the form and use of information and decision support systems for managers and business professionals changing and expanding? Why or why not?
Yes, the form and use of information and decision support in e-business is changing and expanding. Certainly changes are taking place in traditional MIS, DSS, and EIS tools, and these
changes are being driven by the rapid developments in end user computing and networking.
Internet, web browser, and related technologies, and the explosion of e-commerce activities are also causing rapid
change. The growth of corporate intranets, extranets, as well as the Web, has
accelerated the development of “executive class” interfaces like enterprise information portals, and Web enabled
decision support software tools and their use by lower of management and by individuals and teams of business professionals. The expansion of e-commerce has increased the use of enterprise portals and DSS tools
by the suppliers, customers, and other business stakeholders of a company.
the growth of self-directed teams to manage work in organizations changed the need for strategic, tactical, and operational
decision making in business?
Although there has
been tremendous growth in the use of self-directed teams in organizations in order to manage the work, the basics for decision
making have not changed that much. Strategic, tactical, and operational decision
making continue to be carried out in organizations regardless of how the work is completed.
What has changed is the way in which the work is being completed. Through
technology, self-directed teams now have new and creative ways of completing their duties.
is the difference between the ability of a manager to retrieve information instantly on demand using an MIS, and the capabilities
provided by a DSS?
Managers have traditionally relied on the capabilities of MIS to obtain the data that they
required. However, the information for these requests had traditionally been
structured in advance, and was of the structured type of request. In a DSS support
system, the capabilities are much broader. Now managers can query the information
in a number of ways, and these systems can handle the ad hoc queries that come about.
DSS provide the capabilities for a manager to participate in interactive analytical modeling in order to make more
informed decision. DSS software is capable of supporting semistructured and unstructured
decisions faced by individual managers. They are designed to use decision maker’s
own insights and judgments in an ad hoc, interactive, analytical modeling process which will lead them to a specific decision.
Refer to the Real World Case on Ben & Jerry’s and GE Plastics in the chapter. How might a digital dashboard
help you as a business professional or manager in your work activities? Give several examples to illustrate your answer.
A digital dashboard might provide assistance by:
· Accelerating the development and use of “executive
class” information delivery and decision support software tools by lower levels of management and by individuals and
teams of business professionals. The sales team can check to determine if one
flavor of ice cream is gaining ground on the current no. 1 sales flavor at Ben & Jerry’s. The marketing department can check to see what donations are currently required by Ben & Jerry’s. Ben & Jerry’s is able to reduce the time it takes to close their monthly
· The digital dashboard used by several levels of management
in companies such as Ben & Jerry’s and GE Plastics permit the companies to better track their products, improve
and customer relations.
· Everyone in the business has access to the same real-time
data and its analysis. GE Plastics has reduced the need for dozens of analysts to compile and deliver information and to deliver
consistency in the analysis of the data to the user of the information quicker.
what ways does using an electronic spreadsheet package provide you with the capabilities of a decision support system?
An electronic spreadsheet package can be thought of as one of the earlier
forms of decision support systems. Spreadsheets allow users to complete “what-if”,
sensitivity, goal seeking, and optimization analysis. They also provide some
features of database management and dialog management support.
enterprise information portals making executive information systems unnecessary? Explain
First of all, in answering the question students’ should explain what an EIP system is versus an EIS system. As such, EIPs are developed by companies as a way to provide web-enabled information, knowledge, and decision
support to executives, managers, employees, suppliers, customers, and other business partners.
EISs on the other hand, are designed to provide strategic information that are tailored to the needs of top management.
Whether or not EIP’s will eventually make EIS systems unnecessary
is a matter of debate. Students’ may agree that as more and more enriched
features are added to EIP systems that their importance will be heightened. On
the other hand, EIS systems are also being developed with enriched features such as Web browsing, electronic mail, groupware
tools, and DSS and expert systems capabilities to make them even more useful to managers and business professionals.
7. Refer to the Real World Case on Wal-Mart, BankFinancial, and HP in
the chapter. Why are neural network and expert system technologies used in many data-mining applications?
Reasons could include:
· Neural networks can “learn” from the data
it processes, thereby learning to recognize patterns and relationships in the data it processes. Thus neural networks can change the strengths of the interconnections between the elements in response
to changing patterns in the data it receives and the results that occur. The
neural network technology can be used to evaluate or “make decisions” on its own.
An example is that of BankFinancial using neural networks to more accurately target promotions to customers and prospects.
· Expert system technologies act as a consultant to end
users in very specific problem areas by making humanlike inferences about knowledge contained in a specialized knowledge base. Expert systems must be able to explain their reasoning process and conclusions to
a user. An example would be the “If-Ten” analysis used by Wal-Mart
in managing its inventory.
computers think? Will they ever be able to?
Explain why or why not.
Computers will probably never
be able to reason in the same way that humans do. However, computers are likely
to be able to perform more and more tasks that up until now could only be performed by humans.
Experimentation continues to develop in the field of artificial intelligence, and improvements are ongoing. Will a computer ever pass the Turing test is questionable.
are some of the most important applications of AI in business? Defend your choices.
In business, expert systems are probably the most important application of artificial intelligence,
though the use of such systems is still quite limited. In other areas, robotics
is widely used in manufacturing, and natural interface applications are becoming more and more a part of information systems
for many different applications. Major areas of AI research and development include cognitive science, computer science, robotics, and natural interface
10. What are
some of the limitations or dangers you see in the use of AI technologies such as expert systems, virtual reality, and intelligent
agents? What could be done to minimize such effects?