Two basic things are necessary in organising a decision support system development are:- 1. Central Data Bank 2. Information Centre.
(i) Central Data Bank:
It is the core of a decision support system. Information in one area of an organisation is made readily available for. decision making in other areas through the use of a central data bank. Recent developments in computer and communications technology have made such decision support systems both practicable and affordable.
The idea is simple: centralising information means that sales data would not have to be stored in accounting, marketing, and production but would be available in one central data bank. It increases both the quality and timeliness of decisions.
The central data bank concept is illustrated below:
Because both users and suppliers of information are scattered throughout an organisation, some unit is needed to oversee the operation of the central data bank. An information is meant for this—for the gathering and processing of information.
To develop an information centre, three tasks are necessary:
1. Dispersed information activities must be identified throughout the organisation.
2. These activities must be viewed as parts of the whole.
3. These activities must be brought under the management of a separate centralised information centre.
The information centre consults, coordinates and controls the functions of a DSS. In highly competitive and volatile consumer-goods industries, the use of information centre is widespread. This set-up ensures effective use of information, because all computer facilities, knowledge, and storage and retrieval facilities become available to all other functions of the organisation.
Information as an Organisational Resource:
Developing a central data bank and an information centre does not guarantee that information will be used widely. The proponents suggest that the quality rather than quantity of information is more important for decision making. To promote effective utilisation of a DSS is to see information as a basic resource of the organisation, just as we do for money, men, materials, and machines.
Thus, as a basic resource, information:
1. Is vital to the survival of the organisation,
2. Can only be used at cost,
3. Must be at right place at right time, and
4. Must be used efficiently for optimal return on its cost to the organisation.
DSS is a reality in small and large organisations. The development of DSS is more than technology. Its purpose is more effective management decision making.