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                        DSS News
                  D. J. Power, Editor
            August 14, 2005 -- Vol. 6, No. 18

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       Please check the interview with Wayne Eckerson 
          "Finding the Decision Support Sweetspot" 



* Report from AMCIS 2005, Omaha
* DSS Conferences 
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Releases 


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Report from AMCIS 2005, Omaha

by Dan Power

The Eleventh Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2005)
was held in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, August 11-14, 2005. On Wednesday,
August 10, I drove from my home in Cedar Falls, Iowa to Omaha for the
conference.  The 275 mile trek took less than 5 hours. Omaha may seem
like an unlikely site for the "largest gathering of Information
Systems Professors and IS/IT Ph.D. students in North America", but
more than 1000 attendees gathered for what was billed as a "Conference
on a Human Scale" (check

After checking in at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, I walked 2
blocks to the conference venue. The Qwest Center was the main site for
AMCIS 2005. We used the ballroom and meeting rooms and it is connected
via a skywalk to the Hilton Omaha hotel. I registered about 5:30 pm
and spoke briefly with Fred Niederman, Saint Louis University and Paul
Gray, an emeritus Professor at Claremont Graduate University and
Founding Past Chair of AIS SIG DSS. Apparently DSS researchers were
the early registrants. The registration desk was otherwise quiet while
I was there. I had dinner in the Old Market area and was back at my
hotel by 9pm.

Thursday morning I got up early for an 8am workshop at the Hilton on
“Philosophical Understanding of Research Approaches in the Field of
Information Systems/Technology”. Position papers were solicited
that helped guide the workshop.  Jim Courtney, University of Central
Florida, led the workshop. Fourteen participants engaged in a
semi-structured dialog. Recent research indicates a variety of
philosophies are guiding the research reported in IS/IT/DSS journals.
The traditional positivism/objectivism philosophy remains dominant,
but subjective, interpretivist approaches are also guiding
research. This has led to more qualitative and action research
reported in journals. We tried to understand what was happening and
how it has impacted our understanding of information systems and
information technologies. Information Systems research is generally
perceived as an applied, pragmatic academic discipline.  Methodologies
like action research and design science involve us with practice and
help insure the relevance of what we do.  The workshop underscored the
need for openness to new ideas and new methods. John Beachboard, Idaho
State, asserted we need to better refine and articulate our
understanding of theory and research linkages. Kay Fielden, Unitec New
Zealand, challenged us to examine our various philosophical frameworks
to see if we are providing "sound and wise support" to information
systems practitioners confronted with "wicked" problems. The workshop
ended at noon, but we all lingered and chatted.  No one was in a hurry
to have it end. Thanks to all my new friends from the workshop and
especially to Jim Courtney, our fearless leader.

I had lunch with Omar El-Gayar, Dakota State University, and two
doctoral students in the Liberty Tavern at the Hilton.  A reuben
sandwich and sweet potato fries coupled with good conversation made
for a pleasant meal.

Thursday afternoon my colleague Ramesh Sharda, Oklahoma State, was
waiting to hear if a proposal he had helped craft with Ken and Julie
Kendall, Rutgers-Camden, for holding AMCIS 2009 in San Francisco had
been accepted. It was! We chatted about various SIG DSS issues while
he waited.  Ramesh is the current chair of SIG DSS.  The crowds were
increasing all afternoon and Ilze Zigurs, University of Nebraska at
Omaha and a conference co-chair, was checking the details and seeking

I had an enjoyable 45 minute chat with Roger Pick, Univ. of
Missouri-Kansas City, and Chip Levine, a Ph.D. student at UMKC. We
covered the range of topics, but declining undergraduate enrollments
in MIS courses evoked the greatest concern and discussion.

The SIG DSS business meeting started promptly at 5:30pm.  Finances are
good, we are unhappy with the AIS transaction processing system for
membership renewals, we explored having the International Conference
on DSS (ICDSS 2007) in Calcutta, and we agreed to create an annual
"best DSS published article" award. Ramesh Sharda chaired the meeting
and handed out the summer 2005 newsletter (check an e-version at

I agreed to chair the inaugural award committee to annually recognize
a recently published article about decision support, data and
knowledge management systems theory and applications. Other members of
the 2005 review committee include David Paradice, Florida State, Jerry
Fjermestad, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Roger Pick, and Ramesh
Sharda. By 6:15pm we were headed for the opening reception for AMCIS
2005.  The exhibit hall was packed, the food was good, but I elected
to head back to the hotel a little before 8pm.  A 14 hour conference
day is about my limit.

The main conference started Friday morning at 8:15am with a keynote by
Linda Sanford, Senior Vice President for Enterprise on Demand
Transformation and Information Technology, IBM. We had a good crowd
for such an early session.  Omaha apparently supported a strong work
ethic for attendees. Prior to the first session, Ramesh Sharda and I
chatted with Karen Corral, Arizona State, and David Schuff, Temple
Univ., about SIG DSS business.  Basically this was an informal meeting
of the executive committee. Karen is Vice Chair/Chair-elect and David
is Secretary-Treasurer SIG DSS.  The meeting didn't result in any
earth shaking decisions, but we reviewed plans for the upcoming year.

The Qwest Center is a very large venue, AMCIS had more than 180
sessions in 2 1/2 days.  SIG DSS sponsored 21 sessions with 60
papers. So approximately 15% of the program was related to decision
support, data and knowledge management topics. The other 150+ sessions
focused on the range of IS/IT topics from security, systems analysis,
outsourcing, IS/IT education and then various panels and
tutorials. Picking and choosing sessions is always a challenge.
Basically I focused on the SIG DSS sessions and most of them were in
adjacent rooms on the second floor of the Qwest Center.

The eProceedings of AMCIS 2005 are online at, but you need a User
ID and Password to access the E-Library.

At 9:30am Friday, I attended a session on Emergency Response Systems
chaired by my friend Murray Turoff, New Jersey Institute of
Technology.  The leading edge papers addressed disaster management and
mobile communication. We had some good discussion on locating people
in an emergency, privacy, creating panic and decision support for
alerts. Murray is Program Chair for ISCRAM2006, the Third
International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response
and Management, that will take place in Newark, New Jersey, USA, at
the New Jersey Institute of Technology from May 14-17 2006. Check .

At 11:30am I attended a session on Information Visualization and
Decision Support. Kurt Pflughoeft, Market Probe, and Mariam Zahedi,
Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, presented an excellent paper on "Data
Visualization using Figural Animation".  My glyph or Chernoff face was
very happy.

Following lunch and a pitch to attend AMCIS 2006 in Acapulco, I
attended the Communications of the Association for Information Systems
(CAIS) journal editorial board meeting. I've served on the board since
1999 and my service is nearing an end.  Paul Gray is the founding
editor and his term ends in December 2005.  Paul has done a great job
creating a credible, interesting journal for the IS/T field. Since
1999 CAIS has published 428 articles.  We discussed the search for a
new editor, in press articles and transition issues.  Many thanks Paul
for a job well done.

By 3:30 I was rushing to a session on Knowledge Management. Then from
4:30-5:45pm I attended my last session of the day and quickly dropped
my program materials at my hotel so I could catch a bus for the Henry
Doorly Zoo and the evening social event. I saw many friends and
acquaintances, but I especially enjoyed dining with Sean Eom,
Southeast Missouri, Merrill Warkentin, Mississippi State, and his wife
Kim, and Vijay Sugumaran, Oakland University. Merrill and Kim are both
University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The Henry Doorly Zoo ( is too large to explore
adequately in 2 hours. I started in the Desert Dome that opened in
April 2002. It is the world's largest indoor desert and it is located
under the world's largest glazed geodesic dome that stands 13 stories
tall. The exhibit is an impressive maze of desert animals from all
over the world.  Murray Jennex and I chatted on the bus back to the 

Saturday morning I met Sean Eom at 6:45am and we walked to the Hilton
and chatted.  I attended the 7am meeting for AMCIS 2006 mini-track
chairs, then had a bagel and Starbucks coffee. At 8:15am, Roger
Schell, President Aesec Corp., gave a Keynote on "Trustworthy
Information Systems – A Myth or an Enabler?" The why and how of
reducing the vulnerability of our information systems is increasingly
understood by those of us in Information Systems, but we need to be
more candid with management, especially senior management, about the
risks, threats and vulnerabilities. By 9:15am I was headed for another
DSS paper session. Jack Becker, University of North Texas, presented
an interesting exploratory study of the impact of Collaborative tools
on virtual team activities.  Following the coffee break, I caught an
interesting presentation by Dursun Delen, Oklahoma State University,
on data preprocessing for data mining. I wish I could summarize all of
the presentations I heard.
The noon luncheon and AMCIS 2005 awards was on the lighter side this
year with Master of Ceremonies Mary Maxwell. Her "dry humor and quick
wit" kept the event moving. Following lunch I attend a presentation by
Omar El-Gayar and then headed to my car for the drive back to Cedar
Falls.  The meeting ended with two sessions Sunday morning, but DSS
News needed my attention and I was tired after a busy 3 days in Omaha.
By 8pm I was pulling into the driveway at my home.
Sponsors of AMCIS 2005 included Microsoft, Union Pacific, Peter Kiewit
Institute, Mutual of Omaha, and First National Bank of Omaha. The name
"Omaha" comes from the Indian tribe of the same name and supposedly
means "Above All Others on a Stream." AMCIS 2005 was not above all
other IS/IT/DSS conferences, but it was a good conference and an
excellent meeting of the Information Systems academic community.

The International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2005) will
be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 11-14, 2005. The SIG DSS
pre-ICIS DSS workshop will be held on Sunday, December 10. Check


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DSS Conferences 

Upcoming Conferences 

1. Teradata PARTNERS User Group conference, September 18-22, 
2005, Orlando, Florida. Check .

2. 2005 NPRA Plant Automation and Decision Support 
Conference, October 18-21, 2005, Gaylord Texan Hotel, 
Grapevine, Texas. Check .

3. ACM 8th International Workshop on Data Warehousing and 
OLAP (DOLAP 2005), November 4-5, 2005, Bremen, Germany. 
Check .

4. Water Management Decision-Support Software Workshop 
November 16 - 17, 2005 - Niagara Falls, New York, USA,
Abstracts due August 26, 2005. 

5. Call for Papers: Fourth workshop on e-Business (WEB 2005), 
a pre-ICIS workshop sponsored by AIS SIGeBIZ, papers due 
August 31, 2005. Workshop URL:

6. Call for Papers: Third Annual Pre-ICIS Workshop on Decision 
Support Systems sponsored by AIS SIG DSS, December 11, 2005, 
Las Vegas, Nevada. Papers due September 1, 2005. Workshop 


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What's New at DSSResources.COM

08/06/2005 Moved the Ask Dan! DSS FAQ to a FAQ content 
management system called phpMyFAQ. Check the Ask Dan! page. 

08/05/2005 Posted interview with Wayne Eckerson "Finding the Decision 
Support Sweetspot". Check the interviews page.

DSS News Releases - August 1 to August 14, 2005 
Read them at DSSResources.COM and search the DSS News Archive

08/11/2005 SAS is leader in IDC marketing automation software
applications report.

08/10/2005 Garmin's new Rino 520 and 530 two-way radio/GPS units have
increased range and new features.

08/10/2005 Oracle powers Data Center and Oracle(R) on Demand with
64-bit Linux.

08/10/2005 Use of information technology by medical professionals
causes growth in data storage.

08/10/2005 Business Objects and Bull Services help Michigan Department
of Human Services improve business processes and make better

08/09/2005 Allegro v.7 software selected by CHS Inc.; natural gas and
risk management software supports propane operations.

08/09/2005 Wells Fargo successfully deploys largest implementation of
Workstream Compensation.

08/08/2005 Oracle and HP set new world record one terabyte TPC-H
benchmark result.

08/08/2005 Analytics, business intelligence, and document management
executives to gather at The Sarbanes-Oxley conference and exposition.

08/08/2005 U.S. Bank selects Fair Isaac's Strategy Science Service to
optimize credit line decisions.

08/08/2005 Six Sigma Qualtec implements enhanced financial reporting
capabilities into SixNet business intelligence system.

08/05/2005 Smart startups don't wait to set up accounting systems
according to research at Stanford Business School.

08/04/2005 unveils hosted document management solution.

08/03/2005 New CIO poll reveals chief information officers want more
stringent Sarbanes- Oxley guidelines.

08/03/2005 Research study finds changes required in automotive
warranty process.

08/02/2005 DARC Corp. and Parelli Natural Horsemanship implement
Oracle applications on their way to the winner's circle.

08/02/2005 SAS Institute engages Evalubase Research to analyze the
analytics market.

08/02/2005 Intergraph deployed at largest local gas supplier in
Western Europe.

08/02/2005 ILOG launches the first Gantt Chart graphics tool with
custom project management features for Microsoft .NET.

08/01/2005 IAIDQ co-chairs information quality conference to encourage
global collaboration for information and data quality improvement.

08/01/2005 Pivotal Corporation teams up with Pervasive Software to
drive operational efficiencies for America's top home builders.


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