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Dan Power

Greetings to all of my friends who work in the area of computerized decision support. This blog is a way for me to share stories from my encounters related to decision support, to comment on industry events, and to comment on other blogger's comments, especially those of my friends on the Business Intelligence Network. I'll try to state my opinions clearly and provide an old professor's perspective on how computers and information technology are changing the world. Decision making has always been my focus, and it will be in this blog as well. Your comments, feedback and questions are welcomed.

About the author >

Daniel J. "Dan" Power is a Professor of Information Systems and Management at the College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa and the editor of DSSResources.com, the Web-based knowledge repository about computerized systems that support decision making; the editor of PlanningSkills.com; and the editor of DSS News, a bi-weekly e-newsletter. Dr. Power's research interests include the design and development of decision support systems and how these systems impact individual and organizational decision behavior.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Dan's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

by Daniel J. Power
Editor, DSSResources.com 

Analysis of data should result in telling managers and sponsors stories to summarize what was found. Story telling is however an art. Some of us are born story tellers, many of us need to learn to tell stories. A story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Sometimes a story begins with the final events and then recounts how it happened. Other stories are more sequential and recount events chronologically. There are many story patterns. Data may contain a story, but analysis must reveal the story. Data often has patterns, data is not usually a random collection of observations. During analysis we do need to be careful about removing and eliminating data, removing "outliers", observations that are distant from others, can distort the story.

Continue reading at http://dssresources.com/faq/index.php?action=artikel&id=317

Please cite as:

Power, D. J. "How do you tell a 'good' story based upon data?" Decision Support News, Vol. 15, No. 25, December 7, 2014 at URL http://dssresources.com/newsletters/385.php


Posted December 7, 2014 6:15 AM
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by Daniel J. Power
Editor, DSSResources.com 

Decision making habits are often learned by trial and error. Decision making skills are learned through deliberate, systematic effort. Organizational culture also influences decision making behaviors. A culture can promote use of data to make decisions. More data, including "big data", and more and easier to use analytical tools provide an opportunity for improving operational decision making, but many managers must learn new behaviors and skills to actually use data and analyses effectively. Generally, managers must expand their skill sets to become effective data-driven decision makers.

Continue reading at http://dssresources.com/faq/index.php?action=artikel&id=316

Please cite as:

Power, D. J. "What skills do data-driven decision makers need?" Decision Support News, Vol. 15, No. 24, November 23, 2014 at URL http://dssresources.com/newsletters/384.php

Posted November 23, 2014 9:19 AM
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by Daniel J. Power
Editor, DSSResources.com 

A recent Capgemini (2012) study found that 9 out of 10 business leaders "believe data is now the fourth factor of production, as fundamental to business as land, labor and capital." That report concludes "Big Data represents a fundamental shift in business decision making." Data-driven decision making refers to the collection and analysis of data to guide or make decisions. Data has been used to support structured decisions since people began collecting and recording data. High velocity data can potentially improve routine, reoccurring decisions, but the impact on unstructured strategic decisions is less certain. Some vendors broadly assert that big data and statistical analysis will be helpful for "all" decisions if we are creative in using data. Decisions are choices among options, but some choices are more complex and difficult than others and some options are ambiguous and poorly defined.

Continue reading at http://dssresources.com/faq/index.php?action=artikel&id=314

Please cite as:

Power, D. J. "What is data-driven decision making?" Decision Support News, Vol. 15, No. 23, November 9, 2014 at URL http://dssresources.com/newsletters/383.php

Posted November 9, 2014 10:57 AM
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by Daniel J. Power
Editor, DSSResources.com 

It is generally assumed that managers want to make data-driven decisions, rather than intuitive or "gut feel" decisions. Some evidence suggests that senior managers are only "pushing" data-driven decision making for operations decision makers. Are there important, strategic, long-term decision making use cases? Do senior business and government executives want to use "big data" to support their strategic decision making? Are there any examples of using "big data" to support strategic decision makers?

Continue reading at http://dssresources.com/faq/index.php?action=artikel&id=313

Please cite as Power, D. J. "Are there strategic decision making 'big data' use cases?" Decision Support News, Vol. 15, No. 22 October 26, 2014.

Posted October 28, 2014 8:03 AM
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by Daniel J. Power
Editor, DSSResources.com 

A data warehouse is a central, integrated repository for historical, enterprise data from multiple business systems. An expanded definition for data warehousing includes business intelligence tools for analyzing the data and OLAP is part of the broader category of business intelligence tools. Answering this question in detail depends upon who is asking. Managers need to be familiar with some DW/OLAP terminology, the basic "what is" questions, and they need to have an idea of the benefits and limitations of these decision support components, the why questions. More technical people in Information Systems need to know how and when to develop systems using these components.

Continue reading this classic column at http://dssresources.com/faq/index.php?action=artikel&id=47

Power, D. J. "What do I need to know about Data Warehousing/OLAP?" Decision Support News, Vol. 15, No. 21 October 12, 2014 at http://dssresources.com/newsletters/381.php .

Posted October 11, 2014 12:08 PM
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