An Information System is a group is a group of related components that function cohesively to achieve a specified goal. The components gather, process and distribute data and information. Example of information systems would be the following;
Information systems used by insurance companies to store and process information relating to customers. ATMs and POSs used in grocery stores by shop assistants. Information used by Human Resources in companies to store and process information relating to their employees.
Input: Raw data
Processing: Transforming raw data into useful information
Output: Move processed information to people/ activities.
Feedback/ Control: Output passed back to improve process/ inputs
Data can be either qualitative or quantitative. The processing of data involves it being classified, sorted, aggregated, calculations performed on it and then selecting required data.
Information is the ultimate output of the process and is data that has significance in regard to the context it was processed.
Good information should have the following qualities;
- Communicable to the right person
- Be a manageable volume
- Furnished at a cost lesser than the value of it’s benefits
Information is considered to have three dimensions;
- Time – Timeliness, currency, Frequency, Time period
- Content – Accurate, relevant, complete, concise, scope
- Form – Clarity, detail, order, presentation, media
Information systems can help with decision making, diagrams can be used to impart the decision in a structured manner and to make sure decision rules are adhered to. One example of such a diagram would be a decision tree as seen below.
Decision Behaviour describes how people make decisions and the factors that influence them. There are two types;
- Structured Decisions
- Unstructured Decisions
A structured decision tends to involve situations where the rules & constraints influencing the decision are known. They usually routine and uncomplicated.
An unstructured decision tends to involve more complex situations, where the rules influencing the decision are complicated or unknown. They usually occur infrequently and rely on the experience of the decision maker.
In Information systems, diagrams are used to display the decision in a structured way and to ensure that the rules are defined correctly.