Decision support system (DSS)

The leaders and personnel of water management and environmental organizations of the Central Asia countries are in need of reliable information to ensure decision support at all water hierarchy levels. This has an effect on the management quality and possibility to effectively plan the activity. At that, clearness of information presentation format, quickness of receiving new types of reports as well as the possibility to analyze current and historical data are of critical importance. The systems providing such possibilities are called decision support systems (DSS).

DSS consists of two components: Data Warehouse and Analytical Tools. The Data Warehouse provides unified medium for storage of data arranged in structures optimized for making analytic operations and containing historical data. The Analytical Tools allow the end user, which has no expertise in information technologies, to navigate and represent data in the terms of a subject area. DSS provides for various types of interface of access to its services for users having different skills.

Key advantages of the Data Warehouse are as follows:

  • Single information source: the user receives trusted unified data storage medium based on which all informative and analytical applications in the subject area for which the data warehouse is built. This medium will have a single interface unified with storage structures, common reference guides, and other corporate standards, which facilitates creating and maintaining analytical systems.
  • Reliability of the information which is to be entered into the data warehouse.
  • Efficiency: physical structure of the data warehouse is optimized by a special way in order to carry out absolutely random sampling which allows building really fast query systems query systems.
  • Integratedness: integration of data from various sources has already been done; hence there is no need to connect data every time for making the queries requiring information from several sources. Integration implies not only joint physical storage of data, but also their coordinated aggregation of those according to their areas; their cleaning and verification when forming those; complying with technological characteristics; etc.
  • Historicity and stability: the data warehouse is designed for long-term storage of information for 10-15 years. Stability implies that the actual information in the data warehouse is not to be updated nor removed, but only adapted to changed attributes by a special way. Thus, it becomes possible to make a historical analysis of information.

Along with big corporate data warehouses, also data marts have widespread application. A data mart is a small special warehouse for a specific subject area oriented to store data having a common subject area. The project for creating data marts requires less investment and can be fulfilled in very short time.

Today in the Aral Sea basin region, DSS has been established de facto in the water sector.

The role of the Data Warehouse is fulfilled by the Information System on Aral Sea Basin Water and Land Resources and specialized database.

The function of the Analytic Tools is performed by the Analytical and Modeling Tool and Knowledge bases.

All DSS components are available for any category of users on the CAWater-Info portal.

Selected bibliography