Innovative Approaches To Corporate Management
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TYPES OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
An information system is a collection of hardware, software, data, people and procedures that are designed to generate information that supports the day-to-day, short-range, and long-range activities of users in an organization. Information systems generally are classified into five categories: office information systems, transaction processing systems, management information systems, decision support systems, and expert systems. The following sections present each of these information systems.
1. Office Information Systems
An office information system, or OIS (pronounced oh-eye-ess), is an information system that uses hardware, software and networks to enhance work flow and facilitate communications among employees. Win an office information system, also described as office automation; employees perform tasks electronically using computers and other electronic devices, instead of manually. With an office information system, for example, a registration department might post the class schedule on the Internet and e-mail students when the schedule is updated. In a manual system, the registration department would photocopy the schedule and mail it to each students house.
An office information system supports a range of business office activities such as creating and distributing graphics and/or documents, sending messages, scheduling, and accounting. All levels of users from executive management to nonmanagement employees utilize and benefit from the features of an OIS.
The software an office information system uses to support these activities include word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation graphics, e-mail, Web browsers, Web page authoring, personal information management, and groupware. Office information systems use communications technology such as voice mail, facsimile (fax), videoconferencing, and electronic data interchange (EDI) for the electronic exchange of text, graphics, audio, and video. An office information system also uses a variety of hardware, including computers equipped with modems, video cameras, speakers, and microphones; scanners; and fax machines.
2. Transaction Processing Systems
A transaction processing system (TPS) is an information system that captures and processes data generated during an organizations day-to-day transactions. A transaction is a business activity such as a deposit, payment, order or reservation.
Clerical staff typically perform the activities associated with transaction processing, which include the following:
Recording a business activity such as a students registration, a customers order, an employees timecard or a clients payment.
Confirming an action or triggering a response, such as printing a students schedule, sending a thank-you note to a customer, generating an employees paycheck or issuing a receipt to a client.
Maintaining data, which involves adding new data, changing existing data, or removing unwanted data.
Transaction processing systems were among the first computerized systems developed to process business data Ð- a function originally called data processing. Usually, the TPS computerized an existing manual system to allow for faster processing, reduced clerical costs and improved customer service.
The first transaction processing systems usually used batch processing. With batch processing, transaction data is collected over a period of time and all transactions are processed later, as a group. As computers became more powerful, system developers built online transaction processing systems. With online transaction processing (OLTP) the computer processes transactions as they are entered. When you register for classes, your school probably uses OLTP. The registration administrative assistant enters your desired schedule and the computer immediately prints your statement of classes. The invoices, however, often are printed using batch processing, meaning all student invoices are printed and mailed at a later date.
Today, most transaction processing systems use online transaction processing. Some routine processing tasks such as calculating paychecks or printing invoices, however, are performed more effectively on a batch basis. For these activities, many organizations still use batch processing techniques.
3. Management Information Systems
While computers were ideal for routine transaction processing, managers soon realized that the computers capability of performing rapid calculations and data comparisons could produce meaningful information for management. Management information systems thus evolved out of transaction processing systems. A management information system, or MIS (pronounced em-eye-ess), is an information system that generates accurate, timely and organized information so managers and other users can make decisions, solve problems, supervise activities, and track progress. Because it generates reports on a regular basis, a management information system sometimes is called a management reporting system (MRS).
Management information systems often are integrated with transaction processing systems. To process a sales order, for example, the transaction processing system records the sale, updates the customers account balance, and makes a deduction from inventory. Using this information, the related management information system can produce reports that recap daily sales activities; list customers with past due account balances; graph slow or fast selling products; and highlight inventory items that need reordering. A management information system focuses on generating information that management and other users need to perform their jobs.
An MIS generates three basic types of information: detailed, summary and exception. Detailed information typically confirms transaction processing activities. A Detailed Order Report is an example of a detail report. Summary information consolidates data into a format that an individual can review quickly and easily. To help synopsize information, a summary report typically contains totals, tables, or graphs. An Inventory Summary Report is an example of a summary report.
Exception information filters data to report information that is outside of a normal condition. These conditions, called the exception criteria, define the range of what is considered normal activity or status. An example of an exception report is an Inventory