"Knowledge is power". In the context of a business organization

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"Knowledge is power". In the context of a business organization, discuss the role of data, information and knowledge. In what way can a computer-based system support a manager in the decision making process? 1.0 Introduction A business organization is an entity formed for the purpose of carrying on commercial enterprise. Such an organization is predicated on systems of law governing contract and exchange, property rights, and incorporation. Information technology is of great importance to business and most are reliant various computerised systems in order to function efficiently and meet their aims and objectives. Computers are used in many ways in businesses from just merely word-processing to actually making decisions for managers to solve problems within a business organization. Data, information and knowledge are what businesses and individuals are based upon. These three elements are important to business organization in many ways, an example of where it these are is in market research whereby data is processed into information when collected and organised and then once this done the information is read by human and becomes knowledge. The importance and use of data is shown in figure 1.1. Figure 1.1 Acknowledge Ramp 2.0 Data Data is important is the raw and unprocessed material that arrive from the external world.


Simon. This is shown in figure 2.1. (Systems Analysis and Design Third Edition James C. Wetherbe p335) Decision-making is a three phase, continuous process, flowing from intelligence to design to choice but capable of returning to a previous phase when necessary. The need for a decision making process is invoked by the recognition of a problem or an opportunity. The result of a decision making activity is directed at resolving the problem or taking advantage of the opportunity. All decision making processes follow this process. 7.0 Decision Support System (DSS) A Decision Support System (DSS) serves to directly support the intelligence and design phases of decision making, also having an indirect influence on the choice phase. 7.1 Intelligence Phase The intelligence phase of the decision making process involve identifying the problem. Once a problem is identified, it needs to be defined, this is where the DSS can help a decision maker determine the scope of the problem to minimize the complexity of the decision. This phase usually requires delving deeper into the problem or identifying and examining the variables and their relationships. For example a symptom of a problem may be a decrease in sales, but the actual cause of the problem could be a change in consumer behaviour, a new product introduced by competitors, a morale problem in the sales force etc.


8.0 Conclusion All of the computer-based systems support in a decision making process, however the difference in output from these systems differ. MIS and GDSS are inferior decision-making systems, although GDSS is similar to DSS the requirement of a group is needed which have to be assigned upon by a manager and MIS has limited support for management decision making unlike the DSS and expert systems. DSS differs from these systems by its ability to simulate, via models, the outcomes of different of different courses of action being considered by a decision maker. However an expert system is superior, besides supporting a decision maker, an expert system can do one or more of the following: * Make the decision (or perform) * Explain the results and reasons for the actions taken * Learn from its mistakes The development of the DSS is also different to that of the expert system, therefore justifying its superiority to other information systems. 'A DSS designer tries to support the expert, whereas the knowledge engineer when developing an expert system is attempting to simulate the experts behaviour.' Expert systems is still an emerging technology and will go beyond DSS in popularity to assist in productivity of organizations and help with management decisions, and is the most superior and effective computer based support system.

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