Decision support system (DSS) software is computer software that helps a user make a fact-based decision, but there are different DSS programs that assist the user in different ways. Database and document decision support system software allows the user to access databases and files pertinent to the decision, so the user can inform himself on the issue. Knowledge-base decision support system software is similar to the database and document type, but it accesses a knowledge-base website and may include information from both business associates and customers. Suggestion DSS programs take structured data and suggest a decision to the user. Communication DSS programs do not link to any files or offer any direct help, but they act as a gateway for the user to speak with other users about a decision.
Database decision support system software is hooked up to a database and has constant access to its information. When the user interacts with the DSS, it finds relevant information and displays it to the user. Document DSS programs are similar, but they have access to files and documents, not databases. Both of these programs educate the user on the situation, so he can make a proper decision.
Knowledge-base websites are made by businesses and organizations but can be expanded on by consumers and other users not affiliated with the organization. When a user asks a knowledge-base decision support system software a question, it connects to the knowledge base and finds relevant information. This website contains direct information from consumers, so it can be useful when making a decision that directly involves or affects consumers.
Suggestion decision support system software does not give the user information, but it makes an informed decision on a situation by checking its database of facts and figures. The user must ask the question in a structured way, or the program may be confused by the question’s logic. While the computer is giving a direct response, the user should not blindly trust the suggestion.
With communication decision support system software, the DSS is not giving the user an answer, nor is it giving the user information. This DSS model focuses on connecting the user with other users, so they can congregate and come up with a proper decision. The DSS will function as a chat room, a forum or some other communication bridge that allows all the members to speak among themselves.