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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!

February 2008 Archives

I have made many friends working in Second Life and it is time to venture into a new consulting area. My time is very limited for consulting, but I can leverage the talents of my SL partners and friends to offer the following services.

1) Creation of a private company island with meeting facilities and inworld orientation for a maximum of 100 employees. The island would have secure meeting facilities for up to 50 employees concurrently and would be restricted to only people in the company group. The base cost for 1 year of operation of the island with no custom builds and no ongoing staffing needs would be USD $25,000. This modest amount covers all charges from Linden Research for the year, office buildings, furnishing and orientation costs. Additional facilitation, concierge and building services can be negotiated.

2) Regular and ongoing leasing of meeting space on a shared island with other business leasors. The lease would include dedicated offices for 10 concurrent employees and the office facility would be secured with group land privacy and avatar detectors. Training for up to 50 employees in Second Life would be included. A six month contract and lease would be USD $5000 and a one year contract and lease USD $9500. Additional services in Second Life would be available as needed.

3) Hosting of a Second Life conference with complete conference support including orientation for up to 50 avatars. The conference would involve a preliminary meeting inworld to check for headphones and then two 3 hour sessions spread over 2 days at the customer's discretion. The facilities cost, services and orientation would be USD $2500. Speakers fees, video/audio recording and other costs would be in addition to the base fee.

Most companies with distributed facilities can recoup these modest costs from savings on travel, hotel and meal charges and reduce significantly costs for real world meetings. These services should be especially appealing for organizations where teams work remotely and/or team building and collaboration of an experiential nature is needed to stimulate creativity and enhance competitiveness.

If you are ready to jump into using the Second Life Virtual World for decision support, send me an email, power@dssresources.com. Real world training, presentations and workshops can also be arranged.

Well this is a marketing pitch.

Dan Power aka Leinad Meriman

Posted February 25, 2008 7:12 PM
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My biographical sketch at DSSResources.com concludes "In summary, Dr. Dan Power is first and foremost a Decision Support evangelist and generalist. From his vantage point as editor of DSSResources.COM and PlanningSkills.COM he tracks a broad range of contemporary DSS and planning topics. In recent years, his writings have positioned him as a Decision Support theorist. His overall focus is on innovative DSS design and he likes to think of himself as a DSS Designer and Strategist, an Information Systems Researcher and a Decision Scientist (see http://dssresources.com/vita/bio.html)."

Evangelist is a term most often associatiated with someone with strong religious beliefs and I respect that use of the term. We have also often written of technology "evangelists" and my use and perspective follows on that legacy.

I enthusiastically promote and support the use of computerised decision support systems to assist decision makers. My goal is to lead the charge of decision support "best practices". Based upon empirical evidence, I have concluded that appropriately designed, developed and deployed technology-based decision support can improve decision making outcomes and create process efficiencies.

So I am a "true believer", but I know from experience that fit between decision maker wants and needs and the proposed technology solution is crucial to its ultimate use and success. I acknowledge my bias proudly. As far as vendors and solutions, I try to remain objective and I strive to analytically evaluate options and not bring a ready-made solution to every opportunity/problem.

Posted February 11, 2008 8:46 AM
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Yesterday I received my copy of the Handbook of Decision Support Systems, a 2 volume compendium, compiled and edited by Professors Frada Burstein, Monash Univ., and Clyde Holsapple, Univ. of Kentucky. The handbook published by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (springer.com) has 71 chapters and is 1610 pages of content plus indexes, table of contents, prefaces, author biographies. The handbook has been a multi-year project and I contributed a chapter and reviewed some of the chapters.

In one day I can not read 1610 pages. But let me give blog readers a few quick highlights. Volume 1 is subtitled "Basic Themes" and Volume 2 is "Variations". The Preface begins "Decision Support Systems comprise a core subject area of the information systems (IS) discipline, being one of several major expansions that have occurred in the IS field." This handbook is a reference guide for the subject area.

DSS is a wide frontier as the editors note and the 71 chapters take us on a journey of review and exploration. No one is likely to carefully read the handbook 2 volume set from beginning to end. Rather sample the material, read the abstracts, skim and read what seems interesting or new. Volume 1 starts with a section on Foundations and my Chapter 7 traces the history of DSS as a "stream of research and practice" beginning in the late 1960s.

Volume 1 is USD$ 249.00 and Volume 2 is $239.00. So far I think the handbook is an important reference for every library and a valuable reference for anyone serious about computerized decision support.


Power, D., "Decision Support Systems: A Historical Overview," in F. Burstein and C. W. Holsapple (eds.), Handbook of Decision Support Systems 1: Basic Themes, Springer, 2008, pp. 121-140. ISBN: 978-3-540-48712-8

Posted February 3, 2008 8:10 PM
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