DSS News 
                    D. J. Power, Editor 
             August 15, 2004 -- Vol. 5, No. 17
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM 


      Check the article by Mark Demarest, "The Politics 
           of Data Warehousing" at DSSResources.COM



* Report from AMCIS and ITDSSD Workshop
* DSS News Releases


Report from AMCIS and ITDSSD Workshop
by Dan Power

"On the road again - Just can't wait to get on the road again. The life 
I love is making music with my friends and I can't wait to get on the 
road again." Thanks Willie Nelson for capturing my feelings about 
attending DSS workshops and conferences. During 2 weeks in late July and 
early August, I was "making music" with my DSS friends.  After more than 
3000 miles of driving in our Dodge minivan my family and I returned to 
our home base in Cedar Falls, Iowa late Monday evening, August 9, 2004,  
Below is my report from the road.

After a visit with Pal Mickey in Orlando, my path led to Amelia Island 
Plantation north of Jacksonville, Florida for the "Innovations in 
Teaching Decision Support Systems Development (ITDSSD)" workshops. These 
NSF supported summer workshops are a milestone indicating an expanded 
interest in teaching DSS. Beginning Sunday, August 1 more than 100 
faculty and Ph.D. students gathered to learn about spreadsheet-based 
and/or web-enabled DSS and discuss tips and materials for teaching about 
DSS. Workshop organizers Ravi Ahuja (U. Florida) and Wayne Whinston 
(Indiana U.) did a great job. Their premise was that the "need to teach 
decision support system development skills to industrial engineering, 
operations research and business school students has been felt by many 

The setting for the workshops was Amelia Island Plantation, a premium 
beach-front resort in north Florida. Amelia Island was beautiful. My 
friend Cliff Ragsdale (Virginia Tech) gave the invited opening talk for 
the Spreadheet-based DSS workshop and I gave the overview talk for the 
Web-enabled DSS workshop that started August 4. Cliff discussed his 
experiences teaching DSS using Excel and VBA. He emphasized the 
hands-on, "how to" teaching approach and that was the focus of both 

The pace of the three day Spreadsheet-based DSS workshop was rapid fire. 
 The days were long and packed with content. Wayne Whinston reviewed the 
basics and Microsoft Press provided attendees copies of Wayne's 2004 
Excel book. Michelle Hanna, a co-author with Ravi and Wayne of an 
upcoming skills book on spreadsheet-based DSS, covered Visual Basic and 
advanced Excel materials.  Her demonstration approach was interesting 
and effective. Many of the workshop attendees were new to VBA, but she 
did a good job of establishing the basics and then moving to more 
advanced materials and application case examples. Check for more details. All of the attendees 
received pre-publication versions of text and lecture materials.

On Wednesday afternoon, Ahuja, Ragsdale, Erkut, Gupta, Kurz, Lustig and 
I participated in a panel discussion on implementing DSS courses. The 
panel gave us a chance to share our experiences and answer questions 
about teaching DSS using Excel. During the workshops I had many 
opportunities to make new friends.  Mary Beth Kurz and Joel Greenstein, 
both of Clemson, and Judith Gebauer, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 
were often my companions at meals. Mary Beth is involved in developing 
learning objectives for the teaching DSS project. Jeet Gupta (U. 
Alabama-Birmingham) and I had had some previous phone and email 
interactions, but we found many shared interests during the workshop. 
Edward "Dick" Whalen, College of Southern Maryland, sat next to me 
throughout the workshop and we helped each other. To all the attendees 
and the U. Florida hosts -- Ravi, Abhijit, Don, and Michelle, many 

After my talk Thursday morning "What is IT all about? Supporting 
Decision Makers", my family and I were on the road again. Regrettably I 
couldn't stay for the Web-enabled DSS development workshop.  My guess is 
that Abhijit Pohl and Ravi did a great job. My family had enjoyed the 
beach, but they were ready for the 750 mile trek north.  We arrived 
safely at my mother-in-law's home in Annapolis, Maryland late Thursday 
night and Friday morning I took the Amtrak train to New York City and 
AMCIS 2004.

Amtrak is definitely the best way to travel in the Boston-New 
York-Washington, DC corridor.  Penn Station was busy and I walked uptown 
to the Marriott Marquis at 45th Street in time to register, attend the 
AMCIS keynote by C. K. Prahalad on "technology in the Developing World" 
and have lunch with Roger Pick (U. Missouri-Kansas City).  Prahalad had 
some interesting video vignettes, but he needed to shorten his talk. At 
2:30 pm I gave my presentation "Decision Support Systems: From the Past 
to the Future" and then I attended the Communications of the Association 
for Information Systems editors meeting.  Another DSS session and the 
SIG DSS meeting were next on my agenda.  The SIG DSS business meeting 
started promptly with Michael Goul presiding.  There was a relaxed 
atmosphere, good attendance, and as Past Chair I could sit back, watch 
and listen.  SIG DSS has a strong leadership team. The July 2004 SIG DSS 
newletter is on the web at 
.  Friday night I took some personal time and went to the musical 
"Avenue Q" with Professor Al Hevner (U. South Florida) and his daughter 
Caitlin. Al and I were colleagues at the U. of Maryland and it was great 
to see his daughter "all growed up". Thanks Al.

Saturday was a whirlwind of sessions and informal meetings. I had lunch 
with Profs. Julie and Ken Kendall (Rutgers-Camden) and Ken Peffers 
(UNLV). The after lunch presentation was a pitch about the next AMCIS 
2005 in Omaha, Nebraska -- "a conference on a human scale". Check the 
Web site .  After lunch I had a 
chance to chat with Clyde Holsapple (U. Kentucky). The plan is to 
publish a DSS Thought Leader interview with Clyde at DSSResources.COM. 
He has been a major innovator for and proponent of Decision Support 
Systems for 30 years. Saturday evening was a dinner cruise on the 
Hudson. Peter Keenan (UCD), George Marakas (Kansas), and I were on the 
third cruise ship and the food and drinks were plentiful.  The IS/T 
folks were fun and the music good.  I had dinner with Jack Becker (U. 
North Texas), his wife, daughter and colleague, Mary Jones ... It was 
interesting to chat with Jack and Mary. By 11pm I was back at the hotel.

Autograph signings were in fashion this year at AMCIS.  Although the 
number of publishers has drastically declined, the competition among 
publishers seems to have increased. Ben Shneiderman, another friend from 
the University of Maryland, was busy signing autographs in copies of his 
newest book, Designing the User Interface. Ben had been on the road for 
6 weeks speaking at various conferences. I also spoke with Mark 
Gillenson about his new database textbook.

Overall SIG DSS sponsored 19 sessions with 57 papers in 5 mini-tracks. 
AMCIS 2004 had almost 200 sessions, tutorials and mini-workshops. 
Regrettably, the only DSS vendors who participated were Microstrategy 
and SAS.

Sunday morning I packed my bag, had a bagel, juice and coffee, and 
chatted briefly with other early birds -- Jay Aronsen (U. Georgia), 
Jerry Fjermestad (NJIT), David Olson (U Nebraska), and Nick Romano 
(Oklahoma State).  Then I headed for Penn Station and a train ride 
south.  Overall, AMCIS was bigger (more than 1200 registered) and more 
diverse than any I have attended.  My only regret is that I didn't have 
more time to spend with my SIG DSS friends. Three Stevens Institute 
faculty members, Jerry Luftman, Ed Stohr and Chris Bullen, were the 
driving force behind AMCIS 2004 and they did a great job. Everyone who 
worked on AMCIS should be pleased with its success. Next year in OMAHA!



Gillenson, M. L., Fundamentals of Database Management Systems, Hoboken, 
NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005.

Shneiderman, B. and Catherine Plaisant, Designing the User Interface, 
Boston: Pearson/Addison-Wesley, 2005.

Whinston, W., Microsoft Excel: Data Analysis and Business Modeling, 
Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 2004.


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DSS News - August 1 to August 14, 2004
Read them at DSSResources.COM and search the DSS News Archive

08/13/2004 New rock the vote mobile application helps voters identify 
their ideal presidential candidate match.

08/13/2004 Atari offers a first look at tomorrow's warfare with upcoming 
real-time strategy game, Act of War: Direct Action.

08/13/2004 Magenta deploys its multi-agent technology to optimize one of 
the World's largest oil tanker fleets.

08/12/2004 U.S. Army awards Northrop Grumman $71.2 million task order 
for C4ISR technical support.

08/12/2004 Service Transport Company deploys TMWSuite; enterprise 
software solution provides carrier with real-time visibility, increased 

08/11/2004 Jaros business intelligence solution expected to improve 
automotive supplier's business visibility and organizational efficiency.

08/11/2004 City of Huntsville, Alabama, interactive maps web tools based 
on Intergraph solutions goes online.

08/11/2004 Microsoft expands options to bring more choices and 
flexibility to customers buying its Office Live Meeting service.

08/11/2004 Call for papers: Knowledge Management and Business 
Intelligence (KMBI 2005) Workshop, Kaiserslautern, Germany, April 10-13, 

08/10/2004 Computerworld's Business Intelligence Perspectives Conference 
to honor end-user excellence with 'Best Practices in Business 
Intelligence' awards program.

08/10/2004 Vanderbilt University selects Silicon Graphics Onyx4 
Visualization System to power new state-of-the-art computing center.

08/10/2004 MACTEC selects Business Objects for enterprise performance 
management; leading engineering design company replaces Cognos with 
Business Objects.

08/09/2004 HandySoft announces more than 40 Federal and DOD Agencies 
using BizFlow Business Process Management (BPM) software.

08/09/2004 Fair Isaac introduces Payment Optimizer 2.0 to increase fraud 
detection capabilities for healthcare payers.

08/09/2004 ProClarity Corporation provides Raymond James with customized 
analytic solutions; approximately 7,500 users will utilize system to 
quickly access up-to-date financial information.

08/09/2004 Analytics ready for prime time: Spotfire DecisionSite 8 
raises the bar in analytics with wide business applicability.

08/09/2004 SAS leads data mining and data warehousing access tools 

08/09/2004 National Source One offers new loan document management 
solution; GoldTracks streamlines process and increases efficiency.

08/09/2004 Survey reveals Basel II benchmark; institutions make steady 
progress but could do better.

08/09/2004 Ingenuity launches enterprise collaboration application for 
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

08/09/2004 American Medical Response selects Business Objects for 
Enterprise Performance Management.

08/06/2004 Campus tours go high tech: just in time for 'Back to School,' 
first-of-its-kind GPS-enabled system makes its debut.

08/05/2004 Strategic Management Group releases next version of 
simulation platform, SimShop 5.0.

08/04/2004 Oracle helps companies meet global demands and increase 
top-line growth with latest version of Supply Chain Management 

08/04/2004 Motion control software plays an increasingly significant 
role in the industrial automation sector.

08/03/2004 Cornerstone releases new web-based global data consolidation 
and travel management tool.

08/03/2004 BizFlow selected as top five best-of-breed BPM solutions by 
BPM today.

08/03/2004 The WorldWide Retail Exchange starts 'getting data clean' 
through the launch of their data quality program.

08/02/2004 Oracle Corporation President Charles Phillips challenges 
business owners to standardize technology for growth.

08/02/2004 Intergraph announces Call for Presentations for GeoSpatial 
World 2005.


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