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Monash University

FIT5094 IT for management decision making - Semester 1, 2011

This unit provides students with an understanding of the development and use of information systems that support managers, especially their decision-making tasks. Students will learn of the nature of management work and decision theory and how this affects the development of decision support systems. A number of commonly used decision support methods and techniques will be explored. Students will be introduced to personal decision support systems, group support systems, negotiation support systems, data warehousing, executive information systems and business intelligence.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Evening)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk


This is a six-point unit that, according to University guidelines, requires you to spend 12 hours per week (a total of at least 156 hours per semester). It is anticipated that, on average, you will spend, per week:

•    2 hours in the lecture,
•    2 hours in a tutorial/laboratory,
•    3 hours preparing for the tutorial/laboratory,
•    5 hours of your own reading and assignment work.

Unit Relationships




One of FIT9003, IMS9001, IMS9003

Chief Examiner

David Arnott

Campus Lecturer


David Arnott

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will:

  • understand the scope and application of IT for decision support;
  • have an understanding of the nature of managerial decision-making;
  • be familiar with the major approaches of IT-based decision support;
  • be able to choose the appropriate decision support approach for a particular project;
  • be able to undertake systems analysis for management support projects.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

    Assessment Summary

    Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

    Assessment Task Value Due Date
    Strategic Decision Analysis 25% 4pm, Thursday 7 April 2011
    Personal Decision Support 25% 4pm, Friday 13 May 2011
    Examination 1 50% To be advised

    Teaching Approach

    • Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
    • Laboratory-based classes
    • simulation or virtual practice


    Our feedback to You

    Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
    • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
    • Graded assignments with comments

    Your feedback to Us

    Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

    Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

    Required Resources

    You will need access to:

    • iThink simulation software
    • Firefox or Internet Explorer browser
    • Word processor
    • Spreadsheet

    Students may use this software which is installed in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

    Recommended Resources

    There is no compulsory text for FIT5094. However, the following two texts are general textbooks that cover the DSS area. They both have chapters or sections that address some sessions. Both are available from the reserve collection of the Caulfield Library. (The first edition of Marakas is still relevant.)

    •    Mallach, E.G. (2000) Decision Support and Data Warehouse Systems. Boston: McGraw Hill (ISBN 0-07-289981-6).
    •    Marakas, G.M. (2003). Decision support systems in the 21st Century (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall (ISBN 0-13-101879-5).

    A large number of articles and other reading material will be made available on the FIT5094 MUSO site.

    The Caulfield campus library has a world-class collection of books and journals on decision support related topics.

    Additional subject costs

    Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the Faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access.On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs.Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

    Unit Schedule

    Week Date* Activities Assessment
    0 21/02/11    
    1 28/02/11 Using IT to support executive decision making  
    2 07/03/11 Managerial information behaviours  
    3 14/03/11 Overview of decision making and normative decision theory  
    4 21/03/11 Behavioural decision theory 1  
    5 28/03/11 Behavioural decision theory 2  
    6 04/04/11 DSS development methods Assignment 1 due
    7 11/04/11 Personal decision support systems 1  
    8 18/04/11 Personal decision support systems 2  
    Mid semester break
    9 02/05/11 Data warehousing  
    10 09/05/11 Business intelligence Assignment 2 due
    11 16/05/11 Decision support strategy and governance  
    12 23/05/11 The decision support industry  
      30/05/11 SWOT VAC  

    *Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

    • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
    • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
    • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

    If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

    Assessment Tasks


    • Assessment task 1
      Strategic Decision Analysis
      The objective of this assignment is to analyse and understand a decision process and to identify ways of improving the process. Mastery of this task is essential for systems analysts working in a decision support role.

      Details are available on the FIT5094 MUSO site.
      Criteria for assessment:
      The marking guide is available on the FIT5094 MUSO site.
      Due date:
      4pm, Thursday 7 April 2011
    • Assessment task 2
      Personal Decision Support
      The objective of this assignment is to gain a critical understanding of a software application for personal decision support. A key aspect of the assignment is an insight into the role of a systems analyst in a DSS engagement.

      Details are available on the FIT5094 MUSO site.
      Criteria for assessment:
      The marking guide is available on the FIT5094 MUSO site.
      Due date:
      4pm, Friday 13 May 2011
      The assessment of this assignment will take place in a simulated work environment. Students are required to attend a 15 minute session allocated to them in Weeks 11 and 12.


    • Examination 1
      3 hours
      Type (open/closed book):
      Closed book
      Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

    Assignment submission

    Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
    You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

    Extensions and penalties

    Returning assignments


    Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University's academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash's Education Policies at:

    Key educational policies include:

    Student services

    The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

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