DSS=Decision Support System
MIS=Marketing Information System
A DSS is good at handling unstructured problems that cannot be easily programmed.
An MIS is normally used only with more structured problems.
A DSS supports individuals, small groups, and the entire organization. In the short run, users typically have more control over a DSS.
An MIS primarily supports the organization. In the short run, users have less control over an MIS.
A DSS supports all aspects and phases of decision making; it does not replace the decision maker—people still make the decisions.
This is not true of all MIS systems; some make automatic decisions and replace the decision maker.
A DSS emphasizes actual decisions and decision-making styles.
An MIS usually emphasizes information only.
A DSS is a direct support system that provides interactive reports on computer screens.
An MIS is typically an indirect support system that uses regularly produced reports.
The computer equipment that provides decision support is usually online
(directly connected to the computer system) and related to real time (providing immediate results). Computer terminals and display screens are examples; these devices can provide immediate information and answers to questions.
An MIS, using printed reports that may be delivered to managers once a week, may not provide immediate results.
Because a DSS is flexible and can be implemented by users, it usually takes less time to develop and is better able to respond to user requests.
An MIS’s response time is usually longer.
DSS reports are usually screen oriented, with the ability to generate reports on a printer.
An MIS, however, is typically oriented toward printed reports and documents.
DSS users are usually more directly involved in its development. User involvement usually means better systems that provide superior support. For all systems, user involvement is the most important factor for the development of a successful system.
An MIS is frequently several years old and was often developed for people who are no longer performing the work supported by the MIS.