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Book Contents

Ch. 3
Analyzing Business Decision Processes

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Conclusions and Commentary

Making "good" decisions is NOT an easy task for individual managers or for groups of managers. Decision Support Systems can aid in routine and non-routine decision-making but DSS do not make decision-making any easier or less important. People do have significant limitations that hinder their success as decision-makers. Despite those limitations, many of us make and have made successful decisions of major significance and importance without using a DSS. So the issue in evaluating the need for a DSS must be whether Decision Support Systems can improve the frequency of successful decisions in an organization. This outcome is possible, but stressing providing more information to decision makers is the wrong approach.

Decision makers will benefit from better, more timely information that is presented in a relevant, unbiased way. Understandable analyses and graphical displays are generally better than complex displays and long, complex tables of numbers. Poor or excessive information presentation in a DSS may result in information overload or biased decision-making. Both types of negative results will result in bad decisions or inaction when action is needed.

DSS analysts need to be cautious in their DSS design activities and they need to avoid reinforcing the limitations of decision-makers in a DSS design. DSS should enhance the process of decision-making and DSS should reduce the negative consequences of human information processing limitations. These positive results arise from a sophisticated understanding of decision-making concepts and behavior. We need to use our knowledge of managerial decision-making when we design DSS.

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