from DSSResources.com

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                          DSS News
                     D. J. Power, Editor
              October 13, 2002 -- Vol. 3, No. 21
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM

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    Check the "Origins of OLAP" article by Nigel Pendse
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Featured:

 * Report from 2002 Teradata PARTNERS Conference
 * Spreadsheet-based DSS Tip - Plan it!
 * What's New at DSSResources.COM
 * DSS News Releases

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Enhance model-driven DSS with Crystal Ball simulation software.
Download a FREE evaluation at www.crystalball.com/dss

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Report from 2002 Teradata PARTNERS Conference
by Daniel J. Power

From September 29 through October 3, 2002, I was in Las Vegas at the 
16th annual Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference and Expo. Sunday 
afternoon I rushed from the airport to attend a 3:30 pm presentation by 
Rhonda Kirkpatrick, the Executive Officer of the Iowa Dept. of Revenue 
and Finance.  Rhonda spoke about how a data warehouse/DSS has helped tax 
administrators make decisions about audits. Data warehousing and data 
mining are used to detect non-compliance and better understand taxpayer 
behavior. For example, the system is used for scoring and ranking of 
potential audit leads. The system has resulted in significant additional 
tax revenue for the State of Iowa. I'm planning to follow-up with Rhonda 
and get a case study for DSSResources.COM.

Monday morning was busy with keynote speakers. The opening session began 
dramatically with a multimedia sequence of rain, thunder, lightening, 
and singing to demonstrate the need "for business to proactively embrace 
their own data storms". An audience of more than 2500 listened to Lars 
Nyberg, NCR chairman and CEO, and Mark Hurd, NCR's new COO. The next 
session featured Harry Dent and Gary Hamel "pep" talks. 

For the next 2 1/2 days, I tried to focus on interesting decision 
support case study presentations and software demonstrations. I attended 
hands-on mini-lessons on Teradata MetaSurf product, Teradata Warehouse 
Miner, and the Teradata Dynamic Query Manager.  MetaSurf is a web 
accessible search program for accessing warehouse metadata.  It was easy 
to use, but it doesn't overcome the barrier to understanding caused by 
cryptic names used for fields, views and even tables. Why do database 
designers persist in using names like Loc_Avg_Itm_Rev? The Warehouse 
Miner session was much too short. The descriptive statistics tools are 
easy to use. The analytic algorithm called affinity analysis is 
interesting, but it presents a dense display of "results".  The decision 
tree tool was used to create a model to help in cross selling products. 
Overall, the software provides little help for those who aren't familiar 
with when and how to use data mining and decision support tools. We 
probably don't want "naive statisticians" mining data with tools like 
the Teradata Warehouse Miner. Finally, the Query Management software 
should make the life of a DBA a bit easier.

My selection of case study/customer session was varied.  Harrah's Casino 
topped the list followed by Applebee's and Travelocity.  There were too 
many "good" sessions. I did check out the latest comments from Richard 
Hackathorn, Kevin Strange and Jill Dyche. 

Hugh Watson, Paul Gray, Barbara Wixom and a number of other faculty 
associated with the Teradata University Network project were at the 
conference. Hugh invited me to sit in on their Tuesday morning planning 
meeting.  The project is intended to provide professors with resources 
to help in teaching about data warehousing. Professors and their 
students will have access to a comprehensive on-line learning community 
that includes a library with course syllabi, white papers, presentations 
and case studies. The faculty group and Teradata people like Alan Chow 
and Ron Swift are also working to make software and software 
demonstrations available for class use and research. To find out more 
about the Teradata University Network go to 
www.teradatauniversitynetwork.com.

Well I should probably end this report with a brief mention of the 
social functions.  Sunday night by the pool, Mike Love and the 
California Beach Band on Monday evening, Tuesday the Luxor Hotel and the 
Ra Nightclub, and Wednesday evening was Viva Rock Vegas! The food and 
music was very good, but with a busy day time schedule I "called it a 
night" early on all four occasions.  Teradata and the Partners Steering 
Committee chaired by Art D'Silva, Royal Bank of Canada, organized and 
hosted an excellent educational conference. Partners 2003 will be at 
Seattle's Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Sept. 21-25, 
2003.

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 Visit DSS News Sponsors - Crystalball.com and Teradata.com
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Spreadsheet-based DSS Tip - Plan it!
by Daniel J. Power

Many people "jump in" when they develop a spreadsheet-based DSS with 
little or no planning. After all "it's easy to change or edit a 
spreadsheet application". WRONG! An effective, attractive and used 
spreadsheet-based DSS is more likely to result if a developer carefully 
plans the application and develops a design.

The first planning step is to clearly define what decision task the 
spreadsheet-based DSS will support. What is the purpose of the proposed 
DSS? 

The second step is to determine what analyses and results the decision 
maker will want to examine. What outputs are needed to help make the 
decision(s)?

The third step is to determine what user inputs and stored data are 
needed to perform the analyses and provide results to the decision 
maker.

The fourth step is to determine what calculations and in many cases 
models are needed as part of the DSS.

The final step is to plan and sketch the user interface of the DSS. How 
many worksheets will be needed? What design elements like spinners and 
buttons can enhance analyses? What layout is best for tables, charts, 
input information?

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What's New at DSSResources.COM

10/06/2002 Posted article by Pendse, N., "The origins of today’s OLAP 
products", URL http://dssresources.com/papers/dssarticles.html.

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Get information about Dan Power's book, Decision Support 
Systems: Concepts and Resources for Managers, at 
http://www.dssresources.com/dssbookstore/power02.html .

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DSS News Releases - September 29 to October 11, 2002

Complete news releases can be found at DSSResources.COM.

10/11/2002 MIS DecisionWare announces October seminar series that
showcases budgeting solutions. 

10/11/2002 Data mining leader SAS hosts M2002 conference.

10/09/2002 Siemens announces SX56 Pocket PC phone with 'Pioneering' 
capabilities.

10/09/2002 Report describes present and future for Customer Relationship 
Management in energy industry.

10/09/2002 Cognos series 7 and Cognos Analytic Applications extend 
enterprise value with new analytic offerings. 

10/09/2002 Mechdyne and SGI to provide second visualization solution for 
John Deere. 

10/09/2002 Meetingworks announces release of Meetingworks Connect 6.1. 

10/09/2002 Case studies and keynotes announced For DCI's "Creating the 
Real-Time Enterprise" conference this December.

10/08/2002 ProClarity delivers the first analytic solution for defining 
and sharing best analytic practices.

10/08/2002 Hyperion helps RCN Corporation meet growth objectives with 
business performance management solutions.

10/07/2002 Cognos introduces next generation scorecarding solution. 

10/07/2002 MicroStrategy's new web services development kit earning 
praise. 

10/07/2002 Advanced Reality adds real-time collaboration to Microsoft 
SharePoint Portal server. 

10/07/2002 Balanced Scorecard: strategic performance measures improve 
corporate strategy execution.

10/07/2002 Spotfire captures analytic decisions with DecisionSitetm 
Posters.

10/02/2002 California Public Employees' Retirement System selects 
Medstat for Decision Support System.

10/01/2002 Boeing Autometric, Teradata to enhance business intelligence 
gathering.

10/01/2002 SAS fights money laundering with new solution, practice.

10/01/2002 IBM defines a new era of dynamic work with enhanced Lotus 
software portfolio.

09/30/2002 Teradata announces an industry first: data warehousing for 
all. 

09/30/2002 Inxight SmartDiscovery sets new standard for enterprise 
information retrieval.

09/30/2002 ProClarity signs partnership agreement to provide integrated 
analytics for healthcare payer practice of CGI.

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