DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
                July 15, 2001 -- Vol. 2, No. 15
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM

    Check the "For Developers" page at


* DSS Wisdom
* Ask Dan! -- Are Decision Support Systems really analytic applications 
or are analytic applications really Decision Support Systems?
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories


Each week in the summer, we have about 2700 unique visitors at 
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DSS Wisdom

According to Bertrand Russell (1941), "There are very definite limits, 
to my mind, within which rationality should be confined;
some of the most important departments of life are ruined by the
invasion of reason ... I believe there is in each of us a certain energy 
which must find vent in actions not inspired by reason, but may find 
vent in art, in passionate love, or in passionate hate, according to 
circumstances. (pps. 11-12)"

Russell, B. Let the People Think: A Selection of Essays. London: Watts & 
Co., 1941.


IFIP WG 8.3 Conference on Decision Support Systems (DSS),
Decision Support in the Internet Age, Cork, Ireland,
July 4-7, 2002. Paper submissions due November 30, 2001. 


Ask Dan!

Are Decision Support Systems really analytic applications or are 
analytic applications really Decision Support Systems?

Henry Morris, VP for Applications and Information Access at IDC,
claims he coined the term "analytic applications" in 1997. In an article 
titled "Trends in Analytic Applications", published in DM Review in 
April 2001, Morris argues an analytic application must meet each of the 
following three conditions: 1) provide process support,
it structures and automates a group of tasks pertaining to the review 
and optimization of business operations or the discovery and development 
of new business; 2) have separation of function, "the application can 
function independently of an organization's core transactional 
applications, yet it can be dependent on such applications for data and 
might send results back to these applications"; and 3) use 
time-oriented, integrated data from multiple sources.

Supposedly, three major types of analytic applications meet these 
criteria: Financial/Business Performance Management, 
Operations/Production, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Morris notes that for an analytical application "technical specialists 
build the simulation model using sophisticated tools. Decision-makers 
then apply the model, gauging the probable 
impact of a planned course of action."
Morris notes "Analytic applications will co-exist with business 
intelligence tools." He also claims "Analytic applications are 
specialized, supporting a structured business process, while business 
intelligence tools are generic, supporting ad hoc user inquiries." 

It seems we've been building analytic applications for a long time.
The term analytic applications seems to refer to a broad generic 
set of information systems that are generally model-driven decision 
support applications. There certainly are some decision support 
applications that focus on decision tasks other than those associated 
with supporting a structured business process. For example, DSS can 
support collaboration, communication and information retrieval. Morris 
also tells us the DSS that emphasize unplanned or ad hoc user inquiries 
are not analytic applications.

Despite the above clarification you may still wonder if analytic 
applications is a useful or meaningful term.  Maybe!! The way Morris 
defines it however seems overly broad and ambiguous. A quick mental 
review of Financial/Business Performance Management applications, 
Operations/Production applications, and Customer Relationship Management 
applications indicates to me that the conceptualization has some 

What do you think? Do you use the phrase "analytic application"? Is it 
the "in" buzzword or another term to add confusion to the decision 
support lexicon?


What's New at DSSResources.COM

07/09/2001 Posted links to 6 articles from the 2001 Informing Science 
Conference e-Proceedings Informing Decision-Makers and Decision Support 
Systems track on the Articles On-line page, URL


DSS News Stories - June 30 to July 13, 2001

07/13/2001 Microsoft Outlook bug let's attackers run malicious programs 
on a victim's computer.

07/12/2001 Meridian Health Care Management uses Business Objects 
WebIntelligenceŽ for a Financial Management Extranet. 

07/11/2001 Tomoye introduced a knowledge sharing platform called 
Simplify for Communities of Practice.

07/10/2001 Corporate and e-Business Portals conference, Boston, MA, July 
30 - August 1, 2001. Check

07/10/2001 Business Objects announced BusinessObjects Application 
Foundation. It includes an Application Builder, 3 Advanced Analytic 
Engines, and an Analytics Catalog.

07/10/2001 Microsoft announced Data Analyzer solution for Office XP. It 
provides Graphical Capabilities to enable people to easily visualize and 
analyze information.

07/09/2001/1:00 pm PDT After 5 days, Microsoft restored instant 
messaging service to almost 10 million customers. However, some MSN 
Messenger users were still experiencing log in problems. 

07/09/2001 Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences Centre implemented 
Cognos' business intelligence (BI) solution. 

07/03/2001 Ascential Software Corporation announced new ticker symbol, 

07/02/2001 AMCIS 2001 Data Management and Decision Support session 
schedule released. Visit AMCIS 2001 web site at

07/02/2001 Decisioneering's risk analysis tool is first choice of top 
universities and academic publishers. 


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