Chapter 1
Introduction to
Information Systems
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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
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Data ‘Discussion’ (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
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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  Information
Data
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Transformation
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Information
Characteristics of
Valuable Information
 Characteristics
 Accurate, complete, economical, flexible,
reliable, relevant, simple, timely, verifiable,
accessible, secure
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Information and Organizations
System
 System
 A set of elements or components that interact
to accomplish goals
 A combination of components working
together
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System ‘Discussion’
(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.
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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
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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)
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Figure 1.5a
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Figure 1.5b
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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
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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
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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?
 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
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Input ‘Discussion’
(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
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Output ‘Discussion’
(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.
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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
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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”)
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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
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Technology Infrastructure
 Another term for CBIS
 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 ‘Discussion’
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.
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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 ‘Discussion’ (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.
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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 ‘Discussion’ (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.
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Database ‘Discussion’ (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.
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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 ‘Discussion’ (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 ‘Discussion’ (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.
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Network ‘Discussion’ (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
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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
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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
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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
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Order
management
information
system
MIS ‘Discussion’
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).
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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)
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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


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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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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