Chapter 9 Margin Notes

General Note: Decision Support Systems enable people to make better business decisions--that's it in a nutshell!

Page 324, Information Quality.  I took a graduate level course in Information once that discussed the traits of Information Quality for two solid weeks :)

Page 325, Real World Case 1: Oracle Corporation and Ohters. Be sure to read this case--it nicely summarizes the role of Decision Support in the business world.  What is Business Intelligence? Some day you may head one of these Business Centers.

Page 327, Figure 9.2.  A good figure to check out. It's not the typical worthless pyramid figure. It  shows that different levels of managers in a company need different types of information. 

Page 327, Figure 9.3.  A good figure to check out.

Page 328, Decision Structure.  Do you understand the difference between Structured and Unstructured decisions? Structured decisions are those that can be specified in advance. 

Page 328, Decision Support Trends. More and more, businesses are using computers to make decisions about the business. This isn't the way it always was--but it definitely is now!

Page 329, Figure 9.5.  A good figure to check out.

Page 330, Cisco Systems: MIS Dashboard. Needless to say, you should be sure to read this. What's a deep hook?

Page 332, Management Information Systems. We briefly saw Management Information Systems in Chapter 1---now we get a chance to revisit the topic again. It's a favorite of mine, since it was what I first worked on back in the 70's.

Page 332, Web-Enabled DSS at PepsiCo. A Dull one.

Page 333, Management Reporting Alternatives. Review the different types of Reports that an MIS can produce. These usually show up in the Final Examination.

Page 334, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP). OLAP is a tough concept to understand---don't worry too much if you don't fully grasp it. Figure 9.9 doesn't help too much--but Figure 9.10 may help you visualize the end product--something that can help you make a business decision.

Page 334. Be familiar with the three types of basic OLAP operations---Consolidation, Drill-Down and Slicing and Dicing.

Page 335, The GAP: Using OLAP to Analyze Key Measures in a Retail Environment. This is an OK gray box.

Page 336, Geographic Information and Data Visualization Systems. Another computer based tool to help you make decisions. Have you used anything like this lately?

Page 338, Eli Lilly: Data Visualization for Decision Support. Check it out. I wish we could see this graphically.

Page 338, Using Decision Support Systems. A wonderful discussion---much better than in the previous edition of the book. Be sure to understand the different types: What-If-Analysis, Sensitivity Analysis, and Goal-Seeking Analysis.

Page 340, Lexis-Nexsis: Web Tools for Decision Support. Check it out.

Page 342, National Basketball Association: Playing "Mine" Games. Loved it!

Page 343, Executive Information Systems. The EIS is a Decision Support System customized for executives who must make high-level, strategic decisions.

Page 343, EIS at Conoco and KeyCorp. Dull :(

Page 344, Enterprise Portals and Decision Support. Enterprise Portals are a relatively new offering in the computer world---think of them as an Intranet with Decision Support Capabilities.

Page 346, Knowledge Management Systems. It's easy to dismiss Knowledge Management Systems. Don't!

Page 346, Quest Communications: Web Knowledge Management System. A pretty good one.

Page 348, Artificial Intelligence technology in Business. Hopefully you'll find this section pretty interesting. 

Page 348, An Overview of Artificial Intelligence. Make sure you read this section carefully---check out Figure 9.25, and be familiar with the terms Cognitive Science, Robotics and Natural Interfaces. In the past, these have shown up on the Final Examination.

Page 349, Real World Case #2. Harrah's Entertainment, LendingTree, DeepGreen Financial, and Cisco Systems. Very interesting :) Easily the most interesting Case Study in the book so far (at least for me)

Page 353, Expert Systems. Have you ever used one? Check out this section to see if you really understand what they are and what they can do for business. Know how they are developed, and what their limitations are.

Page 357, Cutle-Hammer: Strategic Expert System. Good one! What's Bid Manager?

Page 358, Knowledge Engineering. It's so easy to dismiss this section--but don't, it may appear on the Final Examination.

Page 359, Neural Networks. When students get to this section, and see the word 'Neural', I think they doze off--after all, this isn't a biology course. However, in the past, the term Neural has appeared somewhere on the Final Examination, along with Fuzzy Logic Systems on Page 320. 

Page 360, Modern Neurosurgery: Neural Nets Help Save Lives. Check it out.

Page 361, Genetic Algorithms. I don't recall asking about these on the Final Examination, but it's just two paragraphs, read it anyway.

Page 361, GE's Engeneous. Check it out.

Page 361, Virtual Reality. You should find the concept of Virtual Reality pretty interesting---I bet many of you have already used Virtual Reality in some form or other. The key point here: how is it used in business?

Page 363, Norsk Hydro: Drilling Decisions Made in a Virtual Oil Field.

Page 363. What's an Intelligent Agent? Check out Figure 9.37 to find out. Have you used Ask Jeeves (Now just

Page 364, Dow Jones & Co.: Intelligent Web Agents. An OK is now for sale :(

Page 370, Real World Case #3: IBM, Linden Labs, and Others: The Business Case for Virtual Worlds in a 3D Internet. You wouldn't skip this one, would you?