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Compsci Midterm Textbook Notes.docx

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Western University
Computer Science
Computer Science 1032A/B

Compsci Midterm Text Book Notes Chapter 1 Information Systems System • Components interacting to achieve some purpose Information System • Components that interact to produce information 5 Components of an information system (simplest to complex) • Hardware • Software • Data • Procedures • People Management Information Systems • Development & use of IS that help businesses • Achieve their goals & objectives • Key elements: o Development & Use o Information Systems o Business Goals & Objectives Achieving Business Goals • People perform the activities of a business • They design, produce, market, account • MIS empowers users to reach • Exists to assist in meeting the objectives of the business • Developed for the “right” reasons Information Technology VS Information Systems • Information System (IS): system of hardware, software, data, procedures, and people that produce information • Information Technology (IT): raw technology • Hardware/Software • Data components • IT: Methods, Inventions, Standards, Products IT vs IS • IT alone will not help an organization achieve goals • IS includes people in the equation • This impacts how a system is designed & implemented • IT must be embedded into an IS to help accomplish objectives • Technology must be combined with people and procedure components • IS will make IT useful • Successful businesses take advantages of these differences to improve their systems What is the Importance of IS to Our Economy? • The Information and Communications Technology • (ICT) sector includes companies involved in: o Software and computer services o Cable and other program distributors o Telecommunications services o ICT manufacturing o ICT wholesaling What is the Importance of Information Systems? • As can be seen in the information presented • Delivery of services is a growing area of employment • Employment in this sector can be financially rewarding • With a career choice as a business professional, one cannot ignore the importance of understanding and working with information systems Information Systems • Everyone uses numerous information systems • Basic business uses • E-mail • Accessing Web pages • Using Word Processors & Spreadsheet software • Creating presentations with PowerPoint • Instant messages o >>> Not Enough to give anyone that competitive advantage in the workplace. CompetitiveAdvantage • Think creatively about problems, challenges & opportunities • Create innovative applications using emerging technologies • There is a need to expand and include: o Mobile devices o Project Management software o Business Graphics o Collaborative systems Gaining a CompetitiveAdvantage • Think about IT and IS when you consider the problems and opportunities that confront your department or organization • To remain productive, there is need for innovation • You need not be a developer of technology • Think creatively about problems, challenges, and opportunities in your business/organization • Apply new technology and a knowledge of IS to your business needs CompetitiveAdvantage • - example • Innovated use of the Internet • One of the first to sell goods over the Internet • Began as an online bookstore, now sells much more Moore’s Law • Published in 1965 by Gordon E. Moore (Intel) • “The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year … • Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase … • Predicts “The number of transistors per square inch on an integrated chip doubles every two years.” • Important trend in the history of hardware • Stood the test of time • Trend has continued for > 40 years • Expected to continue for at least another decade • Predicting the future: o Difficult due to innovation o Apple iPod o Sophisticated phones Business of IT and IS • How will IT and IS affect the way we live and work? • Hal Varian (Google economist) suggests: o Business changes because of advances in IS and IT o Mobility devices will change what it means to go to work o Industries continue to make significant changes due to the shifts in technology ICTS Jobs 2.0 report • David Ticoll suggested that within the next decade: o Unlimited storage will be almost free o Analytical software will reveal hidden treasures o Collision of the real and virtual world, as wide-area networks become cheap, reliable, and widely available o These technology trends will enable deep, powerful, performance- enhancing innovations that will be felt in almost every industry Google Knows Best • Millions of people worldwide use Gmail • Google’s free web-based mail service • Gmail launched four years ago supported entirely by advertising • considered a success by almost any standard • When email is sent or received, a fresh/relevant column of ads appear on the right-hand side of the screen • The Future of It • Canadian economy is undergoing fundamental changes – past and future shifts • Need to innovate and to adapt to the changing world • Our Focus • Learning to use the tools • Understanding both business and technology • Relating business to technology • Using technology to gain a competitive advantage • Your Challenge • How to best use the material presented. • Decide what you need to know about this subject. Collaboration • Collaboration • Two or more people • Working together • Toward common goal, result, or product • Requires: o Communicating o Sharing Information / Knowledge / Time o Combining Skills • Communication - two key elements: o Communication skills and group member abilities • Availability of effective communication systems • Content management • Changes: Who, What, When, Why • Privileges to create, edit, delete, and read-only • Workflow control • Specifies order of tasks, processes for handling rejected changes and dealing with exceptions • Often not needed for one-time, short-term project Feedback and Interaction Step 1 – One person produces something Step 2 – Others review and comment Step 3 – If changes needed, make changes Step 4 – If changes made, go to Step 2; otherwise Stop Effective Team o Ateam: 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: 1. Accomplish goals and objectives that satisfy sponsors and clients 2. Working together is easier and more effective 3. Members learn and feel fulfilled Team member behavior influenced by: • Natural skills and abilities • Childhood formative environment • Past team experiences • Attitude (and skill) of team leader • Nature of the work • Member’s interests and abilities IS Support for Communication • E-mail • Electronic mail • Internet based on SMTP Examples • MS Outlook, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, … • Instant • Real time communication • Text messages over the internet (cell phones) • Conference calls • Blogs • Wikis Collaboration Systems to Manage Content Three categories of content management and IT for sharing content: • No control • Version tracking • Version management Version Control: Shared Content Each team member is given an account with a set of permissions • “Libraries” permissions 1. Read only 2. Read and edit 3. Read, edit, delete 4. No permission to see • Checking out documents prevents others from editing that document until it is checked back in Information Systems for Content Management • Configuration management systems • Process to control & tracks changes • Version management software, controls electronic versions of documents, designs, software and plans • Examples: o CVS, o Subversion, Information Systems for Workflow Control • Workflow control systems • Monitor team’s processes • Ensures actions taken in proper order • Knowledge management systems • Resource sharing system • Store and facilitate sharing knowledge Information Systems for Project Management • Team portals • Share plans, calendars & schedules • Project management systems • Schedules tasks & resources • Databases • Track important issues and results Relationship between Customers and Business • Social media connect people, and when people get connected they talk, share, and let friends know what they think about the world • When instant messaging (IM), web logs (blogs), wikis, video logs, podcasts, and social networking (SN) sites first became popular, many business organizations • Responded by simply passing them by • Social media is changing the way small business connects with its customers and that is a message that businesses everywhere are listening to CHAPTER 2 Business Processes • Part of our lives every day lives Consider: • Your morning coffee at Tim Hortons • Coffee, milk, sugar, etc • How did all of this get here? • Interaction of business processes • Manufacturing, Marketing, Selling, Purchasing, • Delivering, Ordering, Receiving, Storing, etc … • Business processes must work together • Ensuring that each process is profitable Business Processes/Systems • Network of: - Activities - Resources - Facilities - Information • Interacting to achieve a business function Examples: • Inventory management • Manufacturing • Sales & support Inventory management process balances: • Demands from customers • Inventory from the suppliers System Tracks: • Customers orders • Current inventory • Reorder point Ordering Inventory: - Create order - Order sent to supplier - Ship goods & bill for goods Example: • Shows elements of the business process • Shows interaction of the elements • Different representations can be used Business Process Component: Activities • Transform o Resources & information of one type into another • Follow rules & procedures • Manual and/or automated • Example: o Payment (activity) transforms o Quantity Received (information) and o Shipping Invoice (information) into o Payment To Supplier (resource) Business Process Component: Resources • Items of value • External to organization • Examples: o Customers o Suppliers o Goods Business Process Component: Facilities • Structures used within business process • Examples: o Inventories o Databases o Factories o Equipment Business Process Component: Information • Used by activities • Determines transformation • Example: o Payment(activity) transforms o QuantityReceived(information) and o ShippingInvoice(information) into o PaymentToSupplier(resource) Question • Data differs from information in which way? A. Data is output and information is input B. Information is output and data is input C. Data is meaningful bits of information D. There is no difference DATAvs INFORMATION Important to understand the difference Example: • Data – hourly wage • Information – average wage Data • Facts or Figures o Collected o Recorded o Stored o Processed • Not meaningful on its own Information • Knowledge derived from data • Data presented in meaningful context • Data organized & processed to provide meaning • Data processed by summing, ordering, averaging, grouping, comparing • Adifference that makes a difference Good Information • Cost to produce information • Cost vs Value • Value of the information • The right amount • Not too much, not too little • Reduces uncertainty • Improves decision making • Provided in time for its use • Correct & complete • Crucial for management • Check to ensure accuracy The Role of Information in Business Processes • Business processes generate information: o Bringing together items of data in a context o @ Higher level  Useful for management & strategy decisions • Example: o Payment transforms Quantity Received & Shipping Invoice into Payment To Supplier Business Process Management (BPM) • Afield of management that promotes the development of effective and efficient processes through continuous improvement and innovation. • Methods of BPM o Total Quality Management (TQM) o Six Sigma o Lean Production • Information about the process helps to better manage the process itself Information Systems Support for Business Processes • IS used by activities o Several activities may use one system o Activity may have own system o Activity may use several systems • Relationship of activities to IS determined by Systems Designers during systems development Automating a ProcessActivity • Transfer of work done by people to computers: - People follow procedures - Computers follow software instructions Information Systems & Decision Making • Data important part of any IS • Data transformed into information • Information o Important starting point for decision making • IS support decision o Providing the information (the raw material) to make decisions • Decision making o Varied o Complex o -> Investigate characteristics & dimensions Decision Level: Operational • Day-to-day activities • Examples: o How much coffee to purchase? o Which invoices should be paid today? • IS: Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) o Collect, store, modify & retrieve transactions o Transactions  Events that generate or modify data • Examples o Electronic payments, airline reservations Decision Level: Managerial • Allocation and utilization of resources • Examples: o How to budget for computer hardware? o How many individuals to assign to a project? • IS: Management Information Systems (MIS) o Narrower definition o Support of management decision making Decision Level: Strategic • Broader-scope, organizational issues • Examples: o Should a new product line be started? o Should a new warehouse be built? • IS: Executive Information Systems (EIS) • MIS for senior executives o Easy access to information o Supports decision making process o Provides access to internal & external information Decision Process Structured Decisions • Understood and accepted decisions o Applying knowledge to make an informed decision o Examples:  Formula for computing reorder quantity  Standard method for allocating furniture Unstructured Decision • No agreed-on decision-making method • Not standardized • Examples: o Predicting future direction of economy o Assessing employee‘s performance Structured vs Unstructured • Terms refer to decision making process • Not to the subject • Example: o Forecasting weather : structured decision o Weather: unstructured subject Decision Steps • Intelligence Gathering o What is to be decided? o What are the criteria? o What data is available? • Alternatives Formulation o What are the alternatives? • Choice o Analyze alternatives o Select alternative • Implementation o Implement the alternative • Review o Evaluate decision o Repeat process to correct and adapt Our Role • We are part of system o People • Most important component of IS o Must be able to use information system o Quality of your thinking Importance? • Consumer of IT and IS • Identify o Business Process (automated, augmented) o Level of decision (operational, managerial, strategic) o Type of decision (unstructured, structured) o IS – TPS, MIS, EIS o IS – applications CHAPTER 3 Productivity & Technology Stephen Roach (Late 1980’s) • 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.” • Computers perform a variety of tasks • These tasks are not done in any particularly new or efficient manner but rather they are only done faster Productivity Paradox • Productivity growth has slowed while investments in information technology have grown dramatically o Some take this as proof that information technology doesn't affect productivity. • Consider IT’s impact o Increased productivity and its value to business o Application of information technology improves productivity Value of an IT investment • Productivity o Using IT allows companies to produce more/better/faster output from the same inputs • Structure of competition o Using IT can alter the way corporations compete • End customer o Ability to provide cheaper and better goods & services as a result of IT and increased competition IS Improvement to Productivity • Increasing efficiency o Business Process accomplished • Quicker/ With Fewer Resources and/or Facilities o “Doing Things Right” • Increased effectiveness o Company offers new or improved goods or services that is valued by the customer o “Doing the Right Things” • Company may choose to focus on one of: o Doing things right o Doing the right things • Companies with long-term success tend to focus on both effectiveness and efficiency. Business Processes and Value Chains • Value chain is a network of value-creating activities • Primary activities • Support activities • Contains at least one often many business processes • Each Business Process adds value • Chain of events • Value Chain Business Process – Value Chains • Value Chain: network of activities that improve effectiveness of a good or service, made up of one or many Business Processes • Example: Manufacturing natural rubber into tires, the rubber would have no value to you, but the tires do. Porter’s Value Chain Model Primary Activities • Five activities o Inbound logistics o Operations o Outbound logistics o Marketing and sales o Service • Each stage o Accumulate costs o Value added to product o Difference is the margin  Price charged – cost of production • In-Bound Logistics o Receiving, storing and disseminating inputs to the product • Operations o Transforming inputs into the final product • Out-Bound Logistics o Collecting, storing and physically distributing the product to the buyers • Marketing and sales o Inducing buyers to purchase product & providing a means for them to do so • Service o Assisting customer’s use of the product o Maintaining and enhancing the product’s value • Example: Car Manufacturer Support Activities • Four activities o Firm infrastructure o Human resources o Technological development o Procurement • Contribute indirectly o Production, sales & service • Add value & costs (indirectly) o Difficult to calculate margin • Firm infrastructure o General management, finance, legal o Allow organization to function • Human resources o Recruiting, hiring, compensation, training • Technological development o Research & development, new technologies o Activities to improve product or service • Procurement/Purchasing o Purchasing raw materials, negotiating prices, contract arrangements Linkages in the Value Chain • Interactions across value activities o Important sources of efficiencies o Readily supported by IS  New and improved Understanding the Value Chain • Help to understand how information systems increase productivity • Enable the development of more efficient or more effective supporting activities • Increase the margin enjoyed by company • Information systems increase productivity by offering new and improved services, primary activities • Example: o Start a business that recruits students for summer jobs (Primary Value ChainActivities) • Inbound logistics o Acquiring our raw materials (jobs) o Organizing job posting, making it easy to match o Student skills with job opportunities o Easy of use for employers to provide information o About job opportunities o Operations o Matching students and jobs ensuring successful placements • Outbound logistics o Notifying the student of a job match receiving stude
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