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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!

September 2007 Archives

DSS Research Resources began publishing decision support related materials on the World Wide Web during summer 1995. From October 2, 1995 to January 1, 1997, the DSS Research Resources website transmitted more than 300,000 files to visitors from more than 50 countries. In 1997, almost 1500 files per day were transmitted from a Quarterdeck WebStar server running on an Apple Macintosh IIci at http://power.cba.uni.edu/ and from a SUN Sparc 4 workstation running Netscape Commerce server at URL http://dss.cba.uni.edu.

By 1997, the DSS Research Resources home page had been transmitted to more than 12,000 distinct visitors (IP addresses). Approximately, 20% of the visitors had been at nodes located at U.S. Universities and more than 30% of the visitors had been at nodes of U.S. and multinational companies including Bell Atlantic, Cray Research, Chevron, Duke Power, Dupont, Hewlett Packard, IBM Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Polaroid, Sony and Xerox.

The name of the site was changed to DSS Resources in Spring 1998. The domain name DSSResources.com was registered at that time with Internic. In late 1998 and early January 1999, DSS Resources moved to a second generation design with a new logo and format. The revised DSS Resources home page was posted January 15, 1999.

My son Alex and I activated the DSSResources.COM web site on September 28, 1999.

Alex Power still helps me with some technical issues, but he is now a full-time employee at Google and the b-eye-network now provides hosting and support for DSSResources.com.

Thanks everyone for 12 years of DSS Resources and especialy for 8 years as DSSResources.com. Without visitors, subscribers and advertisers and my interest in the topic, the site would not continue to exist. Please let me know how we can enhance our site and I am always looking for quality content, articles, cases and interviews.

Posted September 28, 2007 10:49 AM
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On August 12, 2007, the Business Intelligence Network began handling the electronic publication and advertising sales for DSS News. So far 4 newsletters have been published with Volume 8, Number 19 delivered in today's email. Since May 10, 2000, 185 issues of DSS News have been published. In most of the newsletters, I have written a column titled Ask Dan. The columns are in the DSSResources.com newsletter archive and most of the Ask Dan columns are also part of the DSSResources.com "Ask Dan! Frequently Asked DSS Questions" page at http://dssresources.com/faq/home.php? .

Some recent columns include:

What is a negotiation support system?

What is decision-oriented diagnosis for building DSS?

What are "best practice" guidelines for decision process flowcharts?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Second Life for decision support?

What are the best Second Life resources for communications-driven decision support?

Can multi-user visual simulations provide real world decision support?

What rules should guide DSS user interface design?

You can subscribe to DSS News by following the link: Subscribe.

DSS News is published bi-weekly on Sundays. Upcoming issues are scheduled for 10/7/2007, 10/21/2007, 11/4/2007 and 11/18/2007. Send your questions about decision support to me, Dan Power, at power@dssresources.com . You can also respond to blog entries.

Check the front page at DSSResources.com for a link to today's DSS News.

Posted September 23, 2007 7:55 AM
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An active Second Life is wearing me out!! I am trying to participate in the Life 2.0 Fall Summit organized in Second Life (secondlife.com) by Dr. Dobb's, a CMP unit. The summit is co-sponsored by Sun and IBM developerWorks, see http://www.life20.net/.

Lessons learned so far:

1) chat conversations become overwhelming in a group of 50 avatars

2) many people have little or no idea of the meaning of "decision support"

3) change and developments are happening quickly in Second Life

4) holding a conference in Second Life has new unanticipated problems, much can go wrong

5) "the star trek museum of science is cool", thanks Kentar Vendetta

6) a script called brokken book shelf turns SL note cards inside a box into a popup menu, as per Lazric Lane

7) there is a Chinese version of Second Life called HiPiHi

8) chat is a horrible way to share technical information, too slow and too disorganized

9) sculpties are neat in SL and are low prim, seeing a sculpty helps one understand the possibilities for real life analogues and simulations

10) Qarl Linden brought sculpties to Second Life, "sculpties allow us to build unique shapes"

11) it is much more focused to attend real life conferences than it is to attend Second Life conferences. Somehow SL conferences need to become part of my job description or I need two display monitors for my computers so I can more easily multi-task. Ideally, my SL display monitor should be a 42" high rez display!

12) SL still crashes, especially at events with large numbers of avatars!

13) I have too many time conflicts when I try to attend SL events. The number of great SL events is continually increasing in number. Help!!!!!!!!!!!

In addition to trying to attend more Life 2.0 events all this week,

later today, Prof. Robert Bloomfield of Cornell is talking at Metaversed about "Metanomics 101" (whatever that is!);

on Tuesday, September 18th at 1:00PM, TechTalk@SL will have an event with guest Robbie Kiama, he will present a novel tool for social gridtagging "MetaHUD";

at 5:00 PM SLT Tuesday, I can meet with 1-800-Flowers Special Projects Director, Seth Lasser, at a program sponsored by SL Business Communicators.

Posted September 17, 2007 10:27 AM
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Email and the Web changed my life from 1995-2007. Now Linden Labs' Second Life is transforming my life and speeding up my business and interpersonal interactions. After real life religious services for the Jewish New Year here in Cedar Falls this morning, I posted news stories at DSSResources.com. Security threats and cyber-crimes are increasing. This trend impacts communications-driven and data-driven DSS.

Then I logged on to Second Life (http://secondlife.com/) to attend 3 workshops. At Noon PST (SLT), I attended Greg Quirk's talk at Dr. Dobb's Island. Greg is the Technical Marketing Manager at Semiconductor Insights, recently acquired by CMP. He talked about and showed videos related to components found inside the Apple iPhone and two fake Chinese iPhones.
SmartPhones should be the new development platform for mobile decision support. The
Youtube video is Apple iPhone Teardown at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPhciMud0MM. The iPhone is a "powerful" technology platform, the price is falling and it might even work with Verizon, my cell phone carrier, soon.

At 1pm PST (SLT), I attended a Metaversed group informal discussion. We used a neat meeting tool, Mysti Tool table, but had too many participants and the island shut down. I relogged on and 57 Miles aka Nick Wilson, Metaversed head geek and nice guy, teleported me back to the group. A crash really dampens enthusiasm for an event. We mainly had had introductions at the session with about 25 people participating down from 50 prior to the crash. Metaversed focuses on understanding and promoting business technology in virtual worlds. My SL friend Samson Francis aka Tom Samson, with TeamWork dynamics, was attending. When I returned from the crash I sat next to Grace McDunnough aka Rhonda Lowry, VP of Emerging Technologies at Turner Broadcasting. She impressed me! The RL business community in SL is expanding and it will have an impact on real life business dealings.

At 2pm SLT, I was planning to attend the closing session of the CSU FutureVisions (http://futurevisions.colostate.edu/) conference held in Second Life. Some problems with group voice changed my plans. Richard Hackathorn aka Hack Richard gave an introductory talk so perhaps he'll give us an overview in his BI Network blog. The group was touring some sites I'd previously visited, so I moved back to real life to do tasks like blogging, writing articles, and even preparing an exam for my Decision Support Systems students for Tuesday, September 18.

This next week is the Life 2.0 Summit (http://www.life20.net/) in Second Life. I'm registered and plan to attend as much as possible given a busy, real life schedule. I will probably miss the Networking Breakfast at the Godel, Escher Beach Club from 8:00 - 9:00 AM SLT (Standard Linden Time aka West Coast US Pacific time) tomorrow morning. There is a small chance I'll attend the Linden Scripting Language University sessions beginning at 9:00 AM SLT Saturday.

If you are in SL, say hi to me, Dan Power, known in SL as Leinad Meriman.

Posted September 14, 2007 3:15 PM
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This is the first post in my blog associated with my Decision Support expert channel on the Business Intelligence Network.

A few hours ago, Jean Schauer, Editor in Chief of the network, reminded me in an email about the launch of my expert channel and the publication of my first article "A Framework for Understanding Computerized Decision Support". So the blog begins.

We are all being bombarded by too much information and too many diverse opinions. I will try to share my reflections to help make some sense in the midst of rapid change in supporting decision makers using technology. I hope you'll still read my Ask Dan! columns in DSS News, but this blog will have my quick reactions to what I read in emails, print publications and other blogs.

I receive hundreds of emails a year with questions about computerized decision support and some of them will find their way to this blog. I read five blogs regularly including those of Claudia Imhoff, Jill Dyché, and Shawn Rogers from the BeyeNETWORK. If appropriate, I'll comment on their remarks and posting in other blogs. I receive and scan Information Week and eWeek and when an article seems useful, I'll recommend it. I read and post news releases at DSSResources.com every day and certainly the vendor announcements often deserve some comment. I also attend vendor and academic conferences and I'll blog about what I learn, who I meet and what seems important.

So why should you read my blog? I am a generalist and I read widely about computerized decision support; I have been studying and writing about these issues for 30 years; I try to stay objective and focused on understanding what is needed rather than on trying to sell you something; I live in Iowa and teach at a great public University, the University of Northern Iowa. All in all, if you want my views, read my blog. I'll share my analysis the best I can and try to make my comments useful, fun and relevant.

So what's funny about computerized decision support? Nothing. Computers don't laugh or think!

What's new? Shawn Rogers aka Otis Forti accepted my friendship offer in Second Life. My Second Life name is Leinad Meriman, friend me or IM me and join the Decision Support group in Second Life.

I'm celebrating the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, that starts about now here in Iowa so L'Shana Tova, Happy New Year. See http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday2.htm .

Link to me www.linkedin.com/in/danpower .

Posted September 12, 2007 6:34 PM
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