Tools for Decision-Making


Nov 6, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)


4/10: Managing Knowledge & IS
Tools for Decision

Knowledge Management

Office & document management systems

Knowledge work systems

Group collaboration systems, intranet knowledge

Artificial intelligence: Expert Systems, Case
based reasoning

Neural networks, Fuzzy logic, Genetic algorithms, Hybrid AI
systems, Intelligent agents

Enhancing Management Decision

Decision Support Systems (DSS)

Group DSS

Executive Support Systems (ESS)

Knowledge Management

“ The process of systematically and actively
managing and leveraging the stores of
knowledge in an organization.”

An organization’s
knowledge base

may include:

Structured internal knowledge

External knowledge

Informal internal knowledge (tacit knowledge)

Information Work

“Work that primarily consists of creating or
processing information.”

Two types of workers:

Data workers: those who

process & disseminate

information & paperwork.

Knowledge workers: those



those who design products

& services.

Office & Document Management

3 basic functions of an office:

Managing & coordinating the work of data &
knowledge workers

Connecting the work of the local info workers with
the larger organization

Connecting the organization to the

external environment

Office Workers: Activities

Managing documents

Document creation, storage, retrieval, dissemination

Scheduling for individuals & groups

Communicating for individuals & groups

Voice,digital, & document
based communications

Managing data

Office Systems Help Office Workers

“Computer systems, such as word processing,
voice mail, and imaging that are designed to
increase productivity of office workers.”

Help with:

Document creation, dissemination, & retrieval




Document Imaging Systems

Convert printed documents & images to digital
form for storage & access by computer.

used documents can be stored on a
jukebox (optical disk system w/ multiple disks).

Alternative to DIS: Intranets

Workers publish documents to web
based form

Knowledge Work Systems

“Information systems that aid knowledge
workers in the creation and integration of new
knowledge in the organization.”

3 key roles for knowledge workers:

Keeping the organization up to date with knowledge
in external world

Serving as internal consultants in their areas of

Acting as change agents to evaluate, initialize, &
promote change.

Requirements for KWS

Specialized tools needed for particular task

friendly interface

Access to external databases

Examples of KWS:


Virtual reality systems, VRML systems

Investment workstations

CAD: Computer
Aided Design

Automates creation & modification of designs
by using computers.

Virtual Reality, VRML Systems

Have visualization, rendering, and simulation
capabilities beyond conventional CAD.

VRML: Virtual Reality Markup Language

Virtual reality designed for the Web

Group Collaboration Systems


“Software that provides functions and services that
support the collaborative activities of workgroups.”


publishing: tracking multiple users’ edits to a document

replication: keeping identical data on multiple PCs

discussion tracking

security: preventing unauthorized access to data

Group Collaboration Systems

Intranet knowledge environments

An alternative to traditional groupware

Cheaper, easier to maintain for email, discussion
groups, multimedia Web documents

Which to choose?

Groupware: projects requiring extensive
coordination & management, editing on the fly,
tracking revisions, greater security

Intranet: simple tasks like sharing documents, email,
publishing documents, etc.

Artificial Intelligence

“The effort to develop computer
based systems that
behave like humans.” (inc. hardware & software)

AI systems are based on human expertise, knowledge,
and selected reasoning patterns, but
do not exhibit
human intelligence

Why would businesses want this science
fiction idea?

to preserve expertise that may be lost

to store information in an active form

to create a mechanism invulnerable to human feelings

to eliminate boring & unsatisfying jobs

to enhance an organization’s knowledge base by providing

Expert Systems

intensive computer program that
captures the expertise of a human in limited
domains of knowledge.”

Narrow & brittle

Perform tasks that a professional could do in a
few minutes or hours.

Expert Systems: Parts

Knowledge base: model of human knowledge
used by ES.

Rule base: the part of the knowledge base that is
contained in IF/THEN structures.

Knowledge frames: organizes knowledge into
chunks of interrelated characteristics.

AI shell: programming environment of an ES.

Knowledge engineer: a systems analyst expert in
converting human knowledge into an ES.

based reasoning

“Artificial intelligence technology that
represents knowledge as a database of cases and

Each new case is compared with existing cases
to suggest a solution. Each new case is added to
the database of cases upon arriving at a
satisfactory solution.

Other Intelligent Techniques

Neural networks

attempt to emulate the processing patterns of the
biological brain; have a general capacity to learn.

Fuzzy logic

based AI that tolerates imprecision using
membership functions.

Genetic algorithms

Solution evolves through mutation, adaptation, and
natural selection out of possible answers.

Intelligent agents

“Software that uses a built
in or learned
knowledge base to carry out specific, repetitive,
and predictible tasks for the user, business
process, or other software application.”

Example uses:

wizards in MS Office

delete junk email

find cheapest airfare

search auctions for lowest price on item


Enhancing Management Decision

Decision Support Systems (DSS)

“Computer systems for management that combines
data, analytical tools, and models to support semi
structured and unstructured decision

MIS are predefined management reports, etc., not

Two types of DSS

driven DSS

“Primarily stand
alone system that uses a model to
perform “what
if” analysis.”

driven DSS

“A system that allows users to extract & analyze
information in large databases.”

driven DSS: Datamining

Associations: things linked to a single event.

Sequences: events linked over time.

Classification: patterns that describe a group,
inferring a set of rules.

Clustering: like classification, but no defined
group yet exists.

Forecasting: using a series of values to forecast
what other values may be.

Parts of a DSS

Database: all the data

historical and/or current from various applications.

Software system

Software tools used for analysis.

Examples inc.

based DSS

Examples of DSS

American Airlines: price & route selection

Lay: price, advertising, & promotion mix

Texas Oil & Gas: evaluation of drilling sites

General Accident Insurance: fraud detection

Group DSS

“An interactive computer
based system that
facilitates solutions to unstructured problems by
makers working as a group.”


Hardware: conference facility itself, PCs, overheads,

Software tools: electronic questionnaires,
brainstorming tools, voting tools, etc.


Executive Support Systems (ESS)

“Information systems for strategic
unstructured decision
making in an organization
through advanced graphics & communications.”

Drilling down: ability to move from summary
data to lower and lower levels of detail.

Benefits of ESS

Easy to use; little training needed.

Ability to analyze, compare, and highlight

Enhance quality of decision
making because of
down capability