DSS News
                     D. J. Power, Editor
             December 22, 2002 -- Vol. 3, No. 26
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM

 Check the Dynasty Triage Advisor case at DSSResources.COM


 * Report from Moscow, Russia
 * Spreadsheet-Based DSS Tip - Use conditional formatting
 * What's New at DSSResources.COM
 * DSS News Releases


Report from Moscow, Russia
by Dan Power

This past week, Dec. 16-19, 2002, I was lecturing about Decision Support 
Systems at Moscow State Linguistics University.  Each day I spent 90 
minutes lecturing in English about a different decision support topic. 
Monday began with an overview of the expanded DSS framework from my 
Decision Support Systems book, Tuesday the topic shifted to gaining 
strategic advantage with DSS, on Wednesday redesigning business 
processes with appropriate decision support was the main focus of my 
remarks, finally on Thursday I used Excel to demonstrate some simple 
decision support concepts related to data and model-driven DSS.  

Demonstrations are always risky. I learned the hard way that the Russian 
version of Excel uses the comma as a decimal symbol rather than the 
period we use in the United States.  This notation convention became 
apparent as I was trying to illustrate "what if" analysis in a simple 
model by changing a growth rate expressed as a decimal value.  The error 
message in Russian indicated my formula was yielding an incorrect value. 
 Trying to figure out the Russian names on the menus for goal-seek and 
pivot table had already created some challenges for me so I didn't want 
to use the help screens.  Well with some help from the students we 
figured out the problems and I demonstrated how to use spinners to 
change the assumptions of an underlying decision support model; I used 
goal seek to find the values needed to reach a target result for a 
model; and I demonstrated pivot tables for a simple data-driven DSS 
based on a small data set. 

While I was in Moscow I also had a number of conversations with Prof. 
Mikhail Lugachyov, Chair in Economic/Business Informatics at Moscow 
State Lomonosov University, about Decision Support Systems.  On 
Wednesday afternoon, Prof. Lugachyov and I met with Academician Valery 
Makarov, head of the Central Economical-Mathematical Institute of the 
Russian Academy of Sciences, and Prof. Serguei Aivazian, Deputy 
Director. We are investigating doing some joint work on DSS and on 
developing some advanced course work on DSS at Moscow State Lomonosov or 
at the Russian Academy of Sciences. All three speak excellent English so 
my minimal knowledge of Russian is not a major barrier to our 

The big news while I was in Moscow was two acquisitions: Sybase is 
acquiring AvantGo and Cognos is acquiring Adaytum. Some subscribers may 
recall the article Guy Haddleton, CEO of Adaytum, wrote for 
DSSResources.COM in June 2002 titled "Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Not any 
more with 20/20 foresight!"

I also had an email from Cliff Ragsdale about the World's Biggest 
Spreadsheet contest that MIS DecisionWare is holding. I'd seen the 
headline in InformationWeek email news, but I hadn't had time to read 
it. The link is .  
MIS DecisionWare had an OLAP product TM1 and now they have a 
multidimensional product Alea that uses Excel as a front-end. The 
company is part of the German firm MIS AG.

Well it's been a long week. Happy holidays to all of the DSS News 
subscribers. Many thanks to my host in Moscow -- Prof. Boris Shevchenko, 
Moscow State Linguistics University.

            Happy Holidays from DSSResources.COM

Spreadsheet-Based DSS Tip - Use conditional formatting

Conditional formatting involves specifying criteria for applying 
formatting based on a cell value. A common use in a spreadsheet-based 
DSS would be highlighting specific ranges of values in various colors.  
For example, when a result cell from a model falls in a desirable range 
it is green, in another range yellow and finally red in a third range of 

To use this feature click on Format on the menu bar and then 
Conditional Formatting. 

Use conditional formatting, but use it sparingly! 

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What's New at DSSResources.COM

12/21/2002 Posted case by Biss, Andrew, "Dynasty Triage Advisor Enables 
Medical Decision Support", 2002, URL

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DSS News Releases - December 8 to 20, 2002

12/20/2002 Sybase solidifies mobile and wireless leadership with 
acquisition of AvantGo.

12/20/2002 SGI delivers true cross-platform 3D visualization for the 
visual simulation community.

12/20/2002 Air China chooses Sabre for advanced flight scheduling tools.

12/19/2002 New iris recognition study confirms superior performance in 
large database applications.

12/19/2002 Fair, Isaac's TRIAD adaptive control system to process 5 
million CIBC Credit Card accounts.

12/19/2002 Cognos® to acquire Adaytum: Powerhouse combination of BI and 
enterprise planning sets foundation for CPM leadership.

12/17/2002 AskMe Corporation awarded 1st place at Giga Information 
Group's Fifth Annual Emerging Technology Showcase.

12/16/2002 Sarnoff Corp. adds live surveillance video to stored models 
to respond better to emergencies.

12/16/2002 PeopleSoft announces availability of Global Consolidations, 
it will allow consolidation of financial data from multiple 
organizations in real-time.

12/13/2002 NATO C3 Agency joins OMG; will align goals with Crisis 
Management and C4I Task Forces.

12/13/2002 ZapThink: Native XML data storage evolving from a separate 
market to a feature of general-purpose and purpose-built solutions.

12/12/2002 IBM and Nexaweb provide emerging technology to help Starwood 
improve customer satisfaction at Sheraton Hotels.

12/12/2002 Applix announces latest global customer wins for analytics 
solutions; 190 new analytics customers choose Applix in 2002.

12/12/2002 Open Text's records management solutions first to receive key 
U.S. Federal security certification.

12/11/2002 Crystal Decisions introduces packaged BI offerings to target 
small to medium sized business (SMB) market.

12/11/2002 CMP Media's Intelligent Enterprise identifies the 12 IT 
solution providers most stronglyenabling the development of 
'Intelligent' enterprises.

12/10/2002 Hershey Foods Corporation finds sweet spot with ProSight 

12/10/2002 ePeople Teamwork 4.5 reduces time to resolution for 
organizations that support complex products.

12/10/2002 Polycom WebOffice enhancements further company's Web 
collaboration leadership.

12/10/2002 ACP-ASIM and AMA to offer point-of-care CME credit; pilot 
program uses PIER(TM) evidence-based medicine application delivered via 
handheld software.

12/09/2002 Actuate survey reveals strong demand for spreadsheet based 
reporting; business users want more Excel reports available through web 

12/09/2002 PlanGraphics, Inc. provides GIS support to Kentucky Chemical 
Stockpile Emergency Preparedness program -- CSEPP.

12/09/2002 Brio Performance Suite to be Intuit's primary business 
intelligence application.


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