COMPUTER BASED INFORMATION SYSTEM

COMPUTER BASED INFORMATION SYSTEM

Computer Based Information

LEARNING OUTCOMES At the end of this topic, you should be able to: 1. Define information technology and information systems; 2. Explain the importance of information management; 3. Identify the three types of levels of management and their respective functions;

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4. Distinguish six types of information systems; and 5. Explain the role of the information system department.

INTRODUCTION

Before we begin, let’s look at the following situation: Imagine you are working as a financial clerk in Company A. Company A is an organization that owns 30 stores in Kuala Lumpur. These stores sell a wide variety of sports equipment for customers. Each month, the manager of each store enters a monthly sales figure in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and submits it to you. You need to collect all 30 Excel files and consolidate the monthly sales volume in all 30 stores. If a manager from one of the stores calls you and indicates an error in the Excel file, you need to return the original file to the manager, wait for the correct sales figure and then reprocess the Excel file.

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Imagine how boring and tiring it is if you have to do this manually every month which is 12 times for 12 months in a year. Can you think of a way to make your job easier? How can you collect all the information provided by this store? This is where the information system can emerge. Since you have all the information you need (such as sales figures in an Excel spreadsheet), all you need is a system to process all this information rather than you processing it manually. This system is what we call an information system. Organizations have many resources that need to be managed wisely. Information is one of the resources that plays an important role in ensuring that organizations remain efficient despite environmental changes and technological advances. Computers can clearly help managers by providing information in a short period of time. Computer-generated information used by both managers and non-managers are those in the organizational environment. Managers are at all levels of management and organizational units. They play an important role and perform tasks with effective communication and problem-solving skills. Therefore, to benefit from technological advances, managers need to know how to use computers and information. In this topic, we will discuss the differences between data, information and knowledge. In addition, we will explain the meaning of information technology and information systems. This topic will also elaborate on the importance of information management, user type and management respectively; and new trends emerging in information systems. Let’s get started!

1.1

BRIEF INFORMATION SYSTEM

In the information age, organizations (such as Company A mentioned earlier) and businesses use information to gain a competitive advantage. Information technology and information systems revolutionize the operations of organizations, industries and markets. So let’s look at the definition of information technology and information systems.

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1.1.1

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Data, Information and Knowledge

Before we look at the definition of information technology, we need to explain the terms “data”, “information” and “knowledge”. Data and information are used together in any field. However, the two have different meanings. Data is a basic fact or raw fact consisting of meaningless text, diagrams, graphics, images and audio video clips.

An example of data is a list of students consisting of names, matrix numbers, gender, courses and addresses. Can you list some examples of data? What about information? Let’s look at the definition.

Information is a regular and meaningful interpretation of data.

In simple terms, information is just data that has been processed to be more meaningful to the user. The process here means the operation to change the type and content of the data. The data in the student list can be processed to be produced as a report or graph showing the percentage of female students compared to male students enrolled in university; or the percentage of students according to the courses offered by the university. Other data processing operations are arithmetic operations, data summaries, time scheduling and so on. Information processors can be computer components, non-computer components or a combination of both, which can convert data into information. However, the definition of data and information varies according to the user who wants to use it. Data can be seen as information and vice versa according to the opinions of different individuals. For example, a phone bill is a collection of data that is meaningless to the president of a telecommunications company but useful to customers who want to pay a phone bill.

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With an explanation of data and information, let us move on to our discussion of knowledge. What is knowledge? See the definition given as follows: Knowledge consists of information that has been compiled and processed to convey understanding, experience as well as expertise that will be used in solving current business problems.

According to Boisot (as quoted by Boddy, Boonstra and Kennedy, 2005), knowledge is built on information extracted from data. Knowledge is derived from information in the same way information is derived from data. It is a variety of information for a person. Knowledge encompasses understanding, experience and learning gained in advance, and it is confirmed or amended when a person receives information. With knowledge, one will be able to identify important patterns or trends and gain a different understanding of information. Let’s look at Figure 1.1, which shows the relationship between data, information and knowledge.

Figure 1.1: Relationship between data, information and knowledge

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SELF-CHECK 1.1 1. By using words to define data, information and knowledge.

your

own,

2. Describe the relationship between data, information and knowledge based on Figure 1.1.

1.1.2

Information Technology

After we understand data, information and knowledge, how do we define information technology? Information technology (IT) is a technology that contains three components, as shown in Figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2: Information technology components

The combination of these three components creates opportunities for the public and organizations to be more productive, more effective and generally successful without having to be separated. Computers and computer networks are useless without knowledge of how to use them. Knowing about when to use a computer is just as important as knowing how to use it. In addition to the ability to use computers for communication, connecting users through IT is also important. IT is a widespread technology needed to support information systems. IT supports activities involving creation,

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storage, manipulation and communication of information, along with related methods, management and applications. IT consists of all the hardware and software that organizations need to use to achieve business objectives.

1.1.3

Information Systems

So far, we have been exposed to the meaning of information. Let’s look at the meaning of systems and information systems. What is a system? A system is just a group of activities and elements that have been arranged to achieve a specific goal.

We have seen the meaning of the system. How about information systems? The definition is: Information systems are a combination of hardware, software and telecommunication systems, which can support business operations to increase productivity and help managers make decisions.

In addition, information systems can also support managers and staff to analyze problems, describe complex subjects as well as new products and services. The information system contains is shown in Figure 1.3.

five main

components

,

as

in

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Figure 1.3: Information system components

In this day and age, business success depends on information systems. Many organizations today use information systems to offer services with greater satisfaction to customers, to access various information networks, to deal with business changes at a higher speed and to increase employee productivity. Based on several studies, an effective information system will be able to meet more customer expectations and business needs. Thus, we can conclude that information systems are an important part of business organization. Now, let’s turn our attention to the activities that take place in the system. As discussed earlier, information systems are a combination of software, hardware and telecommunication systems. Are you wondering how these are all interconnected? See Figure 1.4, which illustrates the main activities that take place in the information system. Can you name three main activities?

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Figure 1.4: Activities in information systems The

three main activities in information systems are: (a)

Input Inputs collect or capture raw data and are not processed from within organizations or external sources.

(b)

Processing Processing converts this raw input into meaningful form.

(c)

Output Output transfers the processed information to the managers and staff of the organization who will use it or to the function it will use.

Information systems also require feedback, which is a form of output evaluation that is returned to the organization in terms of complaints that need to be corrected immediately through corrective measures or improvement suggestions that can be used to advance the organization’s business system and processes as a whole. However, you should keep in mind that information systems not only contain data and information. There are also other elements in the system, which are related and support each other. The presence of relevant elements makes information more useful so that it can be prepared, processed, distributed, manipulated, stored and so on.

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This combination leads to an organized system and is called „Information System ‰. Management Information System (MIS) is an original information system that has long been developed with the aim of supplying information to assist managers in carrying out various daily activities. This is done to ensure that the planning, control and monitoring process can be implemented more efficiently and effectively. MIS is a system that has the ability to process information including collecting, processing, storing and disseminating data in the form of information through analytical processing and delivering information to anyone who needs it.

ACTIVITY 1.1 Do an Internet search to find out how management information systems relate to an organization’s business. You can use keywords such as „MIS ‰ and„ business ‰ or „information system ‰ and„ business operations ‰. Discuss your findings with your course mates.

SELF-REVIEW 1.2 1. Give the definition of information system. 2. What are the components of an information system? 3. How does information systems help businesses? Give two examples.

1.2

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

Managers are placed at all levels of management and organizational units. They play an important role and perform tasks with effective communication and problem solving skills. Therefore, to benefit from technological advances, managers need to know how to use computers and information. Managers must manage resources such as personnel, materials, machinery (including facilities and energy), money and information (including data), so that it can be implemented efficiently. Organizational resources can be divided into two categories, namely physical and conceptual. Sources

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previously stated are physical sources, except information, which are conceptual sources. Both categories of resources are equally important to the organization. Conceptual resources are used to manage physical resources. Resources are owned and provided, so that they can be used when needed. Typically, the preparation process involves the transformation of raw materials into usable materials, for example, computer installation and training of workers. After this process, the manager will try to optimize the use of resources. They can reduce the rest time on resources to a minimum and also ensure that resources are used at the most efficient level. After that, the manager will change the resource at the appropriate time before it becomes obsolete or inefficient. The concept of information management is similar to managing physical resources. However, you must know that the context is different. How? The manager will ensure that the required data can be obtained and processed into usable information. They need to confirm that information reaches people accurately, in the right form and at the right time so that information can be used. Then, unused information will be deleted and replaced with the most up-to-date and accurate information. With this explanation, do you think you can determine what information management is? Here is how we can generally determine information management: Information management as a group of activities involving the process of obtaining information,

Managers give priority to information systems due to two main factors: (a)

Changes in the Business Environment Changes in the business environment can be described through two conditions: (i)

Emergence of the Global Economy Growth in the industrial economies of developed countries such as the United States, Europe and Asia is due to imports and exports. Today, the ability to run

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business globally will determine the success and future of the organization. Globalization in the world economic industry has opened up new opportunities for business and has increased the importance of information to organizations. Global trade and business management is connected to information systems through networks and communications infrastructure. Sophisticated information systems provide the facility to conduct business activities globally, for example, operating 24 hours a day in an international environment, communicating and disseminating information to customers and suppliers worldwide and providing online services and information. Therefore, organizations need excellent information and communication systems to enable them to compete in the world market. (ii)

Economic Transformation of Industrial Countries The world’s leading industrial giants such as the United States, Germany and Japan are undergoing a transition from an industrial-based economy to a service-based economy, largely knowledge-based. This is because knowledge and information play an important role in making a profit in the new economic era. Meanwhile, the manufacturing economy shifted to developing countries. The number of employees in the service sectors such as sales, education, health, banking and law firms is higher than in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. These employees provide services that involve the use of information technology and systems to create and disseminate information and knowledge. Information-based services such as Web portals (Yahoo, America Online), databases (IEEE, Lexis) and E-commerce (Amazon.com) are on the rise and the firm has millions of employees. The manufacturing industry uses information technology to increase productivity. For example, the automobile industry uses graphic design, while manufacturing plants use robots and virtual reality.

(b)

Improvements in Computer Skills The size and speed of today’s computers are more advanced than ever before. Once upon a time when computers were first introduced,

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most users do not know how to operate a computer and some are even afraid to touch and learn how to use it. Today, the situation is different. The majority of employees know how to operate a personal computer (PC). Some have a computer at home. Computers have become part of the basic needs of daily life and in the work environment, just like any other basic need. Basic computer skills today include operations such as performing basic operations, using word processors and electronic spreadsheets, creating PowerPoint or graphic files, printing documents, using peripherals, and using the Internet.

SELF-REVIEW 1.3 How is information management important in one’s daily life? Please explain.

1.3

INFORMATION SYSTEM USERS

In your opinion, who are the users of the information system? When you update your profile in online banking, does that make you an information system user? Let’s see the definition. An information system user is an individual who uses the information system for a specific purpose, such as to access information, update data, process information, conduct transactions and generate reports.

Users come from various categories and positions. They can come either from inside or outside the firm. When information systems were first introduced, most users were clerks in the accounting department who used computers only for accounting applications such as salaries, inventory and bills. The information generated by the accounting application is then used by the firm manager. The evolution of computer systems from Accounting Information Systems (AIS) to Management Information Systems (MIS) has changed the perspective of using information, from just recording firm transactions to helping

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managers in solving organizational problems. Management Information System (MIS) is able to support management information needs. However, the use of information in MIS is not limited to managers only. MIS information can be used by other users including non-management employees who access company reports, customers who receive monthly statements, shareholders who receive dividend checks and government departments who receive tax reports. In general, users of information systems consist of managers, not managers, individuals and organizations in the information environment.

SELF CHECK 1.4 Define users of information systems. Give two examples of information system users.

1.3.1

Management Staffing

As discussed earlier, there are many levels of information system users. It is not only limited to managers. However, managers use information systems extensively to make business decisions. That also depends on their level in the organization. Managers are placed at every level of management and in all units or departments in an organization. Now, we will discuss the level of management and the role of managers in each level. (a)

Level of Management In general, each firm has three levels of management. (i) Top

level management Also known as strategic management.

(ii)

Intermediate management Also known as control or tactical management.

(iii) Lower level management Also known as operations management. Each level of management carries out different management tasks in terms of scope and duration. Table 1.1 shows an example of the scope of work for

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each level of management and individuals responsible in performing tasks. Table 1.1: Examples of Scope of Work for Multi Level Management Level Management Firm

Scope of Work

Job

Bosses

To provide long-term plan (5-10-20 years)

Intermediate

Range

To provide medium-term plan (1 month – 1 year). To plan actions for long-term plans and ensure firm goals are achieved.

Subordinates

To ensure that the planning carried out by the upper and middle management levels is implemented.

CEO, President, Vice President Branch Manager, Director, Head of Division

Head of Department, Supervisor, Coordinator, Head of Project

Manager prepares planning using several types of plans according to management level, namely: (i)

Strategic Planning (Top Level Management) Strategic planning is a long-term plan that defines the overall mission and objectives of the organization. Strategic planning ensures that long-term objectives are met by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, predicting future trends and predicting the development of new products or services. Strategic planning focuses on issues that will affect the firm’s future development and position. Top managers focus on the overall activities of the business and use information systems to identify the direction taken by the firm. Managers at the top level are also known as executives. The Executive is the President and Vice President,

(ii)

Tactical Planning (Intermediate Level Management) Tactical planning is short-term planning, usually from one month to one year. This is a framework of action based on strategic planning. The middle manager will delegate the powers and responsibilities to the lower level manager and provide instructions, resources and feedback on the work. Although the task is delegated,

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middle managers will definitely be involved in monitoring, controlling, making decisions and administering activities. (iii) Daily Planning (Lower Level Management) Daily planning is implemented by the lower level managers who lead the operations staff. They will coordinate operational tasks, solve problems and ensure the availability of essential resources. Each level of management requires a type of information system based on their respective information needs. Each level of management has different sources and providers of information supported by information systems. Figure 1.5 shows that environmental or external resource information is more widely used by management rather than lower level management. Meanwhile, lower level managers prefer internal information.

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Figure 1.5: Influence of management level on information and display resources Source: Mc Leod (2001)

SELF-REVIEW 1.5 In your opinion, is there any management environment for managers to do all three types of planning?

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ACTIVITY 1.2 Visit the following website: flipbook / ISPplan2011 /

http://www.mampu.gov.my/pdf/

Briefly list ideas on ICT strategic planning carried out by MAMPU for the Malaysian public sector. Discuss your findings with your course mates. (b)

Departments within Firms Managers are also within departments within a firm, known as its unit or functional area. In other words, each department in the firm is managed by a manager at three levels of management. Figure 1.6 shows the position of managers at various levels of management and departments within the firm. A firm has a combination of different departments but generally, those departments include accounting, marketing, manufacturing, human resources and information services (also known as information systems, information management systems and information technology).

Figure 1.6: Position of manager in management ladder

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SELF-CHECK 1.6 See Figure 1.5 again. Briefly explain what you understand about the information needs at each level of management in decision making?

1.3.2

Functions of Managers

From our previous discussion, I am sure you are aware that managers have the same functions and roles even though they are placed at different levels of management and department. Let’s discuss it further to learn about managerial functions. In 1914, Henri Fayol, a French theoretical management expert, identified five key functions of managers: (a)

Planning;

(b)

Manage;

(c)

Appointment;

(d)

Directing; and

(e)

Control resources effectively.

Each manager at each level of management and department performs this function with different focus, depending on the level of management. See Figure 1.7, which shows the influence of the respective levels of management on the focus in performing management functions; management functions can provide guidance in developing information systems.

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Figure 1.7: Influence of management level on focus in performing management functions

1.3.3

Role of Manager

In general, management means the use of resources to achieve goals effectively and efficiently. In an organization, management is usually done by a manager. What do you think about the role of manager? It can be divided into three main categories (refer to Table 1.2). Table 1.2: Role of Manager Role of Management Interpersonal Role

Description? The manager is seen as a leader and middleman for employees. ? Managers are role models for employees.

The Role of Information

? Managers monitor activities and work performed by employees and organizations, allocate tasks and resources, and are also spokespersons for employees with external parties. ? For example, managers will provide feedback from top management or customers on customer-friendly services provided by employees.

The Role of Decision Making

? Managers spend a lot of effort, handle problems, allocate resources, and even negotiate for employees and outsiders.

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1.3.4

Management Skills

Managers need to have a lot of skills to complete their tasks effectively. Generally, every manager needs to have two basic skills, namely communication skills and problem solving skills. This skill is important because it is used in daily work routines. Let us take a closer look at these two basic skills. (a)

Communication Skills Managers communicate with individuals such as lower level staff, upper level staff, staff in departments and other individuals outside the firm such as customers, suppliers and employees of financial institutions. Managers communicate by sending or receiving information, either in writing or orally. Examples of written communication include letters, reports, memos, minutes of meetings and emails. Verbal communication occurs during meetings, telephone conversations, voicemails, business travel, business appointments and social activities such as at events and entertainment. Both types of communication are implemented externally and internally. Each manager has options for a specific mode of communication. Some managers prefer verbal interactions over the phone or appointments rather than writing emails or letters. Some prefer to use email because it is cheaper and simpler. However, different types of communication can be combined according to the suitability and management style.

(b)

Problem Solving Skills Managers solve problems faced by firms, whether large or small to ensure smooth operation. Problems are always seen as negative elements or give a bad image to a firm or individual. In fact, problems in the context of management can give both firm advantages and disadvantages. We will review the definition of the problem in detail in Topic 2. However, the problem needs to be addressed and the action taken to solve this problem is known as the solution. Managers who intend to solve the problem must go through the relevant process. These processes involve decision making. Decision making refers to the selection of alternative solutions, which will be identified in advance. The decision is taken after

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alternatives have been evaluated. Usually, alternative solutions to each problem are identified to get a better solution.

ACTIVITY 1.3 Do you know why managers need management skills? Discuss.

ACTIVITY 1.4 In your opinion, what action should a manager take if the problem cannot be solved? Discuss.

1.3.5

Manager’s Knowledge

In addition to the basic skills discussed earlier, managers need to be information and computer literate, which is important when using computers. (a)

Computer Literacy Computer literacy refers to the basic knowledge that computer users must possess so that they can operate a computer effectively. Basic knowledge is a brief understanding of computer technology such as mouse, monitor and CPU functions, knowing the pros and cons of computers and the ability to use a computer (not necessarily able to write computer programs). In addition, users also need to keep abreast of the latest technological developments.

(b)

Information Literacy Apart from computer literacy, managers also need to be information literate. Information literacy refers to an understanding of the use of information at each stage of the problem-solving process and knowing how to find sources of information and how this information can be shared for the common good.

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literacy and information do not depend on each other even though they are related and complementary to each other. Some managers are information literate but not computer literate. However, it is ideal if the manager acquires both skills.

1.4

TYPES OF COMPUTER-BASED INFORMATION SYSTEMS

The information system in an organization is known as Computer Based Information System (CBIS). CBIS is developed based on functional activities at the organizational functional level. Examples of CBIS are Accounting Information System (AIS), Transaction Processing System (TPS), Management Information System (MIS), Office Automation System (OAS), Decision Support System (DSS), Executive Information System (EIS) and Expert System. Table 1.3 shows the features of CBIS mentioned. Table 1.3: Types of Computer-Based Information Systems TPS / AIS User Output Processor

Input Systems; Voting events; list; merge, update Detailed Reports; list, summary of Operating Staff; supervisor

MIS

Summary of data transactions; high volume data; easy

reports Routine reports; simple model; low-level analysis

Simple report OAS

mid-manager Documents; document management schedule ; schedule; Document communication ; mail schedule Clerical staff DSS Low volume data or very large database optimized for data analysis; model and analysis of Interactive data equipment ; simulation analysis Typical report; decision analysis; response to Professional inquiries ; managers TOPIC 1 COMPUTER-BASED INFORMATION SYSTEM W 23 EIS Overall data: Internal, external

Interactive graphical simulation

Predictive feedback on

senior management questions

Expert System

Knowledge, facts and decision-making techniques

Simulation of how human experts think

Arguments and decision analysis to solve problems

Senior managers

Now let’s discuss the types of CBIS. (a)

Accounting Information System (AIS) or Transaction Processing System (TPS) The Accounting Information System (AIS) or Transaction Processing System (TPS) is used in the firm’s operational stage. AIS is a computerized system that implements and records the firm’s daily routines or transactions. Examples for TPS are the salary system, registration system, customer request system and examination result system. Let us take the example of the university registration system. Do you know what happens in the university student registration system? The registration system will implement and record student registration activities for each semester. The main file which is the registration file contains information about students and courses such as name, matriculation number, address, faculty, telephone number, course name and course code, known as data elements. This data will be entered into the system and new data (such as course registration and fee payment) will update the data element. The data elements in the main file will be combined to create the reports required by management and users.

(b)

Management Information System (MIS) Management Information System (MIS) provides management information that supports, plans, controls and functions to make decisions by generating special and periodic reports. MIS will report the firm’s basic operations through AIS data. Figure 1.8 shows an example of such a report. Typically, reports are generated weekly, monthly or annually.

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Manaf Bookstore Sales by product and district in Johor in 2012 PRODUCT CODE

NAME OF PRODUCT

DISTRICT

SALES

1110

Textbook

Muar Batu Pahat Pontian Johor Bharu

7,224,600 6,340,000 4,326,300 8,454,000 20,638,900

Muar Batu Pahat Pontian Johor

8,900,400 6,500,000 3,200,500 9,422,000 22,172,900

TOTAL 2110

Magazine

TOTAL Figure 1.8: Example of report produced by MIS

(c)

Office Automation System (OAS) Office Automation System (OAS) is a computer system consisting of electronic devices used for communication and productivity for managers and employee. Among the OAS applications are word processors, email, electronic calendars, facsimile machines, audio conferencing, video conferencing, computer conferencing and desktop publishing (DTP).

(d)

Decision Support System (DSS) Decision Support System (DSS) is an information system that helps managers to solve problems and make decisions on very specific issues. DSS answers questions such as “Where is the right location for the firm to open a new branch?” and “What are the effective ways to introduce new ideas in firm products?”

(e)

Executive Information System (EIS) The Executive Information System (EIS) is a specialized system used by executive management in making strategic decisions. It is a tool that provides direct online access to relevant information, in a useful and browsable format. Relevant information is timely, accurate and useful in business aspects, according to the interests of specific managers. The format is useful, and easily navigable, which means that the system has been specially built for the use of individuals who do not have much free time, less skilled in using

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keyboard and less experienced with computers. It focuses on meeting the strategic information needs of top management. (f)

Expert System (ES) Expert System (ES) is a computer system that can mimic human methods in solving problems such as thinking, learning or giving explanations for solutions using artificial intelligence and knowledge stored in a database. This database contains domain knowledge such as medical, financial or insurance. Artificial intelligence has many applications or systems represented by ES. These include applications such as neural networks and genetic algorithms.

1.5

DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS

The Information Systems Department (IS) develops and maintains firm information systems. This department is also known as the Information Services Department, Information Technology (IT) Department or Management Information Systems Department (MIS). The structure and name of the department may differ depending on the firm. In a small firm, multitasking individuals can handle all tasks related to the current information system. Meanwhile, in large firms, there may be many units in the IS department and many employees to perform specific work for each unit. Figure 1.9 shows the general organization chart for the IS department.

Figure 1.9: General organization chart for department IS

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SELF-REVIEW 1.7 What is the importance of the information systems department in an organization?

1.5.1

Information Specialists Information

experts are members among the staff responsible for the development and organization of the firm’s information system.

Basically, there are five categories of information experts, namely, system analysts, database administrators, network administrators, programmers and users. (a)

System Analyst (SA) develops a new system or upgrades the current system. The system analyst will determine the problem, document the analysis, make the system design and develop the recommended system. Interaction and cooperation from users and management is required in developing systems that meet the needs of users.

(b)

The database administrator develops and maintains a database consisting of data needed to generate information for users.

(c)

The network administrator develops and maintains data communication that connects and enables the sharing of computer resources. The development of the Internet has created many new experts in this field, known as webmasters or web designers.

(d) The

programmer writes the programming code in the programming language based on the design documentation, written in advance by the system analyst. The programmer also tests the written program to make sure it is bug-free from any syntax and logical errors.

(e)

Computer users operate large-scale computers such as computer frames and mini-computers. They handle routine work, handle printer data storage and help users solve problems.

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ACTIVITY 1.5 Is there any organization that does not have any of the information experts mentioned in subtopic 1.5.1? List the effects and weaknesses of such a situation.

1.6

TRENDS IN BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEM APPLICATIONS

Business information system application trends are moving towards application integration and the use of artificial intelligence. Among the uses of this type of application are as follows: (a)

Simplify the transaction process. For example, with the integration of accounting information systems and human resource information systems, the calculation of salaries and rewards can be done quickly and easily.

(b)

Used with Internet networks and technologies, especially in the process of obtaining external sources or information. For example, in strategic planning, an organization can obtain information about its competitors on the Internet. Organizations can also view government reports and missions.

(c)

Allows the use of multimedia elements such as text, graphics, audio, video and animation. In addition, the addition of artificial intelligence elements can speed up and simplify human tasks. For example, in the car design and production industry, information systems are combined with multimedia technology and artificial intelligence

(d)

Enhancing the process of understanding and presentation of presentations.

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1.7

FINAL USER COMPUTER TREND (EUC)

Advances in information technology have created computer literacy among the general public, either at a minimal level or at a higher level. These developments help computer users to operate or develop computer systems without the help of information experts. Users who use computer-based information systems are known as end users. The full or partial development of information systems by users is known as end-user computing (EUC). EUC is evolving due to the following factors: (a)

Development in computer literacy.

(b)

Increase in arrears of information systems department. The high demand for information system development and maintenance has resulted in many tasks in the information systems department not being completed within the deadline.

(c)

The cost price of computer hardware is lower today. Therefore, users can buy computer hardware and learn on their own.

(d)

A wide selection of software packages available is now available in the market. This software package provides the general functions of the application system and can even be customized according to the specific needs of the firm. Additionally, software packages can be easily used by experts or new users to implement computer-based information systems.

ACTIVITY 1.6 Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-user_computing. List important content on end-user computing (EUC). Compare your answers with your course mates.

TOPIC 1 COMPUTER-BASED INFORMATION SYSTEM

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SELF-REVIEW 1.8 1. Define the following: (a)

Information specialist

(b)

End-user computing

2. What are the trends in business information system applications? 3. With the help of a programmer, a manager in an account department uses Microsoft Excel to generate a ledger and save monthly. Is this an example of EUC? Give your reasons.

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Data is a meaningless raw fact while information is data that has been processed into meaningful form. Knowledge is derived from information in the same way information is derived from data.

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Information technology and information systems are key tools that enable organizations to develop new products and services, as well as create new business models.

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Information systems are a combination of hardware, software and telecommunication systems, which can support business operations to increase productivity and help managers make decisions.

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MIS is a system that has the ability to process information including collecting, processing, storing and disseminating data in the form of information through analytical processing and delivering information to anyone who needs it.

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Information is one of the important organizational resources and needs to be managed well. Business growth and increased computer expertise are the catalyst factors of information management.

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Every manager at every level of management (strategic, tactical and operational) and department needs to have the skills needed to perform its functions with different focus, depending on the level of management.

X TOPIC 1 COMPUTER-BASED INFORMATION SYSTEM

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The main types of computer-based information systems are Accounting Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Office Automation Systems, Decision Support Systems, Executive Information Systems and Expert Systems.

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The unit within the firm responsible for developing and maintaining the system is known as the information systems department. The department has information experts, that is, system analysts, database administrators, network administrators, programmers and computer users.

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The job of an information specialist can be reduced through user involvement in system development. This phenomenon is known as the development of end-user computing.

Data

End user computing

Information Information

management

Information expert Knowledge

information system

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