Document Type



This paper investigates the practical issues surrounding the development and implementation of Decision Support Systems (DSS). The paper describes the traditional development approaches analyzing their drawbacks and introduces a new DSS development methodology.

The proposed DSS methodology is based upon four modules; needs’ analysis, data warehouse (DW), knowledge discovery in database (KDD), and a DSS module. The proposed DSS methodology is applied to and evaluated using the admission and registration functions in Egyptian Universities. The paper investigates the organizational requirements that are required to underpin these functions in Egyptian Universities. These requirements have been identified following an in-depth survey of the recruitment process in the Egyptian Universities. This survey employed a multi-part admission and registration DSS questionnaire (ARDSSQ) to identify the required data sources together with the likely users and their information needs. The questionnaire was sent to senior managers within the Egyptian Universities (both private and government) with responsibility for student recruitment, in particular admission and registration.

Further, access to a large database has allowed the evaluation of the practical suitability of using a DW structure and knowledge management tools within the decision making framework. 2000 records have been used to build and test the data mining techniques within the KDD process. The records were drawn from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) students’ database (DB).

Moreover, the paper has analyzed the key characteristics of DW and explored the advantages and disadvantages of such data structures. This evaluation has been used to build a DW for the Egyptian Universities that handle their admission and registration related archival data. The decision makers’ potential benefits of the DW within the student recruitment process will be explored.

The design of the proposed admission and registration DSS (ARDSS) will be developed and tested using Cool: Gen (5.0) CASE tools by Computer Associates (CA), connected to a MS-SQL Server (6.5), in a Windows NT (4.0) environment. Crystal Reports (4.6) by Seagate will be used as a report generation tool. CLUSTAN Graphics (5.0) by CLUSTAN software will also be used as a clustering package.

The ARDSS software could be adjusted for usage in different countries for the same purpose, it is also scalable to handle new decision situations and can be integrated with other systems.