Senior managers use Executive Support systems (ESS) to help them make decisions. ESS serves the strategic level of the organization. They address nonroutine decisions requiring judgment, evaluation, and insight because there is no agreed-on procedure for arriving at a solution. ESS is designed to incorporate data about external events, such as new tax laws or competitors, but they also draw summarized information from internal MIS and DSS. They filter, compress, and track critical data, displaying the data of greatest importance to senior managers. ESS employs the most advanced graphics software and can present graphs and data from many sources. Often the information is delivered to senior executives through a portal, which uses a web interface to present integrated personalized business content from a variety of sources.
Unlike the other types of information systems, ESS is not designed primarily to solve specific problems. Instead, ESS provides a generalized computing and communications capacity that can be applied to a changing array of problems. Although many DSS are designed to be highly analytical, ESS tends to make less use of analytical models.