Making good decisions is very difficult without solid information.
Information is vital for each phase and activity in the decision-making process. Even when information is available, however, decision making is difficult due to the following trends:
- The number of alternatives is constantly increasing, due to innovations in technology, improved communications, the development of global markets, and the use of the Internet and e-business. A key to good decision making is to explore and compare many relevant alternatives. The greater the number of alternatives, the more a decision maker needs computer-assisted searches and comparisons.
- Most decisions must be made under time pressure. It often is not possible to manually process information fast enough to be effective.
- Due to increased uncertainty in the decision environment, decisions are becoming more complex. It is usually necessary to conduct a sophisticated analysis in order to make a good decision.
- It often is necessary to rapidly access remote information, consult with experts, or conduct a group decision-making session, all without incurring large expenses. Decision makers, as well as the information, can be situated in different locations. Bringing everything together quickly and inexpensively can be a major challenge.
What Information Technologies Are Available to Support Managers?
In addition to discovery, communication, and collaboration tools that indirectly support decision making, several other information technologies have been successfully used to support managers.These technologies are collectively referred to as business intelligence (BI). BI is closely linked to data warehousing, which provides the data needed for BI. .