In this assignment I am going to describe the features and functions of an information system and demonstrate my knowledge in information systems and ability to use the skills necessary to produce management information (information to aid in decision making) I am required to know the features and functions of information systems and to be able to use IT tools to produce management information. In this assignment I am to use my own client.
I am required to write a report for my client that uses some theoretical knowledge and spreadsheets from my client. In the assignment I must describe the features and functions of information system and explain the one I am using in my spreadsheet and why am I using it. I am to produce information from my client’s system access and manipulate the data to present it in suitable formats to support organisational decision making.
Features and functions of information systems (IS)
There are various features of an information system and each of them has a specific function.
Data is the most essential element in an information system. Raw details and figures of the company is known as data which is processed to make information. All the data have to be stored in the information system and processed in an accurate way. Data without being processed is of no purpose and use. Once it is processed it is called information which can then be used for required purposes in the system for gaining commercial advantage. The data which is obtained has to be reliable as the whole system will get corrupted if it comes from an unknown and devious source. The data has to be up to date and timely as there are updates and modernisation which happens frequently. For instance, Data can be about various things such as figures of the age groups, addresses and gender of clients.
In an IS to obtain and capture data, it has to be collected from people. People can manipulate as well as help in making information for the system. For instance if data has to be collected about the number of cars people bought in a month it has to be collected from people. They are the main interpretation of information and chose what data to be entered into the system. For instance a person from the banking department can choose what all information to display in there IS. The same way there are different organisation which presents information depending on how it will benefit their company. A person can even be part of the information system if they are trained well to use the system accurately. People even play as the client and all data is collected from them for the flow of information. This data captured is then used for processing information which would help the organisation to know about the sales and finance of the company and analyse to improvise its systems.
In an information system hardware is the computers used to store and collect information. Hardware is another essential feature of an information system for its functioning. The hardware should have large storage space to store the vast amount of data input into the system. For small companies PC’S can be enough but for larger companies they have to collect information from other sources so need to have internet access. So servers are connected to the system so that it provides internet for sharing information online via email. For safety purposes so that only the employees of the organisation can have access to the information servers such as intranet can also be used. So the hardware which would be used should be compatible to connect to the internet and transformation of data into information. The hardware used should even be easily accessible and up to date for functioning without any disruption to the IS.
To build an information system a software have to be used. Along with the hardware the software is also essential as the main processing of data into information takes place in the software. Depending on the quires of the users the information has to be processed. The software used should have common features for building the system with causing minimum errors in the system. The software has to be compatible of processing vast amount of data. For instance any Microsoft program can be used to build a software, preferably Microsoft excel is used for financial stats and figures.
In information system telecommunications play a vital role for the transfer of data and information using internet/intranet. It acts as the distribution of data from people to different organisations for the required queries. Mostly organisations prefer using intranet for more safety so that only the employees of the company can have access of the information being processed. As the information is on the internet it has to be shared on a reliable source.
Apart from all the features of an information system it even has large amounts of functions. One function of the information system is the input. It is divided into two sub-parts. The function of the first part is that the input of detailed data is stored, processed and creates the base from the information system. The second sub- part of the input is that the user must also tell what kind of analyses they want from the IS. The input allows users to specify what they want from the output and analyse what must be done to make any changes. Sometimes this second sub function is hidden from the users and not always available.
The second function is known as Storage handles all the data that is inputted into the information system. Everything stored is always in the highest detailed level so that it is accurate and easily accessible. There should be regular backups done so that in case of any error/virus, all the data stored is not lost. They should always be stored in different locations to avoid getting damaged by natural calamities. This storage has an impact on the original data storage as well as the backup data storage.
The third function is processing which converts data into information. A simple process would be adding up all the products sold by a company by a variable such as the location, time and date of the store.
In this part of the assignment I created quotes for a car insurance company called P.B Services Ltd. I created them by entering random people’s names, addresses, gender, cars bought, and ages, what kind of insurance they bought, if there is another driver who would use the vehicle and if they would receive any no claims discount or not. After I entered data I filed a quote for each person. Then the software which I used created quotes for their overall car insurance. I did the same for around fifteen people. The prices differed for each person because the data entered was different.
This information which I selected and created can be used for gaining commercial advantage as well as decision making. If this information collected is analysed the company would know how much insurance is paid by each person and how they could improve their service by adding any extra service and increasing the cost. This information would even be helpful to know the statistics and figures of the company.