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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!

June 2016 Archives

Free download:

Power, D. J. (2016), "'Big Brother' can watch us," Journal of Decision Systems,
Special Issue the Proceedings of the 2016 Open Conference of the IFIP WG 8.3, "Big Data, Better Decisions, Brighter Future", Edited By: David Sammon, Frada Burstein, Ciara Heavin, Gloria Philips-Wren, Frederic Adam and Ana Respicio, Volume 25, Supplement 1, 2016, pp. 578-588. Published online on June 16, 2016 at URL 

Privacy, surveillance, and government abuse of data are concerns of many people in our complex digital world. 'Big Brother' in the title of this article is a metaphorical warning about the consequences if government uses modern technologies to maintain power and control people. Issues related to the abuse of data and surveillance are not new in the academic literature and mass market media, the current threat is however greater. Technology has advanced to the point where George Orwell's dystopian 'Big Brother' vision of a totalitarian state is possible. Because of technology advances, barriers associated with collecting and processing real-time data about many millions of individuals have been removed. This article explores how the capture and use of new data streams, and processing with AI and predictive analytics can support government control of its citizens. Some components of a system for thought control and real-time surveillance are already in use. These components like cameras, sensors, No SQL databases, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence can be connected and improved. Decision support researchers must understand the issues and resist attempts to use information technologies to support current or future totalitarian governments.

Posted June 28, 2016 9:07 AM
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Power, D.J., "Data science: supporting decision-making," Journal of Decision Systems, published online April 25, 2016 at URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/12460125.2016.1171610.


Data science is a new academic trans-discipline that builds on 60 years of research about supporting decision-making in organisations. It is an important and potentially significant concept and practice. Contemplating the need for data scientists encourages academics and managers to examine issues of decision-maker rationality, data and data analysis needs, analytical tools, job skills and academic preparation. This article explores data science and the data professionals who will use new data streams and analytics to support decision-making. It also examines the dimensions that are changing in the data stream and the skills needed by data scientists to analyse the new data streams. Organisations need data scientists, but academics need to understand the new data science jobs to prepare more people to support decision-making.

Posted June 14, 2016 11:23 PM
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