The major component of a Management Information System--or MIS--is the Decision Support System--or DSS. The primary objective of this system is to collect data, and analyze, package and deliver it in a format that management can use to make operational and strategic decisions.
The DSS is an information management system that supports business decision-making. It collects and analyzes mountains of raw data, information and documents, and compiles the data into useful reports.
The DSS is an interactive knowledge-management system where managers and decision-makers can specify a search criteria based a particular subject area of concern and receive a report. Based on the user-specified search criteria, the DSS finds the necessary data--such as customer buying habits, employee-performance reports, or the number of customer-service complaints--required to produce the report.
The DSS has three basic components: database, model base and user interface. The database is the repository of raw data collected, which includes information such as raw sales data, customer account records, manufacturing process data and employee-performance data. The model base includes the mathematical and statistical models required to analyze and package the data in a useful form according to user request. The user interface allows the user or decision-maker to interface with the DSS and request specific information.