Decision Support Systems

Data analytics are critical when choosing the best course of action in a complicated and fast-evolving situation, enabling users to make important connections and see the whole picture fast. Decision support systems combining BI and analytics capabilities are helping decision-makers in private and public sector organizations around the world obtain critical insights into complex issues. And now with the dawn of intelligent decision support systems leveraging AI, users of all skill levels can quickly and easily extract actionable insights from their organization’s information assets.

The benefits of using decision support systems

Used in industries ranging from agriculture and forestry to healthcare and transport, decision support systems are interactive software applications or systems that support decision-making processes. They provide decision-makers with the tools they need to access, integrate, compile, and extract actionable knowledge from data. A well-designed decision support system allows users to easily search for and analyze up-to-date information and obtain insights that they can use to rapidly resolve complicated problems and make smarter decisions. By providing decision-makers with accurate reports, including KPI reports, trusted data, and powerful analytics, modern decision support systems encourage and accelerate fact-based decision making while improving operational efficiency and workforce productivity.

Components of decision support systems

Decision support systems vary in terms of use case and complexity but share similar features. A typical support system is made up of the following three components:

  • Data management subsystem: Consists of the applications used to gather, process, organize, and maintain an organization’s information assets and may be connected to a data warehouse, data mart, or data lake
  • Model management subsystem: Consists of the mathematical and analytical models used to examine data and the applications used to create, manipulate, and maintain them
  • User interface: Allows users to interact with the decision support system, access the data and analytics they need, specific models to use, and obtain and display the results of an analysis

Using AI-fueled analytics to support decision making in the enterprise

Modern BI and analytics platforms can be used as powerful decision support systems in the enterprise. Seamlessly integrating business intelligence and data analytics capabilities, enterprise analytics platforms like Qlik Sense can accommodate use cases ranging from traditional KPI reporting to more complex analytical challenges including predictive and big data analytics. They provide business users with easy-to-use data discovery and visualization capabilities allowing them to find and combine the data they need fast, identify meaningful patterns and trends, and surface valuable insights to support decision making.

The newest generation of BI solutions enable organizations to combine the power of big data and AI, leveraging machine learning to augment human intelligence and extract powerful predictive insights from massive, diverse datasets. Machine learning algorithms are used to automate data preparation, minimizing errors and biases and accelerating analytical processing. AI-powered decision support systems use sophisticated models and simulations to optimize decision making while also being surprisingly easy to use. Intuitive, AI-fueled analytics platforms democratize data and drive worker productivity by letting users of all skill levels explore and manipulate data and obtain insights that they can use to do their jobs better.

Empowering users across the organization to make smarter decisions

Qlik Sense® is a robust modern analytics platform from Qlik, the industry leader in data analytics and BI. Featuring a unique Associative Engine and Cognitive Engine for AI, Qlik Sense empowers everyone in your organization to make smarter decisions and impactful discoveries in data—no matter how large or where it’s stored.

Even non-technical users can easily combine and explore data freely, in any direction, without boundaries or limitations. The Associative Engine indexes and understands all relationships in your data, enabling Qlik Sense to reveal surprising associations and insights to the user as they make their selections, amplifying discovery and fostering data literacy. The Cognitive Engine offers users context-aware insight suggestions and automated profiling and visualization of data, letting them spend more time using the data and less time figuring it out.

Only Qlik gives you an end-to-end data integration and analytics platform, with AI-driven analytics, real-time data ingestion, agile data warehouse automation, and modern data management and cataloging—the perfect foundation for intelligent decision support systems. Qlik provides:

  • Augmented analytics: Automates routine tasks, letting users see their data in new ways and explore datasets using visual and conversational analytics
  • Embedded analytics: Enables firms to democratize data and operationalize insights by incorporating analytics into existing workflows, processes, and applications
  • Universal data integration: Allows users to quickly integrate and combine data from any source and transform raw data into trusted, analytics-ready information fast
  • Robust data management: Simplifies the cataloging, management, preparation, and delivery of business-ready data while providing an agile, secure, governed environment for accessing an organization’s information assets


Why are decision support systems important?

They are important because decision-making, particularly in situations that are unexpected and rapidly changing, is challenging. It’s easy for humans to become overwhelmed with information, some of which may be false. These systems provide people with access to accurate, up-to-date data and analytics capabilities that they can use to better understand and assess a situation.

What is meant by a decision support system?

It is a software-based system used for management, operations, and planning in an organization and helps the user make better decisions by providing them with the data, analytics capabilities, and intelligence they need to inform decision making.

What is the purpose of decision support systems?

They help people access, combine, model, and analyze data in order to extract actionable insights that can be used to facilitate the decision-making process. They are indispensable in situations that are rapidly evolving and unexpected and enable users to resolve complicated problems faster and more effectively.

What are the benefits of a decision support system?

They promote greater awareness of an organization’s strengths and weaknesses and emerging opportunities and threats, improve the quality of decision making, boost operational efficiency and workforce productivity, and enhance long-term profitability and organizational agility.

Learn more about Qlik’s modern analytics platform for the enterprise.

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