The (past?) future of Decision Support Systems

M. C. Er, in his paper on Decision Support Systems written in 1988, critically examines the future of a technology that – to say the least – had a lot of room to grow. While his predictions for the future may have read like a sci-fi novel at the time of its writing, they weren’t too far from the truth, especially considering the amount of technological development that has occurred over the last 25 years. While talking about considering personality and cognitive style in decision making may seem like a given to us now, the fact that he was able to recognize that need at the time is somewhat amazing.


Much of the article is still applicable today. While technologies have advanced, the exact definition of a DSS is still unclear. On the other hand, M. C. Er states that the DSS should be centered on the problem solver, while in reality this paradigm is shifting. PGIS means that the data will start coming straight from the source, enabling a more accurate use of a DSS. Facilitating the problem solver is no longer the main concern for DSS, however data quality and data sources have come into the spotlight in a world that seems exponentially more complicated than it was in the year this article was written.

Pointy McPolygon

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