Decision Support Systems and Business Modelling
Full course description
Decision support systems are computer-based systems for management decision makers who deal with semi-structured decision problems. A DSS is closely related to a MIS, a management information system. Where a MIS helps decision makers utilize data and models to solve structured problems, a DSS aims to give the same support, in case the problem is less structured (less routine). In this course, we will focus on the separate techniques that form the building blocks of a DSS: databases, spreadsheet models, recommendation model, and the user interface. Developing a business model as a decision aid for a self-designed choice problem is the major assignment of the course. We will use Excel and VBA as a tool to program our own DSS. Writing a management report describing the DSS and its possible implementation is the second practical assignment. Together, those two assignments compose the project done by small project groups of 2 students.
- Understanding the role and operation of decision support systems.
- Independent development of a decision support system.
- Master programming in Excel and the design of user interfaces in VBA for Excel.
Basic mastery of Excel, or an alternative spreadsheet application: cell referencing, building formulas, use of logical functions. This does not include mastery of VBA for Excel: training in VBA programming is part of the course.
An advanced level of English.
The course is built around a reader that will be distributed before the course. Secondary literature references about decision support systems in general will be provided in the reader.