Decision Support Tools

The interdisciplinary field of decision support systems is becoming more and more important in all areas of business, including agriculture. This guide presents a selection of six Decision Support Tools (DSTs) to help farmers make better business decisions, work more efficiently and make better connections with markets and customers. Presented tools range from those that help users with planning and managing business information to those that require more practical application (Figure 1). Each tool is described in terms of its features, benefits and considerations that end users need to take into account. 

Figure 1: The six selected decision support tools categorized by scope, decision type and the operational aspect (document, data or manual driven) they fit in.

Their descriptions are organised from the simpler to the more sophisticated tools for their application. This structured approach helps the reader to gradually develop a better understanding of how these tools can be integrated into business management. The overview of DST is aimed at farmers, both newcomers and those who have been involved in farm management for a long time and want to improve their work.