Information System for Decision Support


In the current globalized business environment, decision making is becoming more and more difficult. Some of the problems faced by business are as follows:

  • There is large volume of internal organizational data on hand thanks to the modern data-storage system. However, not all data available would be useful for decision.

  • The flow of information over the Internet is increasing daily. Decision makers need to keep a tab on latest information available on the Internet.

  • More and more business transactions are done online. Proliferation of e-commerce has created opportunity as well as challenges for decision makers.

  • Multi-national companies are faced with scenarios where decision makers are spread across the globe. Every decision maker would bring his or her own perception during team discussion. Thus reaching a decision through consensus make become difficult.

Challenges in Decision Making

In today’s corporate environment, there is encouragement for diverse and inclusive work environment. Therefore, employees come together from a different background to achieve a single organizational goal. However, to achieve this target several decisions need to be made. And a good decision-making process will encounter challenges.

Some decision may be stalled due to lack of experience, in particular, area of operations. Sometimes it is difficult to pin-point pain areas and fresh pair of eyes would be required to highlight the problem. Often past experiences stop us from making a decision.

To overcome such challenges it is important to develop decision support system, team decision support tool and executive information system.

Decision Making Process

Simon’s decision-making process identifies three main steps - intelligence, design and choice. During the intelligence stage, the current business environment is scanned to identify the problem. Once the problem is identified, it needs to be considered whether the decision maker is capable of handling the problem. Investment in time is required to develop complete problem statement.

Based on information gathered, a decision model is developed, which can solve identified problems.

In the choice phase, various solutions proposed by the model are evaluated and examined. Feasibility study is carried out if the solution can be implemented in the current business scenario.

Decision Support System

Decision support system consists of three main parts - data management system, model management system and user interface.

Data-management system contains primary as well as secondary data. This data is then fed through a model management system. Model management system will carry out simulation analyst, What-If analysis, etc. and pass on the result to end users in form of data, chart, sheets, etc.

Group Decision Support System

Some decision-making process requires group involvement. Group decision support system includes tools like brain storming tools, idea ranking tools, etc.

Executive Information System

An information system designed to facilitate top level management undertake a strategic decision is called executive information system. Executive Information systems contain both primary as well as secondary data.

The information system provides summary of information in a required format. The information system also has drill through facility to see the 2nd and 3rd tier of data.

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Management Information System