DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
               August 26, 2001 -- Vol. 2, No. 18
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM



* DSS Wisdom
* Report from Boston - DCI Portals/AMCIS 2001
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories


This newsletter has more than 625 subscribers from 
50 countries. Please forward this newsletter to people interested in 
Decision Support Systems or suggest they visit DSSResources.COM.


Join us at 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. 


DSS Wisdom

Aristotle noted in the Nichomachean Ethics, "We call in others to aid us 
in deliberation on important questions, distrusting ourselves as not 
being equal to deciding." (p. 56)

from Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics. Trans. by Sir David Ross.  London: 
Oxford University Press, 1966.


Report from Boston - DCI Portals/AMCIS 2001

From Monday, July 30, 2001 to Sunday, August 5, the Power family visited 
Boston. My wife and two of my children were playing the tourist role and 
I was busy trying to blend applied technology issues and product 
demonstrations with research studies, philosophic questions and social 

From Monday to Wednesday the DCI Portals conference ( was 
held at the Hynes Center. Colin White of DataBase Associates organized 
an excellent overview program. In his opening keynote, he said a portal 
"provides internal and external users with an integrated, personalized 
and secure Web-based interface to business content" including 
information, applications and collaboration services. Some of the vendor 
products met White's criteria and some still have major limitations.

InfoImage ( provided me a complementary 
conference registration so I tried to make sure I learned more about 
their product. On May 23, I had participated in their Webcast about 
making decisions with InfoImage Decision Portal 4 and that encounter 
started the ball rolling to the DCI Portals conference. Overall, I was 
impressed with Decision Portal 4. It is a good starting point for 
building an Executive Decision Support environment.

What about the other vendors and the presentations? The vendors were 
generally friendly and helpful. The exhibit hall was not crowded so I 
made the rounds a few times. The Microsoft Sharepoint server 
demonstrations and sessions were especially helpful. As far as 
conference sessions, I tried to focus on the company case study 

So what are the best portal products? I'll try to address this question 
in a future Ask Dan! column, but for now if you are shopping for a 
portal check InfoImage, Plumtree, Microsoft SharePoint server and Top 
Tier by SAP Portals.

The Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2001) was a change 
of pace. It began on Thursday at the Westin-Copley Place. In particular 
the crowds were much larger and the sales pitch was more subdued.  Again 
Microsoft had a major booth, but they were pitching visual development 
software. The University of Northern Iowa (my day job) funded the AMCIS 
2001 part of the trip. Thursday was a light day with workshops, but 
Friday started a large program with a mix of technical and managerial 
topics. In the Data Management and Decision Support track more than 40 
papers were presented in 15 sessions. The sessions spanned the field 
from data extraction and warehousing to model building, agents and
collaboration support systems. Web topics were interwoven in many of
the sessions.

I particularly enjoyed chairing the panel on "Philosophical Foundations 
of Decision Support Systems" Saturday morning. Panelists Steve Alter, 
University of San Francisco, Jim Courtney, University of Central 
Florida, Ramesh Sharda, Oklahoma State University, and George Widmeyer, 
University of Michigan provided diverse perspectives. We have come so 
far in spreading the word about Decision Support Systems, but it seems 
we have so much further to go. The back and forth in this session among 
panelists and with the audience showed that we still have much to 
discuss and assess about supporting decision-makers with technology. 
Many thanks to all who participated.

Well the bottom line is that AMCIS 2001 was a great conference. On the 
administrative side, I attended the Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting 
and we are making progress in creating an Association for Information 
Systems ( Special Interest Group (SIG) for Decision Support 
Systems (DSS). I anticipate the revised AIS SIGDSS proposal will be 
approved at the December meeting of the AIS Council. Jim Courtney, 
Ramesh Sharda, Steve Alter, Murray Turoff,
Hugh Watson and Vijayan Sugumaran have volunteered to serve on an 
advisory board and to help with organizing tasks. I'll submit an 
expanded proposal with proposed officers in mid-October. If you
want to help, send me an email.

The paper sessions "wound down" on Sunday morning, but David Sammon's 8 
am presentation titled "The Failure of a Decision Support System in Use: 
An Irish Case Study" reminded me that DSS don't solve all problems and 
that people need to use and accept a DSS if it is to be successful. The 
discussion of the case pointed out that the reasons why DSS do fail are 
often hard to decipher and that establishing the criteria for failure 
and success of a DSS can be equally difficult. 

Next summer AMCIS 2002 will be held in Dallas, August 9-11.


What's New at DSSResources.COM

08/25/2001 Added Collins, H., Corporate Portals, to the DSS Book Store.

08/19/2001 Added terms to Glossary.

08/19/2001 Reformatted Classic DSS Books pages and tables of contents.

08/16/2001 Updated Book Store.

08/15/2001 Moved Case Studies from prior months into Subscriber Zone, 
moved DSS Hyperbook tutorials and 8 additional tutorials to the 
Subscriber Zone.

08/12/2001 Archived DSS News and reindexed site and subscriber search.


DSS News Stories - August 13-22, 2001

08/22/2001 Quicken 2002 helps consumers make decisions during tough 
economic times.

08/21/2001 Xylo study finds trends toward increasing internet usage at 

08/21/2001 inSORS and Ford rolled out three-site deployment of IAG2001 
Collaborative Conferencing System. 

08/20/2001 Vality® Technology announced INTEGRITY for Informatica to 
cleanse and repurpose data.

08/17/2001 Call for Papers: Informing Science 2002, Cork, IE, June 
19-21, 2002. Papers due Nov. 30.

08/15/2001 Hewitt Associates extends Cognos® extranet worldwide.

08/15/2001 Download ABSolute, a general-purpose multi-attribute DSS 
under development at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center.

08/14/2001 SAS forecasts record growth in data warehousing demand.

08/14/2001 Tenrox introduced Projeca 6.5, a Workflow based enterprise 
optimization software package for project and service oriented 

08/13/2001 SPSS introduced presentation-quality report writer.

08/13/2001 Business Objects leads in Business Intelligence market share.

08/13/2001 Active Decisions services to offer shoppers automated sales 
assistance on Yahoo! Shopping.


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