decision support system
Abbreviated DSS, the term refers to an interactive computerized system that gathers and presents data from a wide range of sources, typically for business purposes. DSS applications are systems and subsystems that help people make decisions based on data that is culled from a wide range of sources.
For example: a national on-line book seller wants to begin selling its products internationally but first needs to determine if that will be a wise business decision. The vendor can use a DSS to gather information from its own resources (using a tool such as OLAP) to determine if the company has the ability or potential ability to expand its business and also from external resources, such as industry data, to determine if there is indeed a demand to meet. The DSS will collect and analyze the data and then present it in a way that can be interpreted by humans. Some decision support systems come very close to acting as artificial intelligence agents.
DSS applications are not single information resources, such as a database or a program that graphically represents sales figures, but the combination of integrated resources working together.