At this stage of our discussion, we now realize that we do need different types of decision-support systems to provide strategic information. The type of information needed for strategic decision making is different from that available from operational systems. We need a new type of system environment for the purpose of providing strategic information for analysis, discerning trends, and monitoring performance.
Let us examine the desirable features and processing requirements of this new type of system environment. Let us also consider the advantages of this type of system environment designed for strategic information.
The desired features of the new type of system environment are:
Database designed for analytical tasks
Data from multiple applications
Easy to use and conducive to long interactive sessions by users
Read-intensive data usage
Direct interaction with the system by the users without IT assistance
Content updated periodically and stable
Content to include current and historical data
Ability for users to run queries and get results online
Ability for users to initiate reports
Most of the processing in the new environment for strategic information will have to be analytical. There are four levels of analytical processing requirements:
Running of simple queries and reports against current and historical data
Ability to perform "what if ...