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Management Information Systems:

2008 Prentice Hall, Inc.



Understand the term information systems (IS) Understand IS components:

Technology, people, organizations

Understand IS career opportunities Understand types of information systems Understand IS and organizational success or failure Understand the future of IS management
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What is Management?
The act of managing something

Management is the organizational process that includes strategic planning, setting; objectives, managing resources, deploying the human and financial assets needed to achieve objectives, and measuring results.

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Data vs. Information

consists of raw or unstructured facts (text, pictures, sound) eg. Student number, date

Data that has been refined for a particular purpose: a collection of facts organised so that they have meaning and use to a particular recipient in a particular context. It has additional value beyond the value of the facts themselves.
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Information characteristics

Useful information is essential if an organization is to achieve its goals: complete reliable timely secure economical relevant verifiable

accurate flexible simple accessible

An information system is designed to produce such information

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A System
An assembly of components that interact in an organised way to accomplish goals

E.g. river systems, nervous system, public transport system, legal system, education system, water supply system, elevator system, information system.
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Information Systems Fundamentals

Organizations may be classified according to the systems they employ: Simple vs. complex Open vs. closed Stable vs. dynamic Permanent vs. temporary System performance can be measured along three dimensions: Efficiency Effectiveness Equity (fairness)

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Types of Information Systems

There is a range of information systems to serve the varied needs of users:

Transaction processing systems Electronic commerce Process control systems Management support systems: Management information systems, Decision support systems, Executive information systems Knowledge-based systems: Expert systems, Neural networks, Multimedia systems Office automation systems Geographical information systems
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How can Information Systems help ?

An Information System is a formal arrangement of people, data, processes

Integrated to

Manage complexity Support and improve business operations Support and improve the problem-solving and decision-making activities of managers.

It transforms Data into Information

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Benefits of Information Systems

A good information system ensures:

the right information to the right degree of accuracy when it is required in the right format/layout to the right people in the most efficient way possible

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The Complexity of Information Systems

Even small information systems can be very complex:

many components (lots of information) much interaction between components systems within systems (subsystems) the intangibility of information (hard to define) the subjective nature of information (interpretation) differing needs of different system users

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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments

The Problem Since 1907 United Parcel Service (UPS) has been in the package distribution business It is the worlds largest package distribution company, transporting over 3 billion parcels and documents each year in over 200 countries.
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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

UPS provides the means for customers to track their shipments to determine the status and whereabouts of a particular package In the past, this was done primarily over the telephone Customers would call UPS with the tracking number of their shipment

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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

An operator would look up the status of the shipment in the UPS database and relay the information to the customer Servicing these calls cost an estimated $2 per call

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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

The Solution UPS created a Web site ( that enabled customers to: track their shipments online determine the cost and transit time for delivery of a package schedule a package for pickup locate the nearest drop-off facility
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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

These online facilities are accessed from the UPS homepage The customer clicks the Tracking tab at the top of the homepage This takes the customer to an online form where the customer simply enters the tracking number and then hits the Track button The customer receives precise information about the location of the designated shipment 2008 Prentice Hall, Inc. 1-16

Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

The front end of the UPS Web site is simple, but the back-end processing used to handle a tracking request is more complicated Requests are handed off to one of a handful of Web servers This server passes the request to the appropriate application serve
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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

The application server passes the request to an IBM AS/400 computer attached to the UPS tracking database (the largest transaction database in the world20 terabytes of data The mainframe performs the database search for the status information Then it is passed back up the line through the various servers to the customers browser 2008 Prentice Hall, Inc. 1-18

Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

The Results The UPS site services over 4 million online tracking requests per day It keeps UPS competitive with other shipping companies that also offer online tracking services and customer information (FedEx)
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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

UPS now offers customers the option of tracking their packages through wireless devices (cell phones, PDAs, and Webenabled pagers Web pages have been modified to support the particular wireless device being used Specialized servers are used to deliver the pages over the wireless communication networks

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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

UPS ( offers a set of ecommerce solutions and a technology infrastructure that enables other companies to incorporate UPS online: order entry Shipping tracking capabilities Example:

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Tracking United Parcel Service Shipments (cont.)

The company also offers e-commerce tools and services for managing an enterprises overall supply chain

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Case: IS at Washington State University

Automating educational processes Online Administration Registration Financial aid Grades Online Course Management Syllabi Assignments Online class discussions
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Information Systems Defined

Combinations of hardware, software, and telecommunications networks that people build and use to collect, create, and distribute useful data in organizations

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Key Elements of Information Systems

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Knowledge as a Business Resource

Knowledge Worker A well-educated professional who creates, modifies, or synthesizes knowledge in ones profession Knowledge Society Also called digital society, new economy Working with brains instead of hands The importance of education Digital divide
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Careers in IS

Systems Analyst Systems Programmer Systems Consultant Database Administrator Webmaster IS Director Chief Information Officer Professor Government scientist
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International Outsourcing
Round-the-clock productivity Cost savings

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