DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
                May 20, 2001 -- Vol. 2, No. 11
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM
   Check the Articles On-line at
* DSS Wisdom
* Ask Dan! -- What are the similarities and differences between 
Data-Driven and Document-Driven DSS?
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories
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DSS Wisdom
David Cleland and William King discussed manager-analyst MIS design in 
their classic book.  They noted "Computer systems analysts generally 
have little awareness of the myriad complexities of management 
decisions.  They cannot know of all the subjectivities and intangibles 
which go into such decisions.  Thus, the systems which they design do 
not account for such subtleties and are often no more helpful to a 
manager than were the stacks of hand-produced reports which he 
previously obtained.  There is some worth to the speed with which the 
computerized systems make data available, but computer systems have 
clearly not made for a revolution in management, as many thought they 
"The resolution for this dilemma may lie in the recognition that neither 
the manager nor the analyst alone can design and implement a true 
management information system; rather, they must work cooperatively.  
Each can, and must, make a unique contribution to the effort if it is to 
be successful; and anything short of complete cooperation will probably 
result in a systems design which is either ineffective or inefficient." 
(p. 157)
from Cleland, David I., and William R. King,  Systems Analysis and 
Project Management (Second Edition), New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, 
Ask Dan!
What are the similarities and differences between Data-Driven and 
Document-Driven DSS?
Document-Driven DSS is a relatively new category of Decision Support.  
There are certainly similarities to the more familiar Data-Driven DSS, 
but there are also major differences.  
In my framework paper (Power, 2001), Document-Driven DSS are defined as 
integrating "a variety of storage and processing technologies to provide 
complete document retrieval and analysis." The Web provides access to 
large document databases including databases of hypertext documents, 
images, sounds and video. Examples of documents that would be accessed 
by a Document-Driven DSS are policies and procedures, product 
specifications, catalogs, news stories, and corporate historical 
documents, including minutes of meetings, corporate records, and 
important correspondence. A search engine is a powerful decision-aiding 
tool associated with a Document-Driven DSS (cf., Fedorowicz, 1993, pp. 
A defining difference is that Data-Driven DSS help managers analyze,
display and manipulate large structured data sets that contain numeric 
and short character strings while Document-Driven DSS analyze, display 
and manipulate text including logical units of text called documents 
(cf., Sullivan, 2001).
Another defining difference is the analysis tools used for decision 
support. Data-Driven DSS use quantitative and statistical tools for 
ordering, summarizing and evaluating the specific contents of a 
subject-oriented data warehouse. Document-Driven DSS use natural 
language and statistical tools for extracting, categorizing, indexing 
and summarizing subject-oriented document warehouses.
What are the similarities? First, both systems use databases with very 
large collections of information to drive or create decision support 
Second, both types of systems require the definition of metadata and the 
cleaning, extraction and loading of data into an appropriate data 
management system using an organizing framework or model. 
Third, building either type of system involves understanding the 
decision support needs of the targeted users. Also, user needs can and 
will change so rapid application development or prototyping is often 
desirable for either category of DSS. Neither type of system can meet 
all of the decision support needs of all managers in an organization. 
The best development approach is to try to meet a specific, well-defined 
need initially and then incrementally expand the structured data or 
documents that are captured and organized in the foundation 
data/document management system. 
Document-Driven DSS help managers process "soft" or qualitative 
information and Data-Driven DSS help managers process "hard" or numeric 
data.  Both categories of DSS come in "various shapes and sizes".  Some 
systems support senior managers and others support functional decision 
makers on narrowly-defined tasks.  The Web has increased the need for 
and the possibilities associated with Document-Driven DSS.  Please check 
the following references for more ideas on this Ask Dan! question.
Fedorowicz, J. "A Technology Infrastructure for Document-Based Decision 
Support Systems", in Sprague, R. and H. J. Watson, Decision Support 
Systems: Putting Theory into Practice (Third Edition), Prentice-Hall, 
1993, pp. 125-136.
Power, D. J., "Supporting Decision-Makers: An Expanded Framework", 
Informing Science eBook, June 2001. 
Sullivan, Dan.  Document Warehousing and Text Mining.  New York: Wiley 
Computer Publishing, 2001.
What's New at DSSResources.COM
05/19/2001 Published Bhargava, H., and D. J. Power. "Decision Support 
Systems and Web Technologies: A Status Report". Prepared for AMCIS 2001, 
Americas Conference on Information Systems, Boston, Massachusetts, 
August 3th - 5th, 2001, "Decision Support Systems" Mini Track. (URL
DSS News Stories - May 8 to May 18, 2001
05/18/2001 New decision guides at help people determine 
treatment for their medical situation. 
05/16/2001 American Airlines selects RecruitSoft to manage corporate 
05/15/2001 Softscape introduced Cascading Goals module, the newest 
module to their AchievementPlus product.
05/15/2001 BroadVision announced version 6.0 of its InfoExchange Portal.
05/14/2001 US Department of State developed a full-service web site 
called the Human Resources Bureau Knowledge Center.
05/14/2001 American City Business Journals chooses Polycom for 
nationwide video communications deployment.
05/14/2001 Interpol launches cybercrime-fighting site. Check the company 
security checklist at
05/10/2001 Kmart's Data Warehouse reaches 92 Terabytes with latest 
expansion from NCR's Teradata division.
05/08/2001 PeopleSoft and Cognos announced PeopleSoft Operational Data 
Store (ODS), a cost-effective reporting database solution.
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