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Flashcards in Introduction to Information Systems Deck (19)
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Define a database

A collection of interrelated stored data – that is interrelated collections of various types of tables.


Define a Database Management System (DBMS)

A software for manipulating databases
- it manages and controls database activities
- creates, processes and administers the databases


Functions of a DBMS

- Data Storage, Retrieval, and Update
- User-Accessible Catalogues
- Transaction Support
- Concurrency Control Services
- Recovery Services
- Data Security
- Authorisation Services
- Support for Data Communication
- Integrity Services
- Services to Promote Data Independence
- Utility Services


What is an Information System

• Set of interrelated components
• Collect, process, store, and distribute information
• Support decision making, coordination, and control


Information vs. Data

Information is data shaped into meaningful form.


Data item vs. Record (Tupple)

Data Item:
The smallest named unit of data that has meaning in the real world – for example, last name, ID number or political party.

Record (Tupple):
A group of related data items as a single unit by an application.


Firms invest heavily in information systems to achieve six strategic business objectives:

1) Operational excellence (efficiency, productivity, etc.)
• Walmart’s Retail Link system links suppliers to stores for superior replenishment system

2) New products, services, and business models
• Technology helps to create new products, like document sharing via cloud…

3) Customer and supplier intimacy
• Serving customers well leads to customers returning, which raises revenues and profits. (Example: High-end hotels that use computers to track customer preferences
• Intimacy with suppliers allows them to provide vital inputs, which lowers costs. (e.g. information systems which links sales records to contract manufacturer)

4) Improved decision making
• more and better data, less guessing

5) Competitive advantage
• Delivering better performance
• Charging less for superior products
• Responding to customers and suppliers in real time
• Examples: Apple, Walmart, UPS

6) Survival
• Information technologies as necessity of business
• Industry-level changes: e.g. Citibank’s introduction of ATMs
• Governmental regulations requiring record-keeping e.g. Toxic Substances Control Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act


Information systems require

1) input
2) processing - convert raw data into meaningful information
3) output - transferring information to final destination


Contemporary Approaches to Information Systems (Technical & Behavioural)

- Computer Science
- Management Science
- Operation Research

- Psychology
- Economics
- Sociology

There is no single approach that can truly capture the full scope of information systems.


Investments in information systems will result in superior returns how...

Information system is tool for creating value.

• Productivity increases
• Revenue increases
• Superior long-term strategic positioning


Information system is tool for creating value, BUT investments in IT ...

- investment in IT doesn’t necessarily mean increased revenue because competitors may have done the implementation better.
- the investment may have been in too complicated systems.
- other factors may be; adopting the right business model; investing in complementary assets (organisational and management capital)


Invest in technology AND complementary assets, which are ...

... the talent to make it work properly
... appropriate business model
... efficient business processes
... incentives for management innovation
... teamwork and collaborative work environments
... the Internet and telecommunications infrastructure
Technology standards

complementary assets: often needed to derive value from a primary investment


More technology does not mean better processes! Why?

- socio-technical perspective
- both technology and organization must adjust to each other (until a satisfactory fit is obtained)
- this socio-technical balance must not be equal
- only then optimal organizational performance can be achieved


Hierarchy of authority, responsibility (6 levels)
(but every business is different)

1. Senior management
2. Middle management (incl. scientists, knowledge workers)
3. Operational management
4. Knowledge workers
5. Data workers
6. Production or service workers


Value-adding and Information Systems

- From a business perspective,
- information systems are part of a series of value-adding activities
- for acquiring, transforming, and distributing information
- that managers can use to improve decision making, enhance organisational performance, and,
- ultimately, increase firm profitability.
- It may also be non-profit (e.g., governments).


Management Information Systems (MIS)
+ 4 main actors in MISs

- combines the work of computer science, management science, and operations research with a practical orientation
- outputs system solutions to real-world problems and managing information technology resources
- concerned with behavioural issues surrounding the development, use, and impact of information systems

Four main actors in MISs:
• Suppliers of hardware and software
• Business firms
• Managers and employees
• Firm’s environment (legal, social, cultural context)


Challenges in the Era of Information Technology

- Scalability
- Availability
- Data integrity
- Transformation
- Data quality
- Heterogeneity
- Heterogeneity
- Legal/regulatory issues
- Governance
- Ethics of Data Use
- Data Preservation and Accessibility


information systems and its relationship with the environment

an information system CONTAINS information about an organization and its surrounding environment

Feedback is output returned to appropriate people or activities in the organization to evaluate and refine the input.


What is my Net Neutrality and what is my opinion on it?

Network neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites.

A tiered service model for online transmission threatens this neutrality.

Broadband access, its ubiquity, ease of access and cost to consumers are important. Operators may be tempted to discriminate in favour of their own services or those of third party partners to the detriment of competitive offerings.

The most important principle of net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) should give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favouring some sources or blocking others.

This is where we start to see a domino effect — a business can’t afford to pay an ISP for premium service, it loses its online audience, it then loses its advertisers and can no longer afford to produce new content. Not only does this scenario stifle competition in the realm of digital content creation, but it also reduces overall digital ad supply while demand remains high. This creates increased competition for advertisers that are already struggling to reach consumers, given the rise of ad-blocking technology. Furthermore, this puts additional pressure on ad networks to maintain premium inventory out of a limited supply.

We could be looking at a sponsored Internet in the future, where the only things Verizon subscribers see is the information those providers want them to see.