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Computer Science 1032A/B Midterm Notes.docx

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Western University
Computer Science
Computer Science 1032A/B

Computer Science Midterm Chapters 1-4, 6, HTML, EXCEL, XML, WORD Chapter 1 – Information Systems System – components working together to achieve some purpose Information Systems (IS) – a group of components that interact to produce information  They must be constructed  You need to take an active role in system’s development  Understand how the system evolved  Consider user’s needs during development  Learn how to use the system  You are responsible for protecting the security, backup and recovery of the system and its data Five-component Framework are present in every information system  Computer hardware (Storage disk, mouse, keyboard, monitor)  Software (Microsoft Word, Computer games) TODAY REFERRED TO APPLICATIONS  Data (Things entered in programs; words, sentences)  Procedures (Methods used to start report, end it, open program)  People (You, people used to create and operate networks, etc) THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF IS Other information systems exist absent of a computer, however in computer sciences, we’ll interchange the terms computer-based information system and information system Information Technology (IT) – refers to raw technology and concerns only the hardware, software and data components of an IS  IT alone will not help an organization achieve goals o IS includes people o The impacts how a system is designed and implemented  IT must be embedded into and IS to help accomplish objectives o Technology must be combined with people and procedure components o IS will make IT useful  Successful business people understand this crucial difference between IT and IS Management Information Systems (MIS) – development and use of information systems to help businesses achieve their goals and objectives  3 Key Elements of MIS: o Development and Use of Information Systems  People must taken an active role in developing the system  Understanding how system evolved creates knowledge of how to use it  Ensure the system fits personal needs o Information Systems o Achieving Business Goals and Objectives  People perform business activities  Helps people reach goals of business  Business themselves do not “do” anything. A business is not alive, and it cannot act. o It is the people within the business who design, produce, market, account o Info systems exist to help people who work achieve their goal  Industry Canada categorizes industry sectors and collects information o The industry sector most closely related to the use of information systems in Canada is the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector  The ICT includes companies involved in: o Software and computer services o Cable and other program distributors o Telecommunications services o ICT manufacturing and wholesaling  Information systems are an increasingly important part of our economy Business skills are at the core of competitive advantage:  Business professionals use IS (PowerPoint, cell phone)  Create innovative applications using emerging technologies  By adding a little bit of technical knowledge to your skills portfolio, you increase your ability to work across a wide spectrum of industries  Business professionals need to consider IT and IS when they think about the problems and opportunities that confront a department of organization There is a need to expand and include:  Mobile devices, project management software, business graphics To remain productive, there is need for innovation  Apply new technology and a knowledge of IS to your business needs More people work in this sector than in agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining combined Three occupations that the ICTC believes will have above-average growth rate  Manager, computer and information systems  Information systems analysts and consultants  User-support technicians Moore’s Law – The number of transistors per square inch on an integrated chip doubles every 18 months – speed of computer chip doubles every 18 months  1965  Important trend in the history of hardware b/c the trend has continued for more than 40 years and it’s expected to continue for another decade  It has been amazingly accurate  One of the few predictions in the area of IT that has stood the test of time  Predicting the future is difficult due to innovation (Apple IPod) David Ticoll suggest that within the next decade:  Unlimited storage will almost be free  Analytical software will reveal hidden treasure  Collision of the real and virtual world, as wide-area networks become cheap, reliable and widely available  These technology trends will enable deep, powerful, performance-enhancing innovations that will be felt in almost every industry Hal Varian (Google economist) suggest that business is changing because of advances in IS and IT and that business people need a better understanding of how IT can be used to support innovation  Suggest that mobility devices will change what it means to go to work The Canadian economy is underdoing some fundamental changes. Industries continue to make significant changes due to shifts in technology.  A team: o Small number of people o Complementary skills o Committed to a common purpose, goals, and approach o Hold themselves mutually accountable R. Hackman’s (Harvard Professor) three characteristics of team effectiveness:  Accomplish goals and objectives that satisfy sponsors and clients  Over time, working together is easier and more effective  Members learn and feel fulfilled How do IS and IT differ?  IT must be combined with the people and procedures of IS to successfully help a business achieve its goals Development and Use of MIS  People must take active role in developing system o Ensures that system fits personal needs  Understanding how system evolved creates knowledge of how to use system Achieving Business Goals through MIS  People perform business activities (businesses are not alive)  MIS helps people reach goals of the business Collaboration - Two or more people working together towards a common goal  Teams use IS for collaboration  Dimensions of collaboration o People and skills o Project nature IS Use in Communication  Meeting o Conference calls, video conferencing, web casts  Verbal o Phone, pod casts  Written o Email, instant messaging, blogs, software, business websites Using IS to Share Resources  Configuration management – process to control and track changes  Workflow control – systems to monitor teams’ processes  Knowledge management – stores and facilitates sharing knowledge Chapter 2 – Business Processes Business Process – a network of activities, resources, facilities, and information that interact to achieve some business function  Example: inventory-management processes, manufacturing processes  In information systems, these modeling and design activities are called systems analysis and design Components:  Activities – transform resources and info of one type into resources and info of another type o Can be manual, automated or a combination o Example://payment (activity) transforms, Quantity Received (information) and Shipping Invoice (information) into Payment To Supplier (resource)  Resources – items of value o External items like workers, customers and suppliers  Facilities – structures used within the business process o Inventories and databases, factories, trucks  Information – used by activities o Knowledge derived from data, it is data presented in a meaningful context, data is organized and processed to provide meaning, and it is processed by summing, ordering, averaging, grouping, comparing. A DIFFERENCE THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. o Data – recorded facts or figures  Not meaningful on its own (collected, stored)  Example: //hourly wage data, average wage information o Determines transformation o Examples://Inventory management, manufacturing, sales and support Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) – A standard set of terms and graphical notations for documenting business processes created by Object Management Group (OMG)  Provides four graphical elements that can be used to document a process Characteristics of Good Information  Accurate Information – based on correct and complete data, and has been processed correctly as expected o The IS function can develop a bad reputation in the organization if a system is known to produce inaccurate information. Accuracy is crucial.  Timely Information – produced in time for its intended use o Timeliness can be measured against a calendar or against events  Relevant Information – relevant to both context and subject o Summarized to an appropriate level for your job  Just Barely Sufficient Information – sufficient for the purpose for which it is generated, but just barely so  Worth Its Cost Information – appropriate relations between the cost of the info and its value The role of information in business processes:  A business process generates information by bringing together important items of data in a context o Useful for management and strategy decision o Example://payment transforms quantity received and shipping invoice into payment to supplier Business Process Management (BPM) is a filed of management that promotes the development of effective and efficient processes through continuous improvement and innovation  Developed by integrating information technology into the business process Methods that organizations have developed to support their improvements include:  Total Quality Management (TQM)  Six Stigma  Lean Production  Information about the process provides the ability to better manage the process itself Automation – moving work from people to computers George Box noted that a byproduct of every business process is information about how the process can be improved Information Systems Supporting Business Systems  When an activity in a business process is handled by an automated system, it means that work formerly done by people following procedures has been moved to that computers now do that work by following instructions in software  Several activities may use one system  Activity may have own system  Activity may use several systems  Automated System – an IS where the hardware and software components do most of the work o Counter Sales – cash registers  Manual System – an IS where processing is done by people o Payment – humans deal with transactions o Purchasing – mix between automated and manual  Information is an important starting point for decision-making Information Systems Supporting Decision Making  Operational Decisions (STRUCTURED) – concerns the day-to-day activities o Transaction Processing System (TPS) – IS that support operational decisions o In the short term o Collect, store, modify and retrieve transactions (events that generate or modify data) o Example:// electronic payments, airline reservations  Managerial Decisions (STRUCTURED AND UNSTRUCTURED) – concerns the allocation and utilization of resources o Management Information System (MIS) – IS that support managerial decisions o Involve larger time frames o Narrower definition o Support of management decision making  Strategic Decisions (UNSTRUCTURED) – concern broader scope, organizational issues o Executive Information System (EIS) – IS that support strategic decisions o Involve long term, their consequences are not realized for years o MIS for senior information  Easy access to information  Supports decision making process  Provides access to internal and external information Structure of Decisions  Structured Decision – understood and accepted method for making the decision o A formula for computing the reorder quantity of an item in inventory  Standard method for allocating furniture  Unstructured Decision – no agreed on decision-making method. Not standardized. o Predicting the future direction of the economy or the stock market, weather o Structured and unstructured refer to the decision process, not to the underlying subject  Forecasting weather: structured decision but weather is an unstructured subject Steps to Decision Making  Intelligence Gathering - determine what is to be decided, the criteria for the decision, and the available data  Alternatives Formulation – lay out various alternatives  Choice – alternatives are analyzed and one is selected  Implementation – decision is implemented  Review – results of decisions are reviewed Most important component of IS  Must be able to use information system  Quality of your thinking Extension 2a – Introduction to Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet = workbook = worksheets Ribbon: Wide bar of tools Relative Cell Addressing: Keeps the relative position of the formula and the cells it references intact  Never use a number in a formula unless that number will never change. Always use cell referencing Absolute cell addressing: If you want to tie a particular cell to many formulas. Add $ sign in front of letter and number, ex: $E$4. Or Press F4 key Range name: Alternate to above definition. Range name is a cell that you can attend a text based name to. Don’t include spaces. Chapter 3 – Organizational Strategy and Competitive Advantage Stephen Roach (late 1980’s) – reported that he found no evidence of an increase in worker productivity associated with the massive increase in investment in information technology Robert Solow (Nobel prize-winning economist) – “We see computers everywhere except in the productivity statistics” Business Value is tangible benefits for organizations through either more efficient use of resources or more effective delivery of their services to customers Measurement error may be a critical reason for the observed lack of productivity from IT investments Productivity Paradox – (Stephen Roach) increase in technology does not increase productivity  Three ways that value of IT can be realized through o Productivity – companies produce more/better/faster output from the same inputs o The structure of competition – alter the way corporations compete o The end consumer – cheaper and better goods to the end consumer o Still valid today IT’s impact  Productivity, adds value to business  Application of information technology improves productivity Improving Productivity  Increasing efficiency – business processes can be accomplished more quickly or with fewer resources and facilities o “Doing things right”  Increasing effectiveness – company offers new or improved products that the customer values o “Doing the right things”  Companies with long-term success focus on both efficiency and effectiveness  Sometimes, “doing the right things” and “doing things right” can conflict Business Processes and Value Chains  Value Chain – a network of activities that improve effectiveness (or value) of a good or service o Each business process adds more value to the finished product o Primary activities  value is added directly to the product o Support activities  support the primary activities, adds value indirectly  Example:// a coffee store that begins to grow its own coffee would be undertaking backward integration or to be moving upstream on the value chain  Example:// a mining company that begins to cut and finish its won diamonds rather than wholesale raw stones would be undertaking forward integration or moving downstream on the value chain. (Moving closer to the end consumer)  Margin – the difference between value and cost o Greater margin = greater profit o Primary activities would not be available with IT  Primary Activities – activities in value chain that add value directly to the product o In-bound logistics – receiving storing and disseminating inputs o Operations – transforming inputs to final product o Out-bound logistics – collecting, storing and distributing o Marketing and sales – inducing buyers to purchase product o Service – assisting customers and maintaining product value Each stage  Accumulate costs  Value added to the product  Difference in the margin (price charged – cost of production) Support Activities – activities that contribute indirectly to value and support primary activities (Coordinating shipping, buying machines, add value only indirectly) o Firm infrastructure – general management, finance, legal o Human resources – recruiting, hiring, compensation, training o Technological development – R&D, new tech to improve product o Procurement – purchasing raw materials, negotiating prices, contracts Linkages in the Value Chain  Interactions across value activities  Important sources of efficiencies  Readily supported by IS Understanding the Value Chain  IS increases productivity by offering new and improved services, primary activities  Enable the development of more efficient or more effective supporting activities  Increase the margin enjoyed by company Organizational Strategy and Industry Structure  Determines organizations goals and objectives  Developed from organizational structure  Created the value chain for organization  Established the structure, features, and functions of IS  An organization’s strategy reflects its goals and objectives o Directly influenced by the competitive structure of the industry Five Forces Model – Michael Porter – five competitive forces determine industry characteristics and profitability o Bargaining power of customers o Threat of substitutions o Bargaining power of suppliers o Threat of new entrants o Rivalry among existing firms Intensity on each of these:  Determine characteristics of the industry  Profitability  Sustainability of the profits Competitive Strategies  The strategy an organization chooses as the way it will succeed in its industry  Organization can focus on o Cost Leadership or Differentiation o Industry-wide or Focus on particular industry segment  All IS in the organization must facilitate the competitive strategy Cost Leadership  Across industry  Focused on particular industry segment Strategy: Cost leader  Develop business activities as economical as possible Differentiation  Across industry  Focused on particular industry segment Strategy: differentiation  Provide a net benefit or margin  Adding benefits not available from competitors at a premium price Goals, objectives, culture, and activities must be consistent with organizational strategy  IS must facilitate the organization’s competitive strategy  Once strategy formulated o Organize and structure information and implement strategy When a company gains competitive advantage using a disruptive technology, there is potential to alter the structure of an industry  The competitive advantage is so large that it leads to a new industry The diffusion of innovation was defined by Everett Rogers as “the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system.” Occurs in five stages:  Knowledge  Persuasion  Decision  Implementation  Confirmation  Example://microcomputerMicrosoft  Example://Wireless TechnologyRIM IS Changing Industry Structure  Changes to structure occur through innovation  Sustaining Technologies – changes in technology that maintain the rate of improvement in customer value o Example://vulcanization of rubber better tires  Disruptive Technologies – products that introduce a very new package of attributes to the accepted mainstream products o Example://MP3 format disruptive to music industry Competitive Advantage  Gain competitive advantage through product implementations o Creating new products or services o Enhancing existing products or services o Differentiating products or services from competitors  Gain competitive advantage through system implementations o Lock in customers  High switching costs make it difficult for customers to switch to another products o Lock in suppliers  Easy to connect and work with o Creating entry barriers  Expensive for new competition to enter market o Establish alliances  Establish standards and promote product awareness o Reducing costs  Increased profitability Sustaining Competitive Advantage  Almost impossible to keep competitors from developing competing technology  The more common IT becomes, the less competitive advantage IT provides  Sustained competitive advantage requires companies to find a distinctive way to compete Switching Costs organizations can lock in customers by making it difficult or expensive to switch to another product  Competitors often react to innovations by replicating the technology (hardware and software)  The more common place the information technology becomes, the less competitive advantage information technology provides  If this is true about technology, it isn’t true about information systems since it includes procedures and people along with information technology  Talking about IT, what Carr said is true. Talking about IS, it is less convincing  In business, people make the difference! Long-term competitive advantage  Companies must successfully integrate many technology systems with people and procedures in the organization  While competitors might be able to purchase the technology, it takes time for people to gain the necessary experience and skill  Matching the entire set of information systems is a high barrier for companies with less experience and success in integration people and technology Chapter 4 – Hardware and Software Y2K (year 2009) problem  Result of expensive computer memory in the early days of computing  Two-digit to store year values  Knowing something about where technology has been, can help us understand where technology is headed 1940s  First digital computing devices 1950s  First commercial computers 1980s  First personal computers 1990s  Internet Presper Eckert and John Mauchly – First patent on a digital computer, the ENIAC Early Computers:  1939-1952  Presper Eckert  Complex and Expensive  Single user  One program at a time  Housed at universities Mainframes – the first digital computing machines used in business and government  First generation mainframes were based on vacuum tube technology (1952) o IBM 650 ($200,000 - $400,000) o Add or subtract 16,000 numbers/second  Second generation mainframes used transistors – smaller, easier to maintain, reliable (late 1950s)  Third generation mainframes included op
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