ERIC Number: ED220047
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Decision Support Systems: An Institutional Research Perspective. AIR Forum 1982 Paper.
Sheehan, Bernard S.
Ideas that have been developed in the decision support systems (DSS) literature that seem particularly relevant to institutional research, planning, and analysis (IRPA) are reviewed. In addition, a survey of practitioners in Canadian universities that provides new information on the rapidly changing current state of information technology, including DSS and IRPA, is examined. The roots of the study of DSS are traced to the theoretical studies of organizational decision-making done at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the technical work on interactive computer systems carried out mainly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The DSS approach assumes that effective design depends on the technician's detailed understanding of decision processes and the manager's appreciation of the criteria for developing useful computer-based decision tools. The institutional research literature that encompasses computer-based models was greatly influenced initially by the early research on the use of computer models in university planning and administration done for the Commission on the Financing of Higher Education (the Bladen Commission) in Canada. Among the findings of a 1982 survey of 35 Canadian universities are the following: 80 percent of the departments have computer terminals; 60 percent of the IRPA offices have word processing equipment; most offices are using computer-based simulation for budgeting, planning, space allocation, or scheduling; a quarter of the offices have experience in the use/development of DSS; and less than 15 percent of the offices have been involved in DSS purchases or evaluation. A bibliography is appended. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum; Canada; Decision Support Systems
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (22nd, Denver, CO, May 16-19, 1982).