why don't you have more information on GDSS at DSSResources.COM?
This type of question is the hardest for me to answer. It points up the 
limits of maintaining a Web site.  I haven't done much research on GDSS 
-- only one paper with some colleagues (Roth et al., 1993) and I worked 
with George Huber in the early 80's. I have used groupware and Ventana's 
GroupSystems, but I hadn't planned to create many GDSS resources for 
DSSResources.COM. Chapter 8 of my DSS Hyperbook book discusses 
"Implementing Communications-Driven and Group Decision Support Systems". 
 I have classified groupware, collaborative computing, 
computer-supported cooperative work systems, electronic meeting systems, 
GDSS, and video conferencing all together.  I refer to this class of 
information systems as Communications-Driven Decision Support Systems.
Until recently I relied on other sites for Group DSS links like
GroupWare Central. That approach hasn't worked too well and I'm trying 
to remedy the limited materials on Communications-Driven DSS and 
especially GDSS at DSSResources.COM.
Check the page on Communications-Driven DSS Resources and the related 
page on Multimedia Decision Support. Please suggest links and other 
resources.
----
DeSanctis, G., and R. Gallupe, "A Foundation for the Study of Group 
Decision Support Systems," Management Science, May 1987, 33(5).
Huber, G. P., "Issues in the Design of Group Support Systems," MIS 
Quarterly, Sept. 1984.
Roth, R., Wood, II, W., Hahm, R. and Power, D., "Building Group Decision 
Support Rooms Using 'Off-the-Shelf' Computing Resources: Prospects and 
Issues", Data Base, June 1993, 24(2), 21-31.
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What's New at DSSResources.COM
03/21/2001 Posted Dan's Picks for Spring 2001 in the DSS Book Store.
03/16/2001 Published case study by Decisioneering Staff, "SunTrust 
'Banks' on Crystal Ball for assessing the risk of commercial loans", 
Decisioneering, Inc., November 1998, URL 
DSSResources.COM/cases/suntrust.html.
03/11/2001 Created new feature called DSS Wisdom.
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DSS News Stories - Mar. 12 to Mar. 25, 2001
03/23/2001 DRUGFACTS.com adds free Lab Values Analyzer to assist medical 
professionals in interpreting abnormal lab results.
03/22/2001 NEC Industries chose eFinance software for Online Credit 
decision support and transaction finance processing.
03/21/2001 Sun's new Sun Fire Server hits record performance with Oracle 
E-Business Suite.
03/20/2001 MapScape.com adds retail location data sets for retail and 
commercial real estate decision-making.
03/19/2001 Sagent selected Breakaway Solutions to provide application 
hosting and managed services for Sagent's Business Intelligence 
Software.
03/16/2001 Media Metrix data shows MSN Messenger Service is top instant 
messaging service worldwide. 
03/15/2001 IDC forecasts worldwide data warehouse tool market will 
increase to $17 Billion in 2004.
03/15/2001 Actuate chooses databeacon for OEM partnership to add 
Web-based Information Analysis to e.Reporting suite.
03/14/2001 Informatica announced enhanced analytic support for SAP R/3 
and SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW) installations. 
03/14/2001 Wainhouse Research rated Polycom the worldwide market leader 
in group videoconferencing systems for 2000.
03/13/2001 The Principal Financial Group selected Business Objects 
software for its Customer Care Extranet.
03/13/2001 BP expands relationship with Applix; rolls out iPlanning 
globally.
03/12/2001 Frost & Sullivanís Eighth Annual Business Intelligence 
Conference and Exhibition, April 23-26, 2001, Miami Beach, FL.
03/12/2001 AIIM International reports installed e-Business applications 
are causing a content management crisis. 
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Frost and Sullivan Business Intelligence Conference
One of the greatest challenges for companies today is consolidating 
information and analyzing the data from all divisions in order to make 
better decisions.
Learn how to cultivate and leverage your internal Business Intelligence 
sources at:
What: Frost & Sullivan's Eighth Annual Business Intelligence Conference 
and Exhibition East
When: April 23-26, 2001
Where: Wyndham Miami Beach Resort, Miami Beach, Florida
To review the conference agenda, or to access a brochure, please visit 
http://www.frost.com/conferences/CIB or contact Cara Battaglia, 
cbattaglia@frost.com, or call (210) 348-1018.  Mention DSSResources.com 
and qualify for 2-for-1 registration.
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