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Case Study: A Technology Shift

Beginning in about 1990, Bill Inmon and Ralph Kimball actively promoted DSS built using relational database technologies. For many MIS practioners, DSS built using Oracle or DB2 were the only DSS they were exposed to in popular computing literature. Model-driven DSS were in the domain of operations research and were not part of Information Systems. Ralph Kimball was "The Doctor of DSS" and Bill Inmon was the "father of the data warehouse". In the early 1990s, a major technology shift occurred from mainframe-based DSS to client/server-based DSS. Some desktop OLAP tools were introduced throughout this time period. In 1992-93, some vendors started recommending object-oriented technology for building "re-usable" decision support capabilities. In the year of 1994, many companies started to upgrade their network infrastructures. DBMS vendors "recognized that decision support was dissimilar from OLTP and started implementing real OLAP capabilities into their databases" (Powell, 2001). Paul Gray asserts that around 1993 the data warehouse and the EIS people found one another and the two niche technologies have been converging. In the year of 1995, data warehousing and the World Wide Web began to impact practitioners and academics interested in decision support technologies. Web-based and web-enabled DSS became feasible in about 1995 (cf., Power, 2000; Bhargava and Power, 2001).

The history of DSS covers a relatively short span of years, and the concepts and technologies are still evolving. Today it is still probable to reconstruct the history of DSS from retrospective accounts from key participants as well as from published and unpublished materials. Many of the early innovators and early developers are retiring however their insights and actions can be captured to guide future innovation in this field.

problem1. What is MIS and how it diverges from a DSS?

problem2. Give a concise explanation of the terms listed below.

a. Data Warehouse

b. ETL

c. Data mart

d. OLAP

e. Data mining

Use a uncomplicated diagram to support your answer and to demonstrate how data flows in such an environment.

problem3. What are Transaction Processing Systems and what are the organisational benefits that such systems offer?

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