Decision Support Systems Applications and Uses

By business.com editorial staff,
business.com writer
| Updated
Apr 08, 2020
Image Credit: Pinkypills / Getty Images

Decision support systems may provide businesses with more accurate projections, better inventory management and data analysis.

  • Decision support systems collect, organize and analyze massive amounts of data.
  • DSS helps businesses manage inventory, project sales and much more.
  • DSS is used in a variety of fields, including medical, mapping and directions, education and real estate

What is a decision support system?

DSS is a computerized-based information system that organizes, collects, and analyzes business data that can be used in decision-making activities for the management, operations, and planning in an organization or business. The typical types of information that is gathered by a decision support system may include sales figures and projected revenue, inventory data that has been organized into relational databases for analysis, and comparative sales figures between specific, selected time periods.

A good DSS helps decision-makers with compiling various types of data gathered from several different sources, including documents, raw data, management, business models and personal knowledge from employees.

DSS applications can be used in a vast array of diverse fields, such as credit loan verification, medical diagnosis, business management, evaluating bids on engineering projects, agricultural production and railroad evaluation.

Specific uses for DSS in business

DSS is getting a lot of attention from many businesses as a way to promote better projections, management and analysis within a company or business.

DSS comes in many forms, and the term basically refers to a computer-aided system that helps managers and planners make decisions. There are a lot of different ways managers can use DSS software to their advantage if they are open to exploring DSS applications and uses. Typically, business planners will build a DSS system according to their needs and use it to evaluate specific operations, including

  1. A large stock of inventory, where DSS applications can provide guidance on establishing supply chain movement that works for a business.

  2. A sales process, where DSS software is a "crystal ball" that helps managers theorize how changes will affect results.

  3. Other specialized processes related to a field or industry.

DSS can help manage inventory

DSS can come in handy by evaluating stock held in a facility, or any other type of business asset that can be moved around or otherwise optimized. This is often one way a business can profit from "itemizing" its assets with DSS.

DSS can aid sales optimization and sales projections

Decision support technology can also be a tool that analyzes sales data and makes predictions, or monitors existing patterns. Whether it's big picture decision support tools, active or passive solutions, or any other kind of DSS tool, planners often tackle sales numbers using a variety of decision support resources.

Utilize DSS to optimize industry-specific systems

There are other uses for this powerful software option, to make good projections on the future for a business or to get an overall bird's-eye view of events that determine a company's progress. This can come in handy in difficult situations where a lot of financial projection may be necessary when determining expenditures and revenues.

Examples of DSS

DSS operates on several levels and there are many examples of common day-to-day use for decision support systems. For instance, GPS is used to determine the best and quickest route between two points. This task is completed by comparing and analyzing the option for multiple possibilities. GPS systems may also include features such as traffic avoidance, which monitors the traffic conditions between the two points, allowing you to avoid traffic congestion.

One of the easiest ways to understand how DSS works is to consider your computer use; every time you log on and use a search engine, you've used a DSS to organize a massive amount of information and transform it into images, videos, and text files in order to choose the information that best suits your search. Other ways DDS is used may include:

  • Farmers that use tools for crop-planning to help determine the best planting time, when to fertilize and when harvest.

  • When DSS is used in medicine it is known as clinical DSS. The functions of clinical DDS may be used to manage details and complex information for a wide range of things, such as maintaining research information about chemotherapy protocols, preventative care, tracking orders and follow-up care. The system is often used for cost control, avoiding duplicate tests and monitoring medication orders. DSS is also used with medical diagnosis software, which provides medical personnel with the ability to diagnose illnesses.

  • Some states have used DSS to provide information about potential hazards, such as floods. The system includes real-time weather conditions and may include information (current and historical) about floodplain boundaries and county flood data.

  • Real estate companies often use DSS for information about properties, including current data such as neighborhood comparison prices, acreage and future planning.

  • Universities and colleges rely on DSS to know how many students are currently enrolled, which allows them to predict how many additional students are needed in particular courses or overall population to ensure there are enough students enrolled to meet the university costs.
business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff
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