BN2231 DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS

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1 1. Module Number: 2. Module Title: Decision Support Systems 3. Number of Aston Credits: Total Number of ECTS Credits: 5 (European Credit Transfer) 5. Contributing School: Aston Business School 6. Percentage of Contribution: 100% 7. Staff Member Responsible for the Module: Dr. Roya Gholami Operations & Information Management Group Room: ABS Availability: Contact via in advance 8. Pre/Co-Requisite(s) for the module and any prohibited combinations (if none please say so): BN1106 Business Decision Analysis OR BN1115 Foundations of Business Analytics OR BN1116 Introduction to Business Analytics AND BN1160 Information Technology for Business 9. Accreditation/Exemptions from Professional Examinations: Please be aware that this module may contribute to the professional accreditation of some ABS Programmes and/or allows students to gain exemptions from further study. Please check the ABS UG Exams & Assessment module on Blackboard Accreditation for further information. 1

2 1. Aims of the Module: This module deals with a collection of computer technologies that support managerial work essentially, decision making. These technologies have had a profound impact on corporate strategy, performance, and competitiveness. The business environment is constantly changing, and it is becoming more and more complex. Organizations, private and public, are under pressures that force them to respond quickly to changing conditions and to be innovative in the way they operate. Such activities require organizations to be agile and to make frequent and quick strategic, tactical, and operational decisions, some of which are very complex. Making such decisions may require considerable amounts of relevant data, information, and knowledge. Processing these, in the framework of the needed decisions, must be done quickly, frequently in real time, and usually requires some computerized support. This module is about using business intelligence as computerized support for managerial decision making. It concentrates both on the theoretical and conceptual foundations of decision support, as well as on the commercial tools and techniques that are available. 2. Module Learning Outcomes: Professional Skills o Understand the complexity of today s business environment o Understand the foundations and key issues of managerial decision making o Recognize the difficulties in managerial decision making today o Learn the major frameworks of computerized decision support: decision support systems (DSS) and business intelligence Intellectual Skills o Understand how management uses IT o Learn basic concepts of decision-making o Understand decision support systems (DSS) o Recognise different types of DSS used in the workplace o Determine which type of decision support system is applicable in specific situations Knowledge & Understanding Understand the concepts and theory underlying management DSS, and the different types of management information systems which exist Examine the nature of information and its use in managerial decision making Know subjects such as data warehouses, online analytical processing, group support systems, intelligence agents, organisational learning and knowledge management Transferable Skills Project Management, IT Consultation, Teamwork 2

3 3. International Dimensions: Topics and case studies will be related to the globalisation of business. You will consider the implications of managing information and the different decision making approaches in global organisations with diverse cultures, skills, languages and legal systems. 4. Corporate Connections: Throughout the lectures and the tutorials, the focus is on presenting practical applications and examples of decision support systems which have been used, or are currently being used, by firms. The presentation of applications and examples will include a discussion of the underlying technology of a system, of its capabilities, but also of its organisational and business impacts. 5. Links to Research: DSS is extensively used in business and management, there are many areas of research in DSS, for example: Research in communications-driven DSS could be on a web-conferencing application or interactive video. A very good example of data-driven DSS is a geographic information system (GIS) which visually represent geographically dependant data using maps. Example of document-driven DSS can be found in internet search engines and document similarity. Model-driven DSS is focused on enhancing more diverse types of techniques for use in DSS such as multi-criteria decision making, optimisation and simulation models which are extremely useful in forecasting the effects of changes in business processes. There are many other research related DSS applications, eg. text mining using webbased DSS, converting the complex data into visualisations to further aid decisionmakers using spreadsheet-based DSS. 6. Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability: This module does not require any primary research and no ethical approval will be necessary 7. Ethical Approval for Research: This module does not require any primary research and no ethical approval will be necessary 8. Module Content: Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3 Topic 4 Topic 5 Introduction to Decision Support Systems Collaborative Computing Technologies: Group Support Systems Decision Support System Development Modelling and Analysis Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 3

4 Topic 6 Topic 7 Topic 8 Topic 9 Topic10 Artificial Neural Networks Fuzzy Logic Reasoning in Expert Systems Knowledge Management Systems Impact and Future of Decision Support Systems 9. Methods of Delivery: (These are UK government definitions) Scheduled Study Hours Lecture a presentation or talk on a particular topic 12 Seminar a discussion or classroom session focusing on a 2 particular topic or project Tutorial A meeting involving one-to-one group supervision, 12 feedback or detailed discussion on a particular topic or project Project Supervision A meeting with a supervisor to discuss a particular piece of work Demonstration A session involving the demonstration of a practical technique or skill Practical Classes and Workshops A session involving the development and practical application of a particular skill or technique Supervised Time in Studio/Workshop Time in which students 27 work independently but under supervision, in a specialist facility such as a studio or workshop Fieldwork Practical work conducted at an external site External Visit A visit to a location outside of the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course of study Work-based Learning Learning that takes place in the workplace Independent Study Might include preparation for i) scheduled 47 sessions, ii) follow-up work, iii) wider reading or practice, iv) completion of assessment tasks, v) revision etc Total 100 4

5 9a. Learning and teaching rationale behind chosen delivery methods: Through lectures, tutorials, videos and guided reading. The lectures are designed to introduce the topics and the direction for further reading. Tutorials will be designed for developing practical knowledge and provide hands-on experience with the contents of the lecture. 10. Assessment Methods and Rationale: The assessment for this course is based on coursework (30%) and a two-hour examination (70%). In order to produce an individual student mark, confidential peer assessment forms will be used. Coursework There will be one piece of coursework assigned during the length of the course: Designing and Exploring Intelligent DSS (30%) Coursework submission dates will be announced via the Blackboard. Failure to complete coursework on time will render you liable to the late submission penalty applied in the Aston Business School. Examination The examination is two-hour closed book. Students are encouraged to utilise lecturer office hours to obtain more detailed feedback and advice. 11. Feedback Methods and Rationale: On-going feedback during tutorials on the group project 5

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