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Book Contents

Ch. 7
Building Data-Driven Decision Support Systems

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Comparing DSS Data and Operating Data

First we should remember operating data and DSS data serve different purposes. In general, DSS data is data about transactions and business occurrences; operating data is a record of a companyís daily business transactions. DSS data is created to provide tactical and strategic business meaning to operating data and relevant external data. The difference in purpose means that the data formats and structures will likely differ. Managers and systems analysts must recognize that DSS data and operating data differ in terms of six major factors: the data structures, the time span, the summarization of data, data volatility, data dimensions, and metadata. There is a summary of the differences in Table 7.1. Letís examine differences in each of these factors in more detail.

Factors

Operating Data

DSS Data

Data Structures

normalized

integrated

Time Span

current

historical

Summarization

none

extensive in some systems

Data Volatility

volatile

non-volatile

Data Dimensions

one dimension

multiple dimensions

Metadata

desirable

required and important

Table 7.1. Comparing Operating and DSS data.

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