DSS News
                     D. J. Power, Editor
            February 16, 2003 -- Vol. 4, No. 4
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM


         Check the classic article by Neil Raden 
       "Data, Data Everywhere" at DSSResources.COM



 * Ask Dan! - What is the actual usage of DSS?
 * What's New at DSSResources.COM
 * DSS News Releases


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Ask Dan!
by Daniel J. Power

What is the actual usage of DSS?

This Ask Dan! column tackles a difficult question, but one that many of 
us have asked in one way or another over the years. I'm focusing on 
usage of DSS for a number of reasons.  First, Judith Gebauer, an 
Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 
posted a request to the ISWorld mailing list on Thursday, February 13, 
2003 requesting information on the "Actual Usage of DSS". On that same 
day, Bob  Doutch sent an email asking "How would you characterize 
changes in what we think a DSS is over the last ten years, and how would 
you distinguish DSS from a BI system?" Also on February 13, Eun Sun Yang 
of the Glion Institue of Higher Education Hotel School in Switzerland 
asked about DSS for both strategic and operational support in hotels. 
Finally, Arnulfo Rosario wrote recently asking "Are there any decision 
support tools for decision making in (1) Public Health and (2) Clinical 
Practice? Kindly give me updates regarding DSS in Health."  

Depending upon who you ask you will get very different answers to the 
above questions. Let's start with Bob's question. Even though some 
people think the focus for DSS has moved almost exclusively to data 
warehousing and BI, one can identify lots of innovation in DSS built 
using quantitative models, expert system technologies, and document 
management systems.  The major innovation that has stimulated usage of 
all types of DSS has been the Web.  Companies have Web-enabled legacy 
DSS and created new DSS using Web tools. In my opinion, one shouldn't 
separate BI applications from other DSS. In general, Business 
Intelligence is an umbrella term that refers to the processes, 
technologies, and tools used to turn data into actionable information. 
One can use the BI technologies and tools to build data-driven DSS that 
can provide Business Intelligence. 

The questions from Sun Yang and Arnulfo show the wide variety of DSS 
applications. It's hard for me or anyone to follow all of the vertical 
market decision support applications.  Health care and medicine seem to 
be especially vigorous areas for DSS innovation. All of these questions 
suggest that the use and usage of DSS is significant and extensive. Is 
it possible to be more specific? YES.

Prof. Gebauer wrote "Obviously this question is hard to answer, given 
the many different flavors of DSS, some as stand-alone systems, some 
deeply embedded in larger applications, such as ERP. Still, judging from 
the amount and variety of DSS and DSS-like solutions that are available 
(many to be found online), one would assume that overall usage must be 
pretty significant. I looked through a variety of textbooks and online 
resources, but was not successful in finding any information to answer 
questions such as what percentage of companies are using DSS, for what 
percentage of decisions, or what the estimated impact is, etc." 

Well I'll cite some "facts" to try to quantify DSS usage. First, for 
data-driven DSS we can find usage data in press releases for major 
vendors. Cognos is the largest independent BI/OLAP/Data-driven DSS 
vendor. It serves more than 22,000 customers in over 135 countries. 
Applix reports that more than 2,600 customers worldwide, including more 
than half of the Fortune 500, use its enterprise-wide Business 
Performance Management solutions. arcplan, a BI vendor, has more than 
1,500 customers and 200,000 users worldwide. Brio BI products are used 
by 75 of the Fortune 100 and more than 2 million people. Business 
Objects has more than 16,500 customers in over 80 countries. Comshare 
reports its more than 2000 customers range from mid-sized companies to 
diversified global enterprises, many of them Fortune 500 and Financial 
Times 1000 companies. Crystal Decisions states it has in place more than 
12 million licenses for its software. ESRI is a leading developer of GIS 
software with more than 300,000 clients worldwide. Hyperion products are 
used by more than 6,000 customers around the world to enable financial, 
organizational, customer relationship, supply chain and channel 
performance management. Information Builders has more than 11,000 
customers, including most of the Fortune 100 and U.S. federal government 
agencies. MicroStrategy states its customer base cuts across industry 
and sector lines with over 1,900 enterprise-class customers. Sagent 
reports it has more than 1,500 customers worldwide. SAS solutions are 
used at more than 39,000 sites -- including 98 of the top 100 businesses 
on the Fortune 500. You can also find many customer success stories at 
vendor web sites. The premier data warehouse vendor, NCR Teradata, 
currently has 42 success stories at its web site. Burlington Northern 
Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) has a Teradata Warehouse with nearly eight 
thousand users. Union Pacific Railroad supports 200 to 300 concurrent 
users through its Teradata Warehouse. And there are all of the BI/Data 
warehouse customers of IBM and Microsoft.

For model-driven DSS, Fair, Isaac reports its predictive modeling, 
decision analysis, intelligence management, and decision management 
systems power more than 14 billion mission-critical customer decisions a 
year. Decisioneering reports over 85% of Fortune 500 companies use its 
Crystal Ball products. Over 80 million copies of Frontline Systems' 
Solvers have been distributed to users in every copy of Microsoft Office 
sold since 1990. For communications-driven DSS, the penetration is 
harder to gauge.  Meetingworks claims clients from around the world, at 
least 25 companies including Microsoft and IBM are listed as clients at 
its web site. GroupSystems lists 15 major customers including the U.S. 
Army, Navy, and Air Force, Ernst & Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. 
Knowledge-driven DSS are now more practical because of web technologies. 
EXSYS, a leading expert systems vendor, states its products are used by 
over 50% of the Fortune 100 companies, many government and military 
agencies, and thousands of businesses and organizations. 

So what percentage of companies are using DSS? Approximately 100% of the 
Fortune 500 and probably Fortune 2000. Based on the above numbers, more 
than 200,000 companies and government agencies have purchased 
enterprise-scale decision support software.

For what percentage of decisions are DSS used? My guess is that DSS are 
used to support only a small percentage of all decisions made in 
organizations.  There are many untapped opportunities!! What is the 
estimated impact of DSS? One can only hope that the billions of dollars 
spent each year on decision support technologies is rewarded 10 fold 
over the life of a decision support application. Comments and feedback 
about this analysis are welcomed. 

     Check free DSS articles online in the journal 
         Studies in Informatics and Control

What's New at DSSResources.COM

02/14/2003 Posted Raden, N., "Data, Data Everywhere". 

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DSS News Releases - February 3 to February 14, 2003

02/12/2003 Hong Kong China Gas Company awards Intergraph contract for
Mobile PDA system to speed customer installations.

02/12/2003 MicroStrategy signs contract with greeting card industry 

02/12/2003 Cognos and Fujitsu announce global strategic alliance. Check 

02/12/2003 Eastman to use Planalytics GasBuyer to help manage volatile 
natural gas prices. 

02/11/2003 United States Department of Agriculture adopts ProClarity 
Analytics platform to streamline operations and inspection process. 

02/11/2003 RedPrairie agent technology platform empowers users with 
maximum supply chain flexibility.

02/11/2003 Survey finds arcplan, Inc. customers develop, implement, and 
maintain business intelligence solutions quicker than industry average; 
arcplan dynaSight product positioning reinforced. 

02/11/2003 Florida hospital selects Cypress to power information access 
and delivery. 

02/11/2003 Datawatch/ES extends the reach of enterprise business 
intelligence; mines data overlooked by traditional solutions. 

02/11/2003 Institute for Medical Knowledge Implementation (IMKI) 
demonstrates the Wellogic Catalyst Rule-Authoring tool at HIMSS 2003M. 

02/11/2003 Just what the Doctor ordered: new mobile computing solution 
from Sprint improves hospital care by giving physicians remote access to 
patients' vital information. 

02/10/2003 MEDecision delivers integrated medical management; optimizes 
health care, lowers MLR, slashes administrative costs. 

02/10/2003 SAS delivers supply chain intelligence.

02/10/2003 Leading companies consolidate 400 disparate data marts into 
Teradata enterprise data warehouses.

02/10/2003 Brio Software provides Motorola with worldwide HR reporting. 

02/10/2003 CreditXpert Inc. introduces CreditXpert What-If 
simulator(TM); consumers can explore scenarios before impacting their 

02/10/2003 PDxMD(TM) now available as the clinical decision support tool 
for myPatientCharts(TM) electronic medical record system. 

02/07/2003 Vaccine selection web-based tool by Austral Engineering and 
Software, Inc. provides best-value information for pediatric combination 

02/07/2003 Center for Business Practices' new research reveals the 
project management challenges and trends among Global 2000 companies. 

02/07/2003 Enterprise Portals key to maintaining competitive advantage; 
WatchIT features Greg Crider, SAP Director of Portal Product Marketing, 
in Technical Briefings program, `Exploring SAP Enterprise Portals'. 

02/06/2003 Bankers Systems and LexisNexis RiskWise partner to deliver 
compliance knowledge and fraud prevention expertise in IDFlag. 

02/06/2003 Teradata will use LSI Logic fibre channel host bus adapters 
to enable data warehouse solutions.

02/05/2003 Famed German brewery centralizes communications on 
international building project with Autodesk Buzzsaw.

02/05/2003 Schneider Logistics selects ILOG technology to reduce 
transport times and costs for Schneider customers.

02/05/2003 Concur delivers comprehensive business intelligence solution 
for corporate expense management.

02/04/2003 LogicTools releases new versions of supply chain network 
design products that leverage inventory planning to provide powerful 
optimization solutions. 

02/04/2003 Interwoven MetaTagger 3.5 dramatically enhances effectiveness 
of enterprise portals with highly relevant content. 

02/04/2003 Information Builders announces WebFOCUS 5. 

02/03/2003 New Sagent product brings EII to the masses; Sagent OpenLink 
enables 3rd-party applications to access multiple data sources, perform 

02/03/2003 Intergraph's GeoMedia Solutions help Iowa DOT improve data 
integration and access, and minimize redundancy and maintenance. 

02/03/2003 Fair, Isaac announces version 2.0 of Model Builder For 
Decision Trees; enhanced business science software tool helps businesses 
build, automate and improve strategies. 

02/03/2003 The Modeling Agency schedules data mining course series in 
Las Vegas April 1 - 4, 2003. 

02/03/2003 Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Government officials unveil 
real-time port security initiative in operation.

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