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Introduction to Information Systems
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  1. Distinguish data from information and describe the characteristics used to evaluate the quality of data
  2. Identify the basic types of business information systems.
  3. Identify the major steps of the systems development process and state the goal of each.
  4. Identify the seven value-added process in the supply chain and describe the role of information system within them.
  5. Define the types of roles, functions, and careers available in information systems.

1.Data versus Information ( 25 minutes)

1Data: raw facts, such as an employee's name and number of hours worked in a week, inventory part numbers, or sales orders .several types of data can be used to represent these facts.(See Table 1-1)

Data Represented by
alphanumeric data numbers, letters, and other characters
image data graphic images or pictures
audio data sound, noise, or tones
video data moving images or pictures

2.Information: a collection of facts organized in such a way that they have additional value beyond the value of the facts themselves.

3. Knowledge : is an awareness and understanding of a set of information and how that information can be made useful to support a specific task to reach a decision.

Data -------> The transformation process------> Information

(applying knowledge by selecting, organizing and manipulating data)


Q: How would you distinguish data and information? Information and knowledge?

Exercise: The purpose of this exercise is to help you understand the relationship between data and information. In your team, you need to find out what kind of persons you teammate is and later you will give a summary of your findings.

1-2 The characteristics of valuable information ( 20 minutes)


Accurate information is error free.
Complete information contains all the important facts.
Information should also be relatively economical to produce. Decision makers must always balance the value of information with the cost of producing it.
Flexible information can be used for a variety of purposes.
Reliable information can be depended on. In many cases, the reliability of the information depends on the reliability of the data collection method.
Relevant information is important to the decision maker.
information should also be simple, not overly complex.
Timely information is delivered when it is needed.
Information should be verifiable. This means that you can check it to make sure it is correct.
Information should be easily accessible by authorized users and provided in the right format and a t the right time to meet their needs.
Information should be secure from access by unauthorized users.

4. Information systems: are sets of interrelate elements that input, manipulate (process) and output data and information.<See Figure 1.1>

- input: is the activity of capturing and gathering new data;
- processing: involves converting or transforming data into useful outputs.

- output:production of useful information, usually in the form of documents and reports.

The system concept becomes even more useful by including two additional components: feedback and control. A system with feedback and control components is sometimes called a cybernetic system, that is, a self-mornitoring, self-regulating system.

- feedback: is output that is used to make changes to input or processing activities.
- control involves monitoring and evaluating feedback to determine whether a system is moving toward the achievment of its goal.

<Figure1.1 This manufacturing system illustrates the genetic components of many types of system>

Example: A manufacturing system accepts raw materials as input and produces finished goods as output. An information system also is a system that accepts resources (data) as input and porcesses them into products (information) as output.

5. computer-based information system (CBIS): is a single set of hardware, software, databases, telecommunications, people, and procedures that are configured to collect, manipulate, store, and process data into information.

6. technology infrastructure: includes all the hardware, software, databases, telecommunications, people, and procedures that are configured to collect, manipulate, store, and process data into information. The technology infrastructure is a set of shared IS resources that form the foundation of each computer-based information system.

7.The fundamental roles of IS application in business: There are three fundamental reasons for all business applications of information technology.

- Support of its business processes and operations.
- Support of decision making by its employees and managers.
- Support of its stragegies for competitive advantage.

Q: Identify at least 5 characteristics of valuable information.

Q: What 's a information system?

2-1 The basic types of information system in business: (35 minutes)

The types of systems used within organizations can be classified into four basic groups: e-commerce, TPSs, MISs and DSSs, and special-purpose business information systems.

1.E-commerce: it involves any business transaction executed electronically between parties such as companies ( business- to business), companies and consumers (business- to consumer), business and the public sector, and consumers and the public sector.The major volume of e-commerce and its fastest -growing segment is business-to-business transactions that make purchasing easier for big corporations.

Air Canada(B2C)

Monsanto Co. (B2B)
(Great site for farmers or agribusiness; online selling would put this in the elite)

2.TPSs (transaction processing system) is the most fundamental system. A transaction is any business-related exchange. TPSs include order process, purchasing, accounting, and related systems.

3. The management information system (MIS) uses the information from a TPS to generate information useful for management decision making. The focus of an MIS is primarily on operational efficiency. A decision support system (DSS) is an organized collection of people, procedures, software, databases, and devices used to support problem-specific decision making.

4.Special-purpose business information systems include artificial intelligence systems,expert systems, and virtual reality systems .Artificial intelligence (AI) includes a wide range of systems in which the computer system takes on the characteristics of human intelligence. An expert system (ES) acts as an expert consultant to a user seeking advice about a specific situation. Virtual reality is used in today's organizations for many purposes, such as designing buildings and training employees to use specialized equipment.

Visit Artificial Intelligence Center to find out more regarding AI.

Whale Watcher Expert System
(This site has a demo of an expert system created using the Aquire Expert System shell. It assumes the user has been whale watching and is using the system to determine what type of whale they have spotted. The site also contains information about the Acquire software package. )

Virtual Reality - SGI


Q: What are the most common types of computer based information system used in business organizations today? Give an example of each.

Other Classifications of Information System

3.The major steps of the systems development process ( 35 minutes)

The waterfall model:

Exercise: After reading this article, try to answer the following question.(run your word processor and write down the answers.)

  1. What is the definition of SDLC?
  2. What are some examples of models used in system development life cycle?
  3. What are the tasks performed in each step of waterfall model?
  4. What 's the problem of waterfall model?


4. Information systems add value to an organization and its processes.(15 minutes)

An organization is a formal collection of people and other resources established to accomplish a set of goals. The primary goal of a for-profit organization is to maximize shareholder value. Nonprofit organizations include social groups, religious groups, universities, and other organizations that do not have profit as the primary goal.

Organizations are systems with inputs, transformation mechanisms, and outputs. Value-added processes increase the relative wroth of the combined inputs on their way to becoming final outputs of the organization. The value chain is a series (chain) of activities that includes inbound logistics, warehouse and storage, production, finished product storage, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and customer service.

Organizations use information systems to support organizational goals. Before deciding on an information system for an organization, managers should identify the firm's critical success factors, which must be supported by the system. Because information systems typically are designed to improve productivity, methods for measuring the system's impact on productivity should be devised.

Q: What are some of the benefits organizations seek to achieve through using information systems?

Q:What is value chain?

5. Technology diffusion, infusion and acceptance.(15 minutes)
  1. technology diffusion: a measure of how widely technology is spread throughout on organization.An example of this is which has a high level of technology diffusion and use computer systems to perform most of their business functions, including marketing, purchasing, and billing.
  2. technology infusion: the extent to which technology is deeply integrated into an area or department.For example,the architectural firm may use computers in all aspects of design(high infusion in the design area) but may not use computers in other business function such as billing, purchasing and marketing. (low diffusion)
  3. technology acceptance model (TAM): a description of the factors that can lead to higher acceptance and use of technology in an organization, including perceived usefulness of the technology, ease of its use, quality of the information system, and the degree to which the organization supports the use of the information system

Q:Briefly define technology diffusion, technology infusion and technology acceptance model.

6 Information systems personnel :(30 minutes)

IS personnel typically work in an information system department that employs system operator, systems analysis, computer programmers and other information systems personnel. They may also work in other functional departments or area in a support capacity. In addition to technical skills, IS personnel also need written and verbal communication skills, an understanding of organizations and the way they operate, and the ability to work with people (system users). In general, information systems personnel must maintain the broadest perspective on organizational goals.

System operators run and maintain IS equipment, such as mainframe systems, networks,disk devices, printers, and so on. Systems analysts then work with programmers to ensure that the appropriate programs are purchased, modified from existing programs, or developed. The major responsibility of a computer programmer is to use the plans developed by the systems analyst to develop or adapt one or more computer programs that produce the desired outputs.

The overall role o the chief information officer (CIO) is to use the IS department's equipment and personnel t help the organization attain its goals. LAN administrators set up and manage network hardware, software, and security processes. There is also an increasing need for trained personnel to set up and manage a company's Internet presence, including Internet strategists and administrators, Internet system developers, Internet programmers, and Web site operators.

In addition to working for an IS department in an organization, information systems personnel can work for one of the large IS consulting firms, such as Andersen Consulting and others. Another IS career opportunity is to be employed by a hardware or software vendor developing of selling products.

Exercise: Use the following job hunting web sites to find out the most appealing information systems position to you. Describe the skills required, wages and why you like this job and how can you achieve it.

7.Case Study:

See your handout for more details

Work cited:

Fundamentals of Information Systems: Ralph M.Stair, George W. Reynolds.