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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, the Web-based knowledge repository about computerized systems that support decision making; the editor of; 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!

June 2013 Archives

by Dan Power

A practitioner of the emerging discipline of data science is 
called a data scientist. Data science is not the science of 
data, rather the term refers to a more sophisticated and 
systematic analysis of data. Many bloggers and commentators 
who use both terms are extending the word "science" well 
beyond how physical and social scientists typically use that 
term. The definition of science focuses on systematic study 
involving observation, experimentation, and data collection 
to try to understand a phenomenon. Loosely the phrase data 
science fits the definition. We need to ask: "Have the knowledge 
and skill requirements and the task expanded to justify 
training and preparing a new category of scientists?" 

Continue reading at 

Please cite as:

Power, D. J. "What is a data scientist" Decision Support 
News, Vol. 14, No. 13, June 23, 2013.

Posted June 23, 2013 3:36 PM
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by Daniel Power

Data mining is one of the IS/DSS buzzwords of the 1990s. Academics tend to use the related terms Knowledge Discovery and Intelligent Decision Support Methods (Dhar and Stein, 1997) or more derogatory terms like data surfing or data dredging. In general, data mining is "a class of analytical applications that help analysts and managers search for patterns in a data base". Both data mining and knowledge discovery can be considered as both a process and as a set of tools.

Continue reading at

The is a legacy column republished because of the ongoing debate about the NSA Prism program. PRISM stands for "Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization, and Management," and is a "data tool" designed to collect and process "foreign intelligence" that passes through American servers. Please cite this column as: Power, D., What is data mining and how is it related to DSS? DSS News, Vol. 2, No. 25, December 2, 2001.

Posted June 9, 2013 8:58 AM
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