DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
             February 11, 2001 -- Vol. 2, No. 4
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM
     Check the DSS Hyperbook at
* DSS Wisdom
* Ask Dan! -- Is DSS or Decision Support a core concept in
              Information Systems?
* Follow-up question -- Is it ever appropriate to build a Decision
              Support System for a special study?
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories
Each week, we have more than 2300 unique visitors at DSSResources.COM. 
This newsletter has more than 425 subscribers from 50 countries. Please 
forward this newsletter to people interested in Decision Support 
DSS Wisdom
Sprague and Carlson concluded in 1982 that "DSS comprise a class of 
information system that draws on transaction processing systems and 
interacts with the other parts of the overall information system to 
support the decision-making activities of managers and other knowledge 
workers in organizations." (p. 9)
from Sprague, R. H., and E. D. Carlson. Building Effective Decision 
Support Systems. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1982.
Ask Dan!
Is DSS or Decision Support a core concept in Information Systems?
This week's Ask Dan! question was prompted by an email to the ISWorld 
mailing list (ISWORLD@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE). The email announced that the 
Association for Information Systems Board of Directors decided to create 
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in broadly defined IS research areas. The 
announcement noted that many other professional associations had that 
type of organizing structure. 
At about the same time that AIS was requesting proposals for SIGs, I 
read Frederic Adam and Brian Fitzgerald's paper titled "The status of 
the IS field: historical perspective and practical orientation" in 
Information Research, vol. 5, no. 4, July 2000. They concluded "IS 
researchers do not seem to have succeeded in developing a core of 
concepts and definitions to enable the accumulation of knowledge in IS 
and to significantly contribute to the improvement of the business 
application of information systems." The action by AIS can help remedy 
the problem identified by Adam and Fitzgerald and others.  I hope SIGs 
can help us better realize the twin benefits of accumulating knowledge 
and contributing to Information Systems practice. 
What are the broadly defined IS research areas and what are the core 
concepts?  We won't all agree on the labels and we may end up with some 
overlap, but the process has begun.  The 9 new "tracks" for AMCIS 2001 
may be a good starting point for identifying SIGs. Detmar Straub and 
Diane Strong have identified: 1) curriculum and e-learning, 2) data 
management and decision support, 3) electronic commerce, 4) ERP systems, 
5) IS and software design, development and use, 6) information 
technology applications, 7) information technology management, 8) 
networks and 9) theoretical foundations and research methods.
At AMCIS 2001, data management and decision support topics are "lumped 
together" and that may be a good approach to keep the number of SIGs to 
a manageable number. What is important is to identify a SIG related to 
"information systems intended to support decision makers". The broad 
concept of a Decision Support System or DSS is widely used in practice 
and in research, but its context of use indicates a shifting, somewhat 
ambiguous definition. My paper "What is a DSS?" was a modest attempt to 
clarify the concept for a practitioner audience. My more recent working 
paper "Supporting Decision-Makers: An Expanded Framework" is a more 
ambitious attempt to layout an expanded framework for categoring our 
knowledge about Decision Support Systems. If you're reading this 
newsletter, you probably agree with me that Decision Support Systems is 
an important concept.
In my opinion, creating SIGs is an important step in advancing the field 
of Information Systems. The identification of specific interest groups 
should not however be a popularity contest or a function of serendity in 
terms of the proposals submitted. The AIS Board needs to choose SIGs 
that are related to "core concepts".
If you are interested in forming an AIS special interest group related 
to data management and decision support, please contact me 
Follow-up question: Is it ever appropriate to build a Decision Support 
System for a special study?
YES. Management scientists, financial analysts and decision support 
staff sometimes build specific Model-Driven DSS for special
studies. The more important the topic of the special study the more 
likely it is that resources will be available to build a model for "what 
if analysis".  Also, if a special study involves multiple stakeholders, 
Group Decision Support Systems like Group Expert Choice or GroupSystems 
from Ventana may be used. Institutional DSS are also used to prepare 
special studies. For example, managers and analysts may use a 
Data-Driven DSS linked to a data warehouse to prepare analyses as part 
of a special study. Managers need to recognize the use of Decision 
Support Systems for special studies.
SUBMIT A PAPER to AMCIS 2001!  Find out about the Decision
Support Systems Minitrack
What's New at DSSResources.COM
02/10/2001 Reformatted DSS Hyperbook index page.
02/08/2001 Posted Survey Research page on the For Researchers page.
02/08/2001 Posted Chapter 1 in HTML form on the DSS Hyperbook page.
02/04/2001 Posted Online Computing Definitions page.
02/04/2001 Posted an updated DSS Research Topics page.
02/04/2001 Redesigned the front page and created two new secondary pages 
- For Developers and For Researchers.
02/03/2001 Updated the Model-Driven DSS page.
02/02/2001 Posted Supporting Decision-Makers: An Expanded Framework 
02/01/2001 Updated Communications-Driven DSS page.
DSS News Stories - Jan. 29 to Feb. 11, 2001
02/09/2001 IBM announced that it has shipped its 3000th S80 server, 
making it the fastest-selling high-end server in history.
02/08/2001 SQL Server profile: Cost-effective platform for delivering 
Data-Driven Decision Support.
02/07/2001 One year ago, Yahoo was the victim of the first major 
distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Hacked servers created a 
data "traffic jam" (ZDNet, Feb. 07, 2001). 
02/07/2001 Business Logic created an alliance program for its new 
net-finance suite.
02/06/2001 Call for papers: Decision Support Systems Mini Track, AMCIS 
2001, Boston, MA, Aug. 3-5, 2001. Papers due March 12.
02/06/2001 Compaq named nine independent software vendors business 
partners in the Compaq Zero Latency Enterprise (ZLE) initiative.
02/06/2001 SAS and Sagent agree in principle to new strategic 
partnership to cross-license and resell each other's software products.
02/05/2001 Carlisle Tire & Wheel chose Comshare software to integrate 
its worldwide budgeting and consolidation.
02/05/2001 Cognos® announced set of analytical applications for J.D. 
Edwards® WorldSoftware®.
02/05/2001 Semotus Solutions co-developed KINETIDEX 2.0: decision aid 
assists in critical prescription dosing decisions.
02/05/2001 Active Research was renamed Active Decisions. It now offers 
"a full range of decision support solutions".
02/02/2001 University of Minnesota uses Cognos DSS applications with 
student and financial information, human resources data, scheduling, and 
academic data.
02/01/2001 Hummingbird released v2.1 of e-Gateway and e-Toolkit to 
provide portal access to legacy applications.
01/31/2001 URISA explains Destination Lab, an interactive training 
experience about Spatial DSS.
01/30/2001 eRoom Technology and CGE&Y Center for Business Innovation's 
conference envisioned the eWorkplace.
01/30/2001 Owens Corning Selects InfoImage Freedom(tm) Decision Portal 
to Strengthen Customer Service.
01/30/2001 Comshare announced release of Decision 4.0, its web-based 
platform for building BI/DSS applications.
01/30/2001 Call for papers for 2001 DSI Annual Meeting in San Fransisco, 
CA, Nov. 17-20, 2001. Submission deadline March 1. 
01/29/2001 PwC study finds most large technology businesses do not have 
an agreed-upon plan for becoming an E-Business.
01/29/2001 Business Week magazine recognized OmniSky as one of the "Best 
Products of 2000".
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