Decision Support Systems Glossary
by D. J. Power
- Software packages that are designed to expedite programming efforts that are required to build information systems, especially expert and decision support systems.
- The capability of asking the computer software what values certain variables must have in order to attain desired goals. It is a tool that uses iterative calculations to find the value required in one cell (variable) in order to achieve a desired value in another cell. A common use of the goal-seeking feature in a spreadsheet is calculating a break-even quantity.
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- A support system that represents data using maps. It helps people access, display and analyze data that have geographic content and meaning. Check U.S. Geological Survey page on Geographic Information Systems. Examples of software packages include ArcView, Map/IDIS, Proximity, and TargetView. See Spatial DSS.
- Graphical User Interface (GUI)
- A GUI is a program interface that uses a computer's graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use. Graphical interfaces use a pointing device to select objects, including icons, menus, text boxes, etc. A GUI includes standard formats for representing text and graphics. See user interface.
- Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS)
- An interactive, computer-based system that facilitates solution of unstructured problems by a set of decision-makers working together as a group. It aids groups, especially groups of managers, in analyzing problem situations and in performing group decision-making tasks. A GDSS is a hybrid DSS that emphasizes both the use of communications and decision models. See Communications-Driven DSS.
- This type of software is designed to support more than one person working on a shared task. Groupware is an evolving concept that is a broad concept that provides more functionality than multi-user software that allows shared access data. Groupware provides a mechanism that helps users coordinate and keep track of on-going projects. It allows people to work together through computer-supported communication, collaboration, and coordination. Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, Communicator, Novell GroupWise, Netscape SuiteSpot, Eclipse, Team Talk, and Internet Explorer/NetMeeting are examples of groupware products. See Communications-Driven DSS.