There are two types of knowledge bases.
a. Machine readable knowledge bases: The knowledge base helps the computer to process through. It makes the data in the computer readable code which makes the operator to perform easier. Such information sare used by semantic web. Semantic web is a web that will make a descriptionof the system that a system can understand.
b. Human readable knowledge bases: They are designed to help people to retrieve knowledge. The information need to be processed by the reader. The reader can access the information and synthesize their own.
KBS refers to
a system of data and information used for decision making. The system is automated to work on the knowledge based data and information required in a particular domain of management activity. The processing is done based on the past decisions taken under suitable conditions. Decision making is based on the fact that the condition is similar to the past situation hence the decision is also is similar.
Examples of KBS are intelligent systems, robotics, neural networks etc.
DSS is an interactive computer based system designed to help the decision makers to use all l the resources available and make use in the decision making. In management many a time problems arise out of situations for which simple solution may not be possible. To solve such problems you may have to use complex theories. The models that would be required to solve such problems may have to be identified. DSS requires a lot of managerial abilities and managers judgment.
You may gather and present the following information by using decision support application:
• Accessing all of your current information assets, including legacy and relational data sources, cubes, data warehouses, and data marts
• Comparative sales figures between one week and the next
• Projected revenue figures based on new product sales assumptions
• The consequences of different decision alternatives, given past experience in a context that is described.
Manager may sometimes find it difficult to solve such problems. E.g. – In a sales problem if there is multiple decision variables modeled as a simple linear problem but having multiple optima, it becomes difficult to take a decision. Since any of the multiple optima would give optimum results. But the strategy to select the one most suitable under conditions prevailing in the market, requires skills beyond the model.
It would take some trials to select a best strategy. Under such circumstances it would be easy to take decision if a ready system of databases of various market conditions and corresponding appropriate decision is available. A system which consists of database pertaining to decision making based on certain rules is known as decision support system. It is a flexible system which can be customized to suit the organization needs. It can work in the interactive mode in order to enable managers to take quick decisions. You can consider decision support systems as the best when it includes high-level summary reports or charts and allow the user to drill down for more detailed information.
A DSS has the capability to update its decision database. Whenever manager feels that a particular decision is unique and not available in the system, the manager can chose to update the database with such decisions. This will strengthen the DSS to take decisions in future..
There is no scope for errors in decision making when such systems are used as aid to decision making. DSS is a consistent decision making system. It can be used to generate reports of various lever management activities. It is capable of performing mathematical calculations and logical calculation depending upon the model adopted to solve the problem. You can summarize the benefits of DSS into following:
• Improves personal efficiency
• Expedites problem solving
• Facilitates interpersonal communication
• Promotes learning or training
• Increases organizational control
• Generates new evidence in support of a decision
• Creates a competitive advantage over competition
• Encourages exploration and discovery on the part of the decision maker
• Reveals new approaches to thinking about the problem space
Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
OLAP refers to a system in which there are predefined multiple instances of various modules used in business applications. Any input to such a systemresults in verification of the facts with respect to the available instances.
A nearest match is found analytically and the results displayed form the database. The output is sent only after thorough verification of the input facts fed to the system. The system goes through a series of multiple checks of the various parameters used in business decision making. OLAP is also referred to as a multi dimensional analytical model. Many big companies use OLAP to get good returns in business.
The querying process of the OLAP is very strong. It helps the management take decisions like which month would be appropriate to launch a product in the market, what should be the production quantity to maximize the returns, what should be the stocking policy in order to minimize the wastage etc.
A model of OLAP may be well represented in the form of a 3D box. There are six faces of the box. Each adjoining faces with common vertex may be considered to represent the various parameter of the business situation under consideration. E.g.: Region, Sales & demand, Product etc.