Business Information Systems
Building Blocks
Dr Sherif Kamel
The American University in Cairo
Copyright © 2001 Whitten, Bentley and Dittman
Copyright © 2003 Sherif Kamel
Outline
Role of information systems.
Types of information systems.
Data and information.
Classes of information systems.
Information systems architecture.
Information systems applications.
Information systems building blocks.
5 Ps in systems development.
The life cycle.
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An integrated view of the role of IS in the organization
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Types of information systems
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MIS obtaining data from multiple TPS
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Interrelationships among systems
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Transaction processing systems
A customer placing an order for products or services with
a company.
Making a holiday booking
Buying an air line ticket
Buying a car
Withdrawing money from the ATM
a customer ringing a call centre to pay his/her bills
Payment for goods and services
Placing order with a supplier
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A transaction is…
Any business related exchange.
An event to which the business must respond.
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Input-processing-output cycle
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Transaction processing system functions
Transaction processing systems consist of 4 main
functions to accomplish their purposes
The functions include:
Input function
Storage function
Processing function
Output function
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Example: TPS payroll system
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Types of TPS by function
Major
Functions
of system
Major
Application
systems
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Concepts of transaction processing systems
On-Line Input
Transaction files
from other
systems
Keypunched cards
Scanning devices
and sensors
Transaction Processing
Audio
input
Audio
output
Record
Merge
Perform
Sort
List
Update
Documents
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A displayed
message
Data for other
systems
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TPS characteristics
Provide fast and efficient processing
Perform rigorous data editing
Audited
Involves a high potential for security-related problems.
Support the work processes of a large number of people
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TPS cycle
A cycle through which
business data goes…
Data collection
Data editing
Data correction
Data manipulation
Data storage
Document production
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Transaction processing activities
Data collection
The process of capturing and gathering all data necessary to
complete transactions.
–
–
–
–
–
Begins with a transaction
Should be captured at the source
Timely
With minimum manual effort
Suitable format
Data editing
Checks data for validity and completeness
Data correction
Re-entry of wrongly keyed or scanned data
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Transaction processing activities (Cont’d)
Data manipulation
Performing data transformations
Data storage
Updating databases with new transactions
Document Production
Generating output records and reports
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Reports produced
Detailed reports
Summary reports
Exception reports
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Methods of transaction processing
Batch processing systems.
Online transaction processing (OLTP).
Interactive/ Real-time.
Online entry with delayed processing.
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Transaction processing objectives
Process data generated by and about transactions
Maintain a high degree of accuracy
Ensure data and information integrity
Produce timely documents and reports
Increase labour efficiency
Help provide increased and enhanced service
Help build and maintain customer loyalty
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Transaction processing applications
1.
2.
3.
4.
Accounting and financial information systems
Sales and marketing information systems
Production information systems
Human resources information systems
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1. Accounting and financial IS
Systems that are first computerised by organisations.
Outputs include:
pay cheques
cheques to vendors
customer invoices
stock reports
many other forms and reports
– Accounts receivable
– Payroll systems
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2. Sales and marketing IS
System’s basic goal is to satisfy the needs of customers.
Help the firm identify customers for the firm’s products or services,
Develop products and services to meet customer needs,
Promote products and services,
Sell the products and services
Provide ongoing customer support.
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Sales and marketing IS types
Sales order
Market research
Sales commission
Point-of-sale systems
Electronic shopping and advertising systems
Telemarketing systems.
Direct mail advertising systems.
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3. Production IS
These systems support the production of goods and
services (to meet marketing system projections)
Support decision-making for the operation, allocation,
and planning of production resources.
Produce reports about production data.
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Production IS types
Purchasing systems
Quality control systems
Shipping systems
Inventory control systems
Automated Material handling systems
Computer aided design/manufacturing
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Example – order processing system
Order entry, sales configuration, shipment planning and
shipment execution.
Inventory control (finished product), invoicing, customer
interaction and routing and scheduling.
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Example – purchasing systems
Inventory control
Raw materials
Packing materials
Spare parts
Supplies
Purchase order processing
Receiving
Accounts payable
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4. Human Resource IS
Support acquiring and managing human resources
including:
recruiting, assessment, selection, placement, training, performance
appraisal, compensation and benefit management, promotion,
termination, occupational health and safety, and other activities.
Integrates with other systems like payroll.
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Data and information
Data are raw facts about the organization and its
business transactions. Most data items have little
meaning and use by themselves.
Information is data that has been refined and organized
by processing and purposeful intelligence. The latter,
purposeful intelligence, is crucial to the definition—
People provide the purpose and the intelligence that
produces true information.
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Information systems and technology
An information system (IS) is an arrangement of
people, data, processes, communications, and
information technology that interact to support and
improve day-to-day operations in a business as well as
support the problem-solving and decision making needs
of management and users.
Information technology is a contemporary term that
describes the combination of computer technology
(hardware and software) with telecommunications
technology (data, image, and voice networks).
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Front and back office information systems
Front-office information systems support business
functions that reach out to customers (or constituents).
Marketing
Sales
Customer management
Back-office information systems support internal
business operations and interact with suppliers (of
materials, equipment, supplies, and services).
Human resources
Financial management
Manufacturing
Inventory control
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Federation of information systems
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Classes of information systems
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Transaction processing systems
Management information systems
Decision support systems
Expert systems
Office automation systems
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1. Transaction processing
Transaction processing systems are information
system applications that capture and process data about
business transactions.
Includes data maintenance, which provides for custodial updates
to stored data.
Business process redesign (BPR) is the study, analysis, and
redesign of fundamental business (transaction) processes to
reduce costs and/or improve value added to the business.
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2. Management information systems
A management information system (MIS) is an
information system application that provides for
management-oriented reporting. These reports are
usually generated on a predetermined schedule and
appear in a prearranged format.
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3. Decision support systems
A decision support system (DSS) is an information
system application that provides its users with decisionoriented information whenever a decision-making
situation arises. When applied to executive managers,
these systems are sometimes called executive
information systems (EIS).
A data warehouse is a read-only, informational database that is
populated with detailed, summary, and exception data and
information generated by other transaction and management
information systems. The data warehouse can then be accessed
by end-users and managers with DSS tools that generate a
virtually limitless variety of information in support of unstructured
decisions.
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4. Expert systems
An expert system is a programmed decision-making
information system that captures and reproduces the
knowledge and expertise of an expert problem solver or
decision maker and then simulates the “thinking” or
“actions” of that expert.
Expert systems are implemented with artificial intelligence
technology that captures, stores, and provides access to the
reasoning of the experts.
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5. Office automation systems
Office automation (OA) systems support the wide range
of business office activities that provide for improved
work flow and communications between workers,
regardless of whether or not those workers are located in
the same office.
Personal information systems are those designed to meet the
needs of a single user. They are designed to boost an
individual’s productivity.
Work group information systems are those designed to meet
the needs of a work group. They are designed to boost the
group’s productivity.
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Information systems applications
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Information systems architecture
Information systems architecture provides a unifying
framework into which various people with different
perspectives can organize and view the fundamental
building blocks of information systems.
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Perspectives or stakeholders
System owners pay for the system to be built and maintained.
System users use the system to perform or support the work to be
completed.
System designers design the system to meet the users’
requirements.
System builders construct, test, and deliver the system into
operation.
Systems analysts facilitate the development of information systems
and computer applications by bridging the communications gap that
exists between non-technical system owners and users and
technical system designers and builders.
IT vendors and consultants sell hardware, software, and services
to businesses for incorporation into their information systems.
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Focuses for information systems
Data—the raw material used to create useful information.
Processes—the activities (including management) that
carry out the mission of the business.
Interfaces—how the system interfaces with its users and
other information systems.
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Information system building blocks
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Data focus
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Data focus
System owners’ perspective
Business knowledge is the insight that is gained from timely,
accurate, and relevant information. (Recall that information is a
product of raw data.)
System users’ perspective
Data requirements are a representation of users’ data in terms of
entities, attributes, relationships, and rules. Data requirements
should be expressed in a format that is independent of the
technology that can or will be used to store the data.
System designers’ perspective
Database schema
System builders’ perspective
Database management system
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Process focus
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Process focus
System owners’ perspective
Business functions are ongoing activities that support the
business. Functions can be decomposed into other subfunctions
and eventually into processes that do specific tasks.
A cross-functional information system supports relevant
business processes from several business functions without
regard to traditional organizational boundaries such as divisions,
departments, centers, and offices.
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Process focus (Cont’d)
System users’ perspectives
Business processes are activities that respond to business
events. Business processes are the “work” performed by the
system.
Process requirements are a representation of the users’
business processes in terms of activities, data flows, or work flow.
A policy is a set of rules that govern a business process.
A procedure is a step-by-step set of instructions and logic for
accomplishing a business process.
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Process focus (Cont’d
System designers’ perspectives
An application schema is a model that communicates how
selected business processes are, or will be, implemented using
the software and hardware.
Software specifications represent the technical design of
business processes to be automated or supported by computer
programs to be written by system builders.
System builders’ perspectives
Application programs are language-based, machine-readable
representations of what a software process is supposed to do, or
how a software process is supposed to accomplish its task.
Prototyping is a technique for quickly building a functioning, but
incomplete model of the information system using rapid
application development tools.
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Interface focus
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Interface focus
System owners’ perspective
System users’ perspectives
Interface requirements are a representation of the users’ inputs
and outputs.
System designers’ perspective
User dialogues describe how the user moves from window-towindow, interacting with the application programs to perform
useful work.
System builders’ perspective
Middleware is a layer of utility software that sits in between
application software and systems software to transparently
integrate differing technologies so that they can interoperate.
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Information system building blocks
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The role of the network in IS
Data
Process
Interface
Building
Blocks
Building
Blocks
Building
Blocks
The network
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Communications focus in IS
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5 Ps of information systems development
Process - how we do it
Project - the structures we use to manage it
Product - the things we produce
People - lots of them in various roles
Problem - why we started in the first place
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Process
a set of activities inter linked and interdependent in time
choice as to what we accentuate, what we ignore
choice as to sequence and degree of linearity
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It is important to note....
Committing resources to activities; Committing to some change
Analysing organisational problems, work processes, user needs and
business opportunities
Designing the future activities of information use and restructuring
work processes (the future information system)
Designing and producing software
Acquiring and configuring hardware
Introducing the system to the organisation and to the people within it
Sustaining the new ways of working through time, and making
further adjustments
Managing and controlling all the above activities
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The life cycle
problem identification
feasibility study
project set up and planning
requirements specification
systems analysis
design
programming
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Project
To initiate the process
The unit the organisation recognises
Goals and resources
Framework for management
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Project activities
Organising
Coordinating
Controlling
An activity view (how)
A resource view (who and with what)
A product view (what)
An outcomes view (with consequences)
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Project manager
Achieve and sustain commitment
Plan activities and achieve a work breakdown
Estimate effort and cost
Allocate resources to tasks
Monitor milestones and deliverables
Manage risk, sustain quality, respond
Communicate and evaluate progress, problems and
results
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Product (deliverables)
Concrete products, things to be made and delivered
along the way
Things left behind when the project is over
Programs, a data base, a new order form
A training course
New jobs and new tasks
A viable and feasible information system
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Product in IS terms
hardware and software
documentation and training materials
data resources
formalised 'knowledge'
informational transformations and outputs
new jobs and new roles for people
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Qualities looked for in product
address the real problem
be cost effective
be user friendly…?
be reliable and secure
be sustainable
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Away from computing
cost
convenience
security
maintainability
politics
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People
Need people for an information systems
Information systems perspective only makes sense if
people are there
Various ways of naming them
Users or participants
Customers and clients
Actors and members
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What do people want?
Knowledge contract
Psychological contract
Efficiency contract
Task structure contract
Value contract
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Problem
Why did we start to talk about information systems?
To achieve something new, better, different, but what?
What is a problem?
‘A situation upon which someone may wish to act
Different problems, different people, different process
etc.…
For the same problem we can choose to address it in
different terms, different process, different project,
different people, different product
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