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Chapter 1

Introduction to Information Systems ITEC 1010

Information and Organizations


Information Concepts (1)  Data vs. Information  Data • Raw facts • Distinct pieces of information, usually formatted in a special way

 Information • A collection of facts organized in such a way that they have additional value beyond the value of the facts themselves ITEC 1010

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Data „Discussionâ€&#x; (1) (1) Distinct pieces of information, usually formatted in a special way. All software is divided into two general categories: data and programs. Programs are collections of instructions for manipulating data. Data can exist in a variety of forms -- as numbers or text on pieces of paper, as bits and bytes stored in electronic memory, or as facts stored in a person's mind. Strictly speaking, data is the plural of datum, a single piece of ITEC 1010

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information. In practice, however, people use data as both the singular and plural form of the word. (2) The term data is often used to distinguish binary machine-readable information from textual human-readable information. For example, some applications make a distinction between data files (files that contain binary data) and text files (files that contain ASCII data). (3) In database management systems, data files are the files that store the database information, whereas other files, such as index files and data dictionaries, store administrative information, known as metadata.

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Homework Is the term “data�generally used in the singular or plural (a) in the textbook, and (b) in the zdwebopedia web site?

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Terminology  Process • A set of logically related tasks performed to achieve a defined outcome

 Process • (n) An executing program. The term is used loosely

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as a synonym of task. (v) To perform some useful operations on data.

Information and Organizations


Terminology  Knowledge • An awareness and understanding of a set of information and how that information can be made useful to support a specific task

 Knowledge base • The collection of data, rules, procedures, and relationships that must be followed to achieve value or the proper outcome

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Types of Data Data

Represented by

Alphanumeric data

Numbers, letters, and other characters

Image data

Graphic images or pictures

Audio data

Sound, noise, tones

Video data

Moving images or pictures

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Data ďƒ  Information

Data

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Transformation

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Information


Characteristics of Valuable Information ď ą Characteristics  Accurate, complete, economical, flexible, reliable, relevant, simple, timely, verifiable, accessible, secure

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System  System  A set of elements or components that interact to accomplish goals  A combination of components working together

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System „Discussionâ€&#x; (1) Refers to a combination of components working together. For example, a computer system includes both hardware and software. A Windows system is a personal computer running the Windows operating system. A desktop publishing system is a computer running desktop publishing software. (2) Short for computer system. (3) Short for operating system. (4) An organization or methodology. The binary numbering system, for instance, is a way to count using only two digits. ITEC 1010

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System Elements  Inputs  Processing mechanisms  Outputs

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System Example Elements System Inputs

Movie

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Processing elements

Actors, director, Filming, staff, sets, editing, equipment special effects, distribution

Goal Outputs Finished film delivered to movie studio

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Entertaining movie, film awards, profits


System Components and Concepts  System boundary  Defines the system and distinguishes it from everything else

 System types  Simple vs. complex  Open vs. closed  Stable vs. dynamic  Adaptive vs. nonadaptive  Permanent vs. temporary ITEC 1010

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System Performance and Standards  Efficiency  A measure of what is produced divided by what is consumed

 Effectiveness  A measure of the extent to which a system achieves its goals

 System performance standard  A specific objective of the system (next 2 slides) ITEC 1010

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Figure 1.5a ITEC 1010

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Figure 1.5b ITEC 1010

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System Variables and Parameters  System variable  A quantity or item that can be controlled by the decision maker  E.g. the price a company charges for a product

 System parameter  A value or quantity that cannot be controlled by the decision maker  E.g., cost of a raw material ITEC 1010

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Modeling a System  Model  An abstraction or an approximation that is used to represent reality

 Types of models  Narrative (aka descriptive)  Physical  Schematic  Mathematical ITEC 1010

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Next slide


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Information System (IS)  Definition  A set of interrelated elements or components that

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collect (input), manipulate (process), and disseminate (output) data and information and provide a feedback mechanism to meet an objective (IS) Pronounced as separate letters, and short for Information Systems or Information Services. For many companies, IS is the name of the department responsible for computers, networking and data management. Other companies refer to the department as IT (Information Technology) and MIS (Management Information Services). Information and Organizations


What is an Information System? ď ą Schematic model of an information system Feedback

Input

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Processing

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Output


Input, Processing, Output,  Input  The activity of gathering and capturing data  Whatever goes into the computer  Processing  Converting or transforming data into useful outputs  Output  Useful information, usually in the form of documents

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and/or reports Anything that comes out of a computer Information and Organizations


Input „Discussionâ€&#x; (n) Whatever goes into the computer. Input can take a variety of forms, from commands you enter on a keyboard to data from another computer or device. A device that feeds data into a computer, such as a keyboard or mouse, is called an input device. (v) The act of entering data into a computer ITEC 1010

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Output „Discussionâ€&#x; (n) Anything that comes out of a computer. Output can be meaningful information or gibberish, and it can appear in a variety of forms -- as binary numbers, as characters, as pictures, and as printed pages. Output devices include display screens, loudspeakers, and printers. (v) To give out. For example, display screens output images, printers output print, and loudspeakers output sounds. ITEC 1010

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Feedback  Feedback  Output that is used to make changes to input or processing activities

 Forecasting  A proactive approach to feedback  Use for estimating future sales or inventory needs ITEC 1010

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Manual vs. Computerized Systems  Manual systems still widely used  E.g., some investment analysts manual draw charts and trend lines to assist them in making investment decisions

 Computerized systems  E.g., the above trends lines can be drawn by computer  Evolution  Many computerized system began as manual systems  E.g., directory assistance (“411”) ITEC 1010

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Computer-based Information Systems  A CBIS is composed of…  Hardware  Software  Databases  Telecommunications  People  Procedures  Together they are…  Configured to collect, manipulate, store, and process data into information ITEC 1010

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Technology Infrastructure ď ą Another term for CBIS ď ą Consists of the shared information system (IS) resources that form the foundation of the information system

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Parts of a CBIS  Five parts  Hardware  Software  Database  Telecommunications  Networks

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Parts of a CBIS  Five parts  Hardware  Software  Database  Telecommunications  Networks

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Hardware  Hardware  Computer equipment used to perform input, processing, and output activities  The objects that you can actually touch, like disks, disk drives, display screens, keyboards, printers, boards, and chips.

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Hardware „Discussionâ€&#x; Hardware refers to objects that you can actually touch, like disks, disk drives, display screens, keyboards, printers, boards, and chips. In contrast, software is untouchable. Software exists as ideas, concepts, and symbols, but it has no substance. Books provide a useful analogy. The pages and the ink are the hardware, while the words, sentences, paragraphs, and the overall meaning are the software. A computer without software is like a book full of blank pages -- you need software to make the computer useful just as you need words to make a book meaningful. ITEC 1010

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Parts of a CBIS  Five parts  Hardware  Software  Database  Telecommunications  Networks

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Software  Software  Computer programs that govern/determine/control the operation of the computer  Computer instructions or data

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Software „Discussion‟ (1) Software is computer instructions or data. Anything that can be stored electronically is software. The storage devices and display devices are hardware. The terms software and hardware are used as both nouns and adjectives. For example, you can say: "The problem lies in the software," meaning that there is a problem with the program or data, not with the computer itself. You can also say: "It's a software problem.“

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Software „Discussionâ€&#x; (2) The distinction between software and hardware is sometimes confusing because they are so integrally linked. Clearly, when you purchase a program, you are buying software. But to buy the software, you need to buy the disk (hardware) on which the software is recorded. Software is often divided into two categories. Systems software includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to function. Applications software includes programs that do real work for users. For example, word processors, spreadsheets, and database management systems fall under the category of applications software. ITEC 1010

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Parts of a CBIS  Five parts  Hardware  Software  Database  Telecommunications  Networks

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Database  Database  An organized collection of facts and information  A collection of information organized in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of data

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Database „Discussionâ€&#x; (1) A database is a collection of information organized in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of data. You can think of a database as an electronic filing system. Traditional databases are organized by fields, records, and files. A field is a single piece of information; a record is one complete set of fields; and a file is a collection of records. For example, a telephone book is analogous to a file. It contains a list of records, each of which consists of three fields: name, address, and telephone number. ITEC 1010

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Database „Discussionâ€&#x; (2) An alternative concept in database design is known as Hypertext. In a Hypertext database, any object, whether it be a piece of text, a picture, or a film, can be linked to any other object. Hypertext databases are particularly useful for organizing large amounts of disparate information, but they are not designed for numerical analysis. To access information from a database, you need a database management system (DBMS). This is a collection of programs that enables you to enter, organize, and select data in a database. ITEC 1010

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Database „Discussion‟ (3)

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Parts of a CBIS  Five parts  Hardware  Software  Database  Telecommunications  Networks

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Telecommunications  Telecommunications  The electronic transmission of signals for communications; enables organizations to link computer systems into effective networks  Refers to all types of data transmission, from voice to video

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Parts of a CBIS  Five parts  Hardware  Software  Database  Telecommunications  Networks

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Networks  Network  Used to connect computers and computer equipment in a building, around the country, across the world, to enable electronic communications  A group of two or more computer systems linked together

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Network „Discussionâ€&#x; (1) There are many types of computer networks, including: local-area networks (LANs) : The computers are geographically close together (that is, in the same building). wide-area networks (WANs) : The computers are farther apart and are connected by telephone lines or radio waves.

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Network „Discussionâ€&#x; (2) In addition to these types, the following characteristics are also used to categorize different types of networks: topology : The geometric arrangement of a computer system. Common topologies include a bus, star, and ring. protocol : The protocol defines a common set of rules and signals that computers on the network use to communicate. One of the most popular protocols for LANs is called Ethernet. Another popular LAN protocol for PCs is the IBM token-ring network . architecture : Networks can be broadly classified as using either a peer-to-peer or client/server architecture. ITEC 1010

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Network „Discussionâ€&#x; (3) Computers on a network are sometimes called nodes. Computers and devices that allocate resources for a network are called servers.

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Network „Discussion‟ (4)

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Internet and Intranet  Internet  The world‟s largest telecommunications network  A network of networks  Free exchange of information  A global network connecting millions of computers  Intranet  A network that uses Internet technology within an

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organization A network belonging to an organization Information and Organizations


People and Procedures  People  The most important element in most computerbased information systems  Includes people who manage, run, program, and maintain the system  E.g., IT professionals (you!)

 Procedures  Includes the strategies, policies, methods, and rules for using the CBIS ITEC 1010

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Business Information Systems  Types  Transaction processing systems  E-commerce systems  Management information systems  Decision support systems  Expert systems

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Transactions Processing Systems  Transaction  Any business-related exchange  E.g., generating a weekly payroll  Transaction processing system (TPS)  An organized collection of people, procedures, software, databases, and devices used to record completed for for business related exchanges ITEC 1010

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Payroll Example Hours worked

Payroll transaction processing Pay rate

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Payroll checks


Business Information Systems  Types  Transaction processing systems  E-commerce systems  Management information systems  Decision support systems  Expert systems

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E-Commerce System  E-commerce  Involves any business transaction executed

 

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electronically Conducting business on-line For example, between… • Companies • Companies and consumers • Business and the public sector • Consumers and the public sector Example for placing a purchase order Information and Organizations


Purchase Order - Traditional

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Purchase Order – E-commerce

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Business Information Systems  Types  Transaction processing systems  E-commerce systems  Management information systems  Decision support systems  Expert systems

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Management Information Systems  An MIS is…  An organized collection of people, procedures, software, databases, and devices used to provide routine information to managers and decision makers

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Schematic of MIS Marketing management information system

Financial management Information system

Manufacturing management Information system Common databases

TPS ITEC 1010

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Order management information system


MIS „Discussionâ€&#x; Short for management information system or management information services, and pronounced as separate letters, MIS refers to a class of software that provides managers with tools for organizing and evaluating their department. Typically, MIS systems are written in COBOL and run on mainframes or minicomputers. Within companies and large organizations, the department responsible for computer systems is sometimes called the MIS department. Other names for MIS include IS (Information Services) and IT (Information Technology). ITEC 1010

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Business Information Systems  Types  Transaction processing systems  E-commerce systems  Management information systems  Decision support systems  Expert systems

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Decision Support Systems  A DSS is…  An organized collection of people, procedures, software, databases, and devices used to support problem-specific decision making

 A DSS helps a manger “do the right thing”

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Business Information Systems  Types  Transaction processing systems  E-commerce systems  Management information systems  Decision support systems  Expert systems

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Expert Systems  An expert system is…  A computer application that performs a task that would

 

otherwise be performed by a human expert gives the computer the ability to make suggestions and to act like an expert in a particular field Examples: diagnose human illnesses, make financial forecasts, schedule routes for delivery vehicles

 Expert systems typically include “artificial intelligence” (next slide) ITEC 1010

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Artificial Intelligence (1) The branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Artificial intelligence includes  games playing: programming computers to play games such as   ITEC 1010

chess and checkers expert systems : programming computers to make decisions in real-life situations (for example, some expert systems help doctors diagnose diseases based on symptoms) natural language : programming computers to understand natural human languages Information and Organizations


Artificial Intelligence (2)  

neural networks : Systems that simulate intelligence by attempting to reproduce the types of physical connections that occur in animal brains robotics : programming computers to see and hear and react to other sensory stimuli

Currently, no computers exhibit full artificial intelligence (that is, are able to simulate human behavior). The greatest advances have occurred in the field of games playing. The best computer chess programs are now capable of beating humans. In May, 1997, an IBM super-computer called Deep Blue defeated world chess champion ITEC 1010

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Artificial Intelligence (3) Gary Kasparov in a chess match. In the area of robotics, computers are now widely used in assembly plants, but they are capable only of very limited tasks. Robots have great difficulty identifying objects based on appearance or feel, and they still move and handle objects clumsily. Natural-language processing offers the greatest potential rewards because it would allow people to interact with computers without needing any specialized knowledge. You could simply walk up to a ITEC 1010

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Artificial Intelligence (4) computer and talk to it. Unfortunately, programming computers to understand natural languages has proved to be more difficult than originally thought. Some rudimentary translation systems that translate from one human language to another are in existence, but they are not nearly as good as human translators. There are also voice recognition systems that can convert spoken sounds into written words, but they do not understand what they are writing; they simply take dictation. Even these systems are quite limited -you must speak slowly and distinctly. ITEC 1010

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Artificial Intelligence (5) In the early 1980s, expert systems were believed to represent the future of artificial intelligence and of computers in general. To date, however, they have not lived up to expectations. Many expert systems help human experts in such fields as medicine and engineering, but they are very expensive to produce and are helpful only in special situations. Today, the hottest area of artificial intelligence is neural networks, which are proving successful in a number of disciplines such as voice recognition and natural-language processing. ITEC 1010

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Artificial Intelligence (6) There are several programming languages that are known as AI languages because they are used almost exclusively for AI applications. The two most common are LISP and Prolog.

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Working with Systems (1)  Systems development  The activity of creating or modifying an existing business system

 Systems investigation and analysis  Defines the problems and opportunities of an existing system

 Systems design  Determine how a new system will work to meet business needs ITEC 1010

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Working with Systems (2)  Systems implementation  Creating and acquiring system components defined in the design

 Systems maintenance and review  Checks and modifies the system so that it continues to meet changing business needs

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End of Chapter 1 Chapter 2 ITEC 1010

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