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Structured Decisions

Arise in situations where published processes offer potential solutions

Semistructured Decisions

Occur in situations in which a few established processes help to evaluate potential solutions, but not enough to lead to a definite recommend decision

Unstructured Decisions

Occur in situations in which no procedures or rules exist to guide decision makers towards the right choice


A temporary activity a company undertakes to create a unique product, service, or result


Measurements that evaluate results to determine whether a project is meeting its goals

Critical Success Factors (CSFs)

The crucial steps companies perform to achieve their goals and objectives and implement their strategies

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

The quantifiable metrics a company uses to evaluate progress toward critical success factors

Market Share

The proportion of the market that a firm captures

Return of Investment (ROI)

Indicates the earning power of a project

Efficiency MIS Metrics

Measure the performance of MIS itself, such as throughput, transaction speed, and system availability

Effectiveness MIS Metrics

Measure the impact MIS has on business processes and activities, including customer satisfaction and customer conversion rates


Baseline values the system seeks to attain


A process of continuously measuring system results, comparing those results to optimal system performance, and identifying steps and procedures to improve system performance


A simplified representation or abstraction of reality

Transactional Information

Encompasses all the information contained within a single business process or unit of work, and its primary purpose is to support the performance of daily operational or structured decisions

Online Transaction Processing (OLTP)

The capture of transaction and event information using technology to process the information according to defined business rules, store the information, and update existing information to reflect the new information

Transaction Processing System (TPS)

The basic business system that serves the operational level (analysts) and assists in making structured decisions

Source Documents

The original transaction record

Analytical Information

Encompasses all organizational information, and its primary purpose is to support the performance of managerial analysis or semistructured decisions

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

Manipulation of information to create business intelligence in support of strategic decision making

Decision Support Systems (DSSs)

Provides assistance in evaluating and choosing among different courses of action

What-if Analysis

Check the impact of a change in a variable or assumption on the model

Sensitivity Analysis

The study of the impact on other variables when one variable is changed repeatedly

Goal-seeking Analysis

Finds the inputs necessary to achieve a goal such as a desired level of output

Optimization Analysis

Finds the optimum value for a target variable repeatedly changing other variables, subject to specified constraints

Executive Information System (EIS)

A specialized support DSS that supports senior-level executives and unstructured, long-term, nonroutine decisions requiring judgement, evaluation, and insight


The level of detail in the model or the decision-making process


Produces graphical displays of patterns and complex relationships in large amounts of data

Digital Dashboard

Tracks KPIs and CSFs by compiling information from multiple sources and tailoring it to meet user needs


The aggregation of data from simple roll-ups to complex groupings of interrelated information


Enables users to view details, details of details, of information


The ability to look at information from different perspectives

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Simulates human thinking and behavior, such as the ability to reason and learn

Intelligent Systems

Various commercial applications of artificial intelligence

Expert Systems

Computerized advisory programs that imitate the reasoning of experts in solving difficult problems

Neural Network

A category of AI that attempts to emulate the way the human brain works

Fuzzy Logic

A mathematical method of handling imprecise or subjective information

Genetic Algorithm

An artificial intelligence system that mimics the evolutionary, survival-of-the-fittest process to generate increasingly better solutions to a problem

Intelligent Agent

A special-purpose knowledge-based information system that accomplishes specific tasks on behalf of its users

Shopping Bot

Software that will search several retailer websites and provide a comparison of each retailers' offerings including price and availability

Virtual Reality

A computer-simulated environment that can be a simulation of the real world or an imaginary world

Customer-facing Processes

Result in a product or service received by an organization's external customer

Bussiness-facing Processes

Invisibile to the external customer but essential to the effective management of the business


The activity of creating a detailed flowchart or process map of a work process that shows its inputs, tasks, and activities in a structured sequence

Business Process Model

A graphic description of a process, showing the sequence of process tasks, which is developed for a specific purpose and from a selected viewpoint

As-Is Process Models

Represent the current state of the operation that has been mapped, without any specific improvements or changes to existing processes

To-Be Process Models

Shows the the results of applying change improvement opportunities to the current process model

Swim Lane

A layout that arranges the steps of a business process into a set of rows depicting the various elements


Includes the tasks, activities, and responsibilities required to execute each step in a business process

Business Process Improvement

Attempts to understand and measure the current process and make performance improvements accordingly


The process of computerizing manual tasks, making them more efficient and effective and dramatically lowering operational costs


Improves business process efficiencies by simplifying or eliminating steps


Occur when resources reach full capacity and cannot handle any additional demands; they limit throughput and impede operations


Occurs when a task or activity is unnecessarily repeated

Cycle Time

The time required to process an order

Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

The analysis and redesign of workflow within and between enterprises

Business Process Management (BPM) Systems

Focus on evaluating and improving processes that include both person-to-person workflow and system-to-system communications

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