Developing the Decision Support System

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Developing a decision support system is one of the most important challenges that business managers usually face, making a right decision in certain circumstances. Being able to make the right decision in a particular situation requires useful information about the problem at hand. Since the amount of information of companies is increasing every day, it is almost impossible for humans to extract useful information from them without a computer. 

This issue has led to the design of systems called decision support systems, which we are going to learn more about them in this article. As it is known, decision support systems are designed to help users to make decisions.

Note: The database in this article refers to a relational database.

Decision Support Systems in Bigpro1

Bigpro1 has a feature through which you can get your smart decision support systems using APIs. For this purpose, after processing the data and building a machine learning model, there is an option to create a decision support system and build a decision support system based on that model. In Bigpro1, you can even get the Python file related to the machine learning algorithm!

The Bigpro1 platform has the service of decision support systems and even APIs for them that you can use outside of Bigpro1.

Decision Support system definition

Decision support systems were first proposed in the seventies by a person named Lester. His plan was based on computer-aided decision making. Since then, many definitions and concepts have been proposed in this field. The multiplicity of these presented concepts is related to the evolutionary cycle of this process. The primary concepts that were raised in this context mostly refer to the possibilities of DSS in solving semi-structured issues. The concepts and definitions presented in the following years in this area are about the important and practical components of this system and its design process. The reason for this multiplicity of opinions and definitions is due to the different viewpoints that have been given to this issue.

In simple words, decision support systems (DDS) are an auxiliary tool for making better decisions that can provide suggestions using data mining and data processing techniques, but cannot replace the decision maker. If something goes wrong in the management data system, it can be fixed with this system. In other words, DSS systems are able to combine human resources with computer facilities and improve the quality of decisions

Why using Decision Support Systems?

Decision support systems are important because they speed up calculations. In fact, the computer gives the decision maker the opportunity to process a large amount of information in a very short period of time and at a small cost. On the other hand, the DSS system can compensate human weaknesses and limitations in the field of data calculations and storage and be an effective help for managers. 

Because making decisions that have a complex process requires a lot of accuracy and sensitivity. Therefore, this system can appear as a technical supporter. It is also possible to entrust the quality support of decisions to this system and be sure that the quality of the decisions made is guaranteed.

Which areas needs Decision Support System?

Decision support systems can be implemented in areas such as water, electricity and gas networks. There are various areas that require specialized decisions. These decisions can be made in the context of planning, operation and implementation of guidelines. Follow-up of these cases by experts and elites is continuously being implemented, but human intelligence alone is not able to manage this amount of data. 

Therefore, decision support systems and databases are designed and developed so that knowledge management can be done easily by combining engineering models with other modules. Of course, this is not the only advantage of the DSS system; But it can improve operation and be effective in reducing costs. Knowledge management and operator training with the help of this system is another advantage of this smart plan.

Components of a decision support system

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Generally, a decision support system can consist of two main parts and two optional parts, which are respectively: data management system, model management system, knowledge-based system and user interface. Knowledge-based system and user interface are optional. Each of these components can be examined from different aspects and separate articles can even be written about them; However, we are satisfied with a brief explanation about each one.

_ Data Management System:

A data management system includes methods for adding, changing, and accessing data that is managed by another software called a database management system (DBMS). In this section (data management system), data related to the desired subject is stored and the decision support system can access them through DBMS. However, other methods can be used to access data in decision support systems, but the use of databases is more frequent and optimal.

_ Model Management System:

Model management system is a software package that includes tools for statistical and financial management. Also, this package provides capabilities for system analysis and software management. Another name of the model management system is the model database management system. The model management system has a direct relationship with the data management system.

_ Knowledge based system:

The knowledge-based system component in the dynamic support system can support other components or work independently. The knowledge-based system in decision support systems can play the role of the decision maker’s intelligence; In other words, it adds intelligence to the decision-making process. Knowledge can be provided from the organization’s knowledge repository, which is a part of the knowledge management system.

_ User Interface:

The user interface provides methods for the user (manager) to communicate with the decision support system. In DSS we are faced with web-based interfaces and as a result, these interfaces are graphical and easy to work with. One thing that should be noted is that even the user can be a part of decision support systems. Of course, a decision support system can have no user interface and be just an API.

Dynamic Decision Support System features

Decision support systems have general characteristics; This system can support semi-structured decision making. Being online is another feature of this system. Also, DSS establishes a meaningful connection between the user and the graphical outputs.

Decision support systems have a computer-based function that uses computer technologies and methodologies. The performance of this system is such that it has an auxiliary role and only helps to make decisions, but it will never be able to make decisions instead of people.

Another feature of decision support systems is the use of databases, evaluation and calculation models, and expert systems in solving various issues. This system can fix and refer semi-structured and even unstructured topics. Another feature that should be mentioned is the ability to support individual and group decisions.

This type of system can be used by all managers at any level. DSS increases the accuracy, speed and quality of decision-making and moves towards learning and innovation, networked use and ease of use.

Capabilities of decision support systems

Regarding the capabilities of decision support systems, we can mention the process of recognizing the operations of companies and organizations. Also, this system can generate engineering models and a process based on exploitation. The development of optimization algorithms is also one of the other capabilities of DSS, which can be considered compatible with the exploitation structure. 

This system also plays a role in implementing integration platforms and engineering evaluations and data optimization. In addition, it is also possible to mention the design and construction of educational software for the use of the network. This system can design and produce mentioned softwares based on reality. 

Registering the knowledge of experts and educated experts and data management are also among the facilities provided by DSS System. With the help of this system, you can reach new structures of performance evaluation in the field of management and operation.

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The advantages of using Decision Support System

The decision support system can play a supporting role and help managers in making the right decisions at all levels, from strategic to operational. This support can be both individual and group. It doesn’t matter if the decisions are related to each other or sequentially, in any case, the decision support system can support the decisions made. In addition, all decision-making processes are supported by DSS. 

The stages of decision-making include intelligence, design, selection and implementation. DSS also has a flexible function and users can adjust the decision support system according to their needs according to the changes that occur. In other words, managers can add or even remove or combine some elements. This system can also be reorganized. This means that the decision-maker can have control over all the decision-making stages and participate in solving the problem.

Expert Systems

In the 1970s, a person named Edward Feigenbaum sought to discover a problem-solving method that was not general and would help in a specific context. In fact, it was the beginning of expert systems because it was supposed to be implemented on computers and help people who are experts in certain fields. Expert systems are computer software that are trained by experts to give expert opinions in the future in their desired fields. When talking about training and software, machine learning and neural networks come to mind.

Obviously, machine learning can be used in an expert system. It is interesting to know that expert systems are based on inference and inference and have intelligence in a specific field. Expert systems can also be defined in such a way that they (expert systems) simulate the behavior of an expert. In some cases, an expert system may make a better decision than a specific person!

Of course, it is still not possible to conclude that expert systems will replace experts. Perhaps the most important reason why expert systems may perform better than humans is that they have faster information processing speed and larger memory than humans. An expert system can be considered a complex decision support system trained by experts and helping them in a specific field.