Decision Support Systems
The history of decision support systems (DSS) started in the late 1960s, for example, Ferguson and Jones (1969). DSS are designed to assist a decision maker, from strategic to operational business decisions, from political group decisions to personal life decisions. Examples are management information systems (MIS) (Sprague & Watson, 1975), executive information systems (EIS) (Rockart, 1979), knowledge-based systems (Klein & Methlie, 1995), online analytical processing (OLAP) (Pendse, 2004) and business intelligence (BI) (Nylund, 1998), just to mention a few. With the rise of the Web most of the systems have been undergoing a sweeping transformation from traditional client server applications to Web-based decision support systems, overcoming the obstacle of system boundaries and availability (Power, 2000). The spatial flexibility of nowadays operatives requires ubiquitous access to information and communication resources (BenMoussa, 2003). The temporal flexibility brings the need for explicit asynchronous communication via shared media. Optimum profit of group or organizational knowledge as shared resource is based on clear ownership of data and artefacts.
This chapter concentrates on decision support systems (communicative tools as well as business intelligence connectors) as the base for time critical management decision.