An Introduction to Data Envelopment Analysis: A Tool for Performance Measurement

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R Ramanathan
SAGE Publications, Aug 18, 2003 - Social Science - 201 pages
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From the Foreword:

'This book is an excellent tool for practitioners who are interested in the merits and pitfalls of the technique.... (The author's) research is an example of inventiveness, diligence and accuracy' - Freerk A. Lootsma, Delft Institute of Technology

Data envelopment Analysis is a Mathematical Programme for measuring performance efficiency of organizational units. The organizational units, termed as decision-making units (DMU) can be of any kind: manufacturing units, a set of schools, banks, hospitals, power plants, police stations, prisons, a set of firms etc.

DEA has been unsuccessfully applied to measure the performance efficiency of these different kinds of DMUs which share a common characteristic - that they are non-profit organization where measurement of performance efficiency is difficult.

DEA has been employed for assessing the relative performance of a set of firms that use a variety of identical inputs-say in the case of a school: quality of students, teachers, grants etc.,-to produce a variety of identical outputs-number of students who pass the final year, average grades obtained by the students in the final

year etc.

DEA assumes the performance of the DMUs by using the concepts of efficiency or productivity which is measured as the ratio of total outputs to total inputs. Also, the efficiencies estimated are relative to the best performing DMU or DMUs. The best performing DMU is given a score of 100% and the performance of other DMUs vary between 0 -100%.

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About the author (2003)

R Ramanathan is Assistant Professor, Operations Management and Business Statistics, at the College of Commerce and Economics, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman. Courses he has taught include basic and advanced topics in optimization theory, data envelopment analysis, management science, business statistics, simulation, energy and environmental economics, and energy and transport economics.

His research interests include operations management and economic and policy analysis of issues in education and the infrastructure sectors of energy and transport. This has involved the use of modelling techniques such as optimization, decision analysis, data envelopment analysis, and the analytic hierarchy process.

His works include a chapter on urban transport in India Development Report, 1999, published by Oxford University Press and a chapter on multi-criteria analysis of energy in the Encyclopedia of Energy to be published by Academic Press (Elsevier Science). He has authored a book on Indian transport and jointly authored a book on India-specific issues of climate change. Both books are likely to be published in 2003. His research papers have been published in leading journals in the field of operations research, energy, transport, environmental management, planning and accountancy.

The author has participated in international conferences on operational research, multi-criteria decision analysis, decision support systems, and environment and ecology, such as the triennial conference of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS), (Vancouver, Canada, 1996) and the European Operational Research Conference (Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2001).

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