Sunday, August 4, 2013


'The marketing, department in your company has been concerned about the performance of the West Coast Region and the sales numbers from the monthly report this month arc drastically low. The marketing Vice president, is agitated and wants to get some reports front the IT department to analyze the performance over the past two years, product by product, and compared to monthly targets. He wants to make quick strategic decisions to rectify the situation. The CIO wants your boss to deliver the reports as soon as possible. Your boss runs to you and asks you to stop everything and work on the reports. There are no regular reports from any system to give the marketing department what they want. You have to gather the data from multiple applications and start from scratch. Does this sound familiar'?

At one time or another in your career in information technology. You must have been exposed to situations like this. Sometimes, you may be able to get the information required for such ad hoe reports from the databases or files of one application. Usually this is not so. You may have to go to several applications, perhaps running on different plat-forms in your company environment, to get the information. What happens next'? The marketing department likes the ad hoc repot I!: you have produced. 13ut now they would like reports in a different form, containing more information that they did not think of originally. After the second round, they find that the contents of the reports are still not exactly ■■ hat they wanted. They may also find inconsistencies among, the data obtained from different applications.

'the  fact is that for nearly two decades or more, IT departments have been attempting to provide information to key personnel in their companies Inc making strategic decisions. Sometimes an IT. Department could `produce ad hoc reports from .a single application. In most cases. The reports would need data from multiple systems, requiring the writing of extract programs to create intermediary files that could be used to produce the ad hoc reports. Most of these attempts by IT in the past ended in failure. The users could not clearly define what they wanted in ale first place. Once they saw the first set of reports, they wanted more data in different formats. The chain continued. 

This was mainly because of the very nature of the process of making strategic decisions. Information needed for strategic decision making has to be available in in interactive manner. The user must be able to query online, get results, and query some insre Question & Answer 70-246 Real Test Exam Microsoft 70-246 Exam Features Microsoft 70-246 real exam Microsoft Exam 70-246 guide microsoft 70-246 exam resting engine. The, information must be in a for-mat suitable for analysis. In order to appreciate the reasons for the failure of IT to provide strategic information in the past. we need to consider how IT was attempting to do this all these years. Let us, therefore, quickly run through a brief history of decision support systems.

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