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Book Contents

Ch. 11
Building Web-Based and Inter-Organizational Decision Support Systems

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Examples of Web-Based DSS

Many Web sites have decision support for customers or suppliers. Microsoft Carpoint at URL http://carpoint.msn.com demonstrates both Data and Model-Driven DSS. Users can use a Compare feature to make pair-wise comparisons of car models across pre-specified attributes.

A prototype Web-based, Communications-Driven Group DSS called TCB Works was developed by Dennis and Pootheri at the University of Georgia. TCBWorks is different from the "typical" discussion-oriented tools available on the Web. It is designed to enable people to interact, discuss issues, and make decisions. It can support both structured discussions and multi-criteria decision making. When a user connected to TCBWorks a login screen requested the user's name and password. Once logged on, the user started with a Project Screen. Figure 11.4 shows a Voting Screen in TCBWorks. GroupSystems and other companies are developing similar Web-Based GDSS.

Figure 11.4 – TCBWorks Voting Screen

Retirement and Investment planning is facilitated at a number of Web sites. Also, many 401 K plans are supported by Web sites. Plan participants and sponsors do the work of entering data, transferring investments and researching investments. Model-Driven DSS can show how an investment may grow over time and Suggestion DSS provide advice. Some sites with DSS include Fidelity Investment’s http://www.401k.com, Principal Financial group at http://www.principal.com, and American Express at http://www.americanexpress.com. The Fidelity "Retirement Planning Calculator" is a Model-Driven DSS that helps a person decided how much to invest for retirement each month. Principal Financial has an "Investor Profile Quiz" that is a Knowledge-Driven DSS.

Netscape Decision Guides are good examples of Model-Driven and Knowledge-Driven DSS. One can find more than 25 Decision Guides at URL http://home.netscape.com/decisionguides. Topics of guides include choosing pets, bikes and business schools.

Stockfinder at http://stockpoint.com has a Data-Driven DSS that helps investors identify stocks based on criteria like price, earnings and type of industry. Stockpoint also has an Investment Profile Knowledge-Driven DSS (see Figure 11.5). A user answers a short questionnaire about income constraints, personal financial goals and risk tolerance. The DSS processes the responses and provides a list of possible investments that match the person’s personal goals and budget constraints. A number of Investment web sites provide their users with DSS capabilities. Document-Driven DSS provide company information from many sources, charting software lets users manipulate financial comparisons of large time series databases, and search and agent software that alert users to news, stock prices and changes in stock prices.

Figure 11.5 – Stockpoint.com Investment Profile Knowledge-Driven DSS

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