What are the essential functionalities for a decision support software

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Computer software dedicated to decision making (in English “business intelligence”, or DSS for “decision support system”) are tools for decision-makers and top management of companies. Francophones will be able to find the abbreviation SID, for Système d’Information Décisionnelle

Decision support software has the power to collect, verify, model and report data of all types of a company to help make a decision based on the relevance of what emerges from the data on a specific topic.

These decisions can be financial, human, technical. The software is structured on the same model as decision trees, for example, or other models resulting from research in this field.

Collect data efficiently

The collection or “datapumping” function is obviously the priority in the choice of decision support software. It is on this IT work, which consists in detecting, selecting, extracting and filtering the data included in the scope of action of the CIS, that the manager will be able to work efficiently.

This functionality is the most difficult to configure in a complex decision-making system, especially because it is the most difficult to configure.ach company has its own specificities and external partners who do not share the same technical language.

It will then be necessary to use extract-transform-load tools. To put it simply, decision support software works mainly on data that is well known to the company:

  • reports of current operations (purchases, sales, accounting operations, etc.)
  • the time film of the company’s activity: (inventories, stock levels, etc.)
  • documents broken down over a specific period (stocks of each month, contracts on signature, weekly order values, etc.)

The so-called extract-transform-load method, or ETL, consists in synchronizing the data massively to your software so that you can work on it later.

Integration of decision support software

This feature concentrates the data provided in a dedicated space called by computer scientists “the data warehouse”. This is the driving force behind the whole.

This essential tool offers a harmonious reading of heterogeneous data from various sources. Che data is then made reliable by the “filter” tool, because you have understood it, the external or internal data do not speak the same language as in the company, so the semantics is not necessarily the same.

Consistency is then made essential by the software. He rejects the wrong pickaxes to keep only the right decision-making assets. For example: it does not take into account data provided on dates other than those chosen by the manager.

They are worthless or no longer valuable. It puts aside data that is not certified by the company and its standards. This function is used automatically when reporting requests are made with a calendar: it allows the accumulation of figures.

After collection and analysis, dissemination

This last step gives you access to the data you request, while categorizing your needs according to your status or request. A financial analyst certainly does not have the same needs as the reception department, for example.

The software uses this function to categorize the data into consistent information segments. He then favours a simple reading for the most rational use possible. If a data warehouse hosts millions of data, it will only deliver a few dozen at most to requesters. Everyone goes into detail as they wish and that’s fine.

The reporting associated with the software will be configured to define who reads the report, with which relevant indicators, what is the frequency of editing previously configured or triggered during a meeting, etc. The software will be configured to work in the most user-friendly way possible: appearance of the pages, menus, shape of graphics, with all the computer and communication tools at its disposal (Web, mobile, tablet, PC, etc.).

The last basic functionality is the management of the whole: it ensures the control, this final process of updating data and security that is essential to the software. It manages automatic backups and provides information on incident management.

To go further, you can read our article about the use of decision support software.

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