DSS News is a free biweekly newsletter from DSSResources.COM about 
Decision Support Systems.


                         DSS News 
                    D. J. Power, Editor 
              December 5, 2004 -- Vol. 5, No. 25
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM 


                Check the interview with
         Jim Kashner "Bottom Line on Data Mining"


* Report from DSI in Boston
* What's New At DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Releases


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Report from DSI in Boston

DSI is an acronym for the Decision Sciences Institute 
( The group was founded in 1969 to promote 
interdiciplinary research about all aspects of decision making. I first 
attended a meeting of the group in November 1976.  At that time, I was a 
graduate student and Professor Jerry Rose and I had written a description of 
my computerized decision aid research project for the meeting.  The paper is 
titled "Improving Decision-Making Behavior Using the Hewlett Packard 
2000/Access System." That's the first publication entry on my academic vita. 
Since then the group has changed names, but DSI/AIDS always brings back good 
memories for me.

My flight to Boston was uneventful, but I arrived at the hotel after 7pm and 
missed the conference Welcome reception. Sunday I was up early to attend 
sessions.  The program listed more than 1000 regular paper presentations, 45 
workshops, 12 tutorials, 50 panels and 25 symposia. The DSS/AI/Expert 
systems track was one of 17 tracks. Andre Everett (U. Otago) and James Teng 
(UT Arlington) chaired the track. Program Chair Ken Kendall (Rutgers-Camden) 
and the track chairs assembled a broad program with something for everyone 
interested in decision making. Thanks.

The conference has grown to a four day event, but I missed the Saturday 
sessions due to a scheduling conflict and cost issues. The four Saturday 
DSS/AI/Expert Systems sessions covered DSS applications, data mining, and 
new tools and techniques.

Sunday morning at 8am, I had to choose among a number of interesting 
sessions.  After some deliberation, I attended a panel discussion on GIS in 
the Emerging Technologies track. Four faculty members from University of 
Redlands led by Jim Pick and Julian Ray discussed the expanding role of 
Geographic Information Systems in Business. Most of the applications they 
discussed were for decision support. They discussed applications in 
logistics including routing and scheduling, site selection, outtage analysis 
for a utility, and health monitoring. Keith Roberts discussed the legal and 
ethical implications of GIS in his presentation. He mentioned the recent 
case where Payless Car rental failed to let customers know it tracked them 
using GPS when they crossed state lines and then imposed surcharges. Keith 
also discussed Orkin's use of GPS for fleet management, including the speed 
watcher function.

At 10am Sunday, there were 2 DSS/AI/Expert Systems sessions. After reading 
the abstracts, I attended the session that included a paper on a clinical 
trial of a mobile emergency triage DSS. Mike Wojtek (U. Ottawa) explained 
the system and the testing process.  Check 
for more information.

Following the buffet lunch, I attended the special session on facilitating 
quality decision making.  This was a work session and Ken and Julie Kendall 
(Rutgers-Camden) and Roger Schroeder (U. Minnesota) were the faciliators. We 
brainstormed and then discussed questions like "What are the specific 
strategies you are using to enhance the quality of decision making?" and 
"What kinds of technology would be useful in improving decision making 
quality?" I was a bit skeptical at first of the process, but the session was 
interesting and I'm looking forward to reading the summary of our 

At 3pm, I participated in a session on DSS technology and Ecommerce chaired 
by Vijay Sugumaran (Oakland University).  My talk was titled "Providing Web 
-based DSS for Customers". My thesis was that web-based DSS could help 
overcome the impersonal environment of Ecommerce and fulfill some of the 
role of a salesperson. I showed screen shots and discussed various customer 
-focused DSS. Also in the session, Ramesh Sharda (Oklahoma State) discussed 
virtual trade fairs and William Wagner (Villanova) discussed enterprise 
portals for decision support. I think the session was well received and a 

After 4 sessions, I was ready for a relaxing meal. My friend Ramesh Sharda 
invited me to join the Oklahoma State group for dinner at the Kashmir 
Restaurant on Newbury Street. Supposedly the Kashmir is the best Indian 
restaurant in Boston. The food was tasty and the conversation interesting.

Monday was another busy day. After a quick breakfast, I attended an 8am 
session on Innovations in Decision Support Systems Design and checked the 
Exhibitor area. At 10am, I attended the CEO Service Forum that included 
presentations by four prominant executives -- Charles Baker (Harvard Pilgrim 
Health), Tom Galligan (Papa Gino's), Charles Gifford (Bank of America) and 
Deborah jackson (Red Cross Mass Bay).  The executives discussed delivering 
high-quality service.  The panel wasn't about DSS, but the topic is 
critically important to all of us interested in DSS. In a perfect world, the 
panel would have drawn an audience of hundreds, but only about 40 people 
were at this great session.

After lunch at California Pizza Kitchen with Merrill Warkentin (Mississippi 
State) and Vijay Sugumaran, I attended a special panel on the business 
applications of Tablet PCs.  Les Ball (Northeastern Univ.) organized the 
panel and was a presenter.  Executives from Thompson Learning and Prentice 
Hall discussed how their sales forces were successfully using Tablet PCs. 
Mike Werner (Microsoft) is the Tablet PC evangelist and he provided an 
optimistic projection for the future. From what I have seen, the Tablet PC 
has enormous potential as a DSS platform.  As the Tablet PC hardware prices 
continue to decline and wireless networks expand, I expect to see executives 
and staff carrying them around to meetings, using them in their offices and 
carrying them home at night. I'm looking forward to using a Tablet PC as my 
primary computing platform. (I'll still need a keyboard for wordprocessing 
and constructing spreadsheets.)

At 3pm, I participated in a session on designing and delivering successful 
spreadsheet-based DSS courses chaired by Cliff Ragsdale (Virginia Tech). 
Cliff, Paul Bergey (NC State), Kevin Scheibe (Iowa State) and I discussed 
our teaching experiences. IMHO teaching DSS with labs and projects 
associated with spreadsheet technology is a powerful learning combination. 
The DSI President's reception was held from 6-7 pm Monday night. I ate and 
mingled. In a crowd of almost a thousand people, I only knew about 30 
people.  DSI is not a major gathering place for the DSS crowd.  I chatted 
with George Marakas (Kansas) and briefly spoke with Jim Courtney (Central 
Florida), but most people I met were involved with production or supply 
chain. Courtney will be the DSS/AI/Expert Systems track chair for the 36th 
DSI meeting in San Francisco, November 19-22, 2005.

Tuesday morning was hectic with packing and flying back to Cedar Falls.  DSI 
was a good meeting, but we are all confronted with too many opportunities 
for professional interaction and development.  My plan is to stay home for a 
while and enjoy the holidays.  Peace, Shalom and happy holidays.


Power, D.J. and G. L. Rose, "Improving Decision-Making Behavior Using the 
Hewlett Packard 2000/Access System," Proceedings of the American Institute 
for Decision Sciences, November 1976, pp. 47-49.


What's New at DSSResources.COM

11/26/2004 Posted interview with Jim Kashner "Bottom Line on Data Mining" 
conducted by Dan Conway. Check the interviews page.


DSS News - November 22 to December 5, 2004
Read them at DSSResources.COM and search the DSS News Archive

12/03/2004 Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Dakota selects SenSage's Security 
Information Management solution to meet the audit control requirements of 

12/03/2004 Park City Group announces first dairy department to use patented 
Fresh Market Manager Software in 100 store supermarket chain.

12/02/2004 Decision Resources and PharMetrics partner to enhance the way 
pharmaceutical companies analyze their disease markets.

12/02/2004 Cognos in leaders quadrant in new analyst report on business 

12/01/2004 Microsoft announces winners of Tablet PC developer application 

11/30/2004 Informatica data integration platform successfully implemented by 
the Principal Financial Group.

11/29/2004 Barnes & Noble College Booksellers rollout Retail Expert's 
NaviStor(R) loss prevention and business intelligence software.

11/29/2004 Netezza and MicroStrategy offer complete foundation for business 

11/29/2004 Competitive Intelligence Leadership Perspectives and the Future. 

11/24/2004 Cedara introduces OrthoWorks Care Manager, a powerful knowledge 
management solution that tracks vital patient information.

11/23/2004 Traditional CRM vendors struggling to move downstream, study 

11/23/2004 U.S. Army expands its use of IsoSpace real-time collaboration 

11/22/2004 World-wide organization formed to improve the quality of 
information and data.

11/22/2004 London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority selects Hummingbird 
to meet regulatory demands.

11/22/2004 Teradata leads data warehouse application server evaluation model 
rankings for fifth straight year.

11/22/2004 Wolters Kluwer Health partners with Cerner to enhance decision 
support at point-of-care.

11/22/2004 CA's CleverPath Portal r4.7 simplifies personalized delivery of 
complex business process information.

11/22/2004 Attempted check fraud increase to $5.5 Billion according to ABA 


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