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What are the different criteria which are used in “decision making”. Explain how quality of information improves the knowledge and decision making capability of the people?

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Ans. A big part of management is decision making. It is involved in almost anything managers do. A classical list of managerial tasks includes planning,
organizing, staffing, delegating or directing, coordinating or controlling, reporting, and budgeting (note the acronym POSDCORB). Some of these tasks are a direct
application of decision making, such as planning and delegating or directing.
Following are the important steps of the decision-making process. Each step may be supported by different tools and techniques.

Step 1: Identification of the Purpose of the Decision
In this step, the problem is thoroughly analyzed. There are a couple of questions one should ask when it comes to identifying the purpose of the decision.

  •  What exactly is the problem?
  •  Why the problem should be solved?
  •  Who are the affected parties of the problem?
  •  Does the problem have a deadline or a specific time-line?

Step 2: Information Gathering
A problem of an organization will have many stakeholders. In addition, there can be dozens of factors involved and affected by the problem.
In the process of solving the problem, you will have to gather as much as information related to the factors and stakeholders involved in the problem. For the
process of information gathering, tools such as 'Check Sheets' can be effectively used.

Step 3: Principles for Judging the Alternatives
In this step, the baseline criteria for judging the alternatives should be set up. When it comes to defining the criteria, organizational goals as well as the corporate
culture should be taken into consideration.
As an example, profit is one of the main concerns in every decision making process. Companies usually do not make decisions that reduce profits, unless it is an
exceptional case. Likewise, baseline principles should be identified related to the problem in hand.

Step 4: Brainstorm and Analyze the Choices
For this step, brainstorming to list down all the ideas is the best option. Before the idea generation step, it is vital to understand the causes of the problem and
prioritization of causes.
For this, you can make use of Cause-and-Effect diagrams and Pareto Chart tool. Cause-and-Effect diagram helps you to identify all possible causes of the
problem and Pareto chart helps you to prioritize and identify the causes with the highest effect.
Then, you can move on generating all possible solutions (alternatives) for the problem in hand.

Step 5: Evaluation of Alternatives
Use your judgment principles and decision-making criteria to evaluate each alternative. In this step, experience and effectiveness of the judgment principles come
into play. You need to compare each alternative for their positives and negatives.

Step 6: Select the Best Alternative
Once you go through from Step 1 to Step 5, this step is easy. In addition, the selection of the best alternative is an informed decision since you have already
followed a methodology to derive and select the best alternative.

Step 7: Execute the decision:
Convert your decision into a plan or a sequence of activities. Execute your plan by yourself or with the help of subordinates.

Step 8: Evaluate the Results:
Evaluate the outcome of your decision. See whether there is anything you should learn and then correct in future decision making. This is one of the best
practices that will improve your decision-making skills.
The decision quality improves with higher information quality for a decision-maker that has knowledge about the relationships among problem variables.
However, the decision quality of a decision-maker that doesn't know these relationships may degrade with higher information quality. Where Simultaneous
improvement in information quality will reflect on decision-maker quality and results in higher decision quality .

Concludes that if adequate attention and focus on the aspects of information quality then a major step towards the development of effective DSS would be
achieved. No DSS can provide excellent performance if it is based on poor quality of information. However, it is not easy to identify what qualities are essential for
making information useful for decision-making. There are certain characteristics of information quality that should be provided in DSS. It is proposed by some
scholars the list of dimensions or elements used in assessing Information Quality are the following :
• Intrinsic: Accuracy, Objectivity, Believability, Reputation
• Contextual: Relevancy, Value-Added, Timeliness, Completeness, Amount of information
• Representational: Interpretability, Format, Coherence, Compatibility
• Accessibility: Accessibility, Access security

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