Computer Sciences 1032 Midterm Review Notes

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Computer Science
Computer Science 1032A/B
Diane Goldstein

Computer Sciences Midterm Review Notes Chapter 1 - A system is a group of components that interact to achieve some purpose o Thus, an information system is a group of components that interact to produce information - The Five components of an information system are: o Computer Hardware (mouse, keyboard, monitor) o Software (strictly computer programs) o Data (things entered in programs; words, sentences) o Procedures (methods used to start report, end it, open program) o People (you, people used to create and operate networks, etc) - Other information systems exist absent of a computer, however in computer sciences we’ll interchange the terms computer-based information system and information system - Management Information System is the development and use of information systems that help businesses achieve their goals and objectives - 3 Key Elements of MIS: o Development and Use of Information Systems o Information Systems o Achieving Business Goals and Objectives  Businesses themselves don’t do anything: people who sell, buy, design, produce, finance, market, account and manage. Info systems exist to help people who work achieve their goals - IT vs. IS o Information Technology refers to methods, inventions, standards, and products. IT refers to raw technology and it concerns only the hardware, software and data components of an IS. o In contrast, an information system includes the 5 elements listed above - IS are an increasingly important part of the Canadian economy, closest related industry to the development and use of information systems is: Information and Communications Technology Sector (ICT) - To gain a competitive business advantage from IS and IT you need to apply new technology to your business needs and consider IT and IS when confronted with problems or opportunities in your department of organization - Moore’s Law: The number of transistors per square inch on an integrated chip doubles every 18 months - As a result of Moore’s Law the price/performance ratio of computers has fallen dramatically. 1963 – Multimillion-dollar room filling machine, 2009 $300 desktop. o Principal reason why data storage and data transmission are essentially free today Chapter 2 - A Business Process is a network of activities, resources, facilities, and information that interact to achieve some business function. A business process is a system, and sometimes business processes are also referred to as business systems. - Examples of business processes are: inventory management processes, manufacturing processes and sales and support processes. - Refer to diagram 2-1 in Exp. MIS textbook for Business Process Diagram - Components of a Business Process: o Activities  Transform resources and information of one type into ones of another type. Ex: payment activities transform Quantity Received and Shipping Invoice information into a Supplier Payment (resource) o Resource  Items of value, ex: a case of mile, a cheque, the customer’s cash o Facility  Are structures used within the business process: typical facilities are inventories and databases. Other examples are factories or pieces of equipment o Information  Knowledge derived from data  Data presented in meaningful context  Data organized & processed to provide meaning  Data processed by summing, ordering, averaging, grouping, comparing  A difference that makes a difference - Good Information is: o Accurate (based on correct and complete data, and its been processed correctly o Timely (produced in time for its intended use) o Relevant (relevant to both context and subject considered) o Just Sufficient (just barely enough, so much info today that we need to ignore some) o Worth its cost (must be an appropriate relationship between the cost of information and its value) - Business process generates information by bringing together important items of data in a context. At a higher level, overtime, the business process will generate info that will be useful for management and strategy decisions - An automated system replaces people in a business process with computers that perform activities and procedures through the use of software. - IS support decision making by providing the information- the raw material for many decisions - Operational Decisions concern day to day activities o Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) are ISs that support operational decision making - Managerial decisions concern the allocation and utilization of resources o MIS are ISs that support Managerial Decision making - Strategic decisions concern broader-scope organizational issues (ex. Should we start new product line? Should we acquire a company? o Executive Information Systems (EIS) support Strategic decision making - Unstructured decision-making: process for which there is no agreed on decision-making method. o Ex: Predicting the future direction of economy or choosing an employee for a job. Different people use different methods. - Structured decision-making: process for which there is an understood and accepted method for making the decision o Ex: formula for computing the reorder quantity of an item in inventory Chapter 3 - Robert Solow: “We see computers everywhere except in productivity statistics” - Productivity Paradox - Productivity Paradox: Productivity growth has slowed while investments in information technology have grown dramatically o Some take this as proof that technology doesn’t affect productivity - Info Techs impact on business: 3 different ways: o Productivity: Investment in IT and IS can make company more effective: produce more output with same input o Structure of Competition: IT alters way companies compete, ex: accounting firms battling for better softer for better efficiency o By the End Customer: See cheaper better goods due to advancements in IT that improve productivity, stiffen competition and thus decrease prices - Productivity for organizations can be increased either through increased efficiency or effectiveness - Increasing efficiency = Quicker production w/ fewer resource or facilities o Doing things right - Increasing effectiveness = Company offers new or improved goods valued by customers o Doing the right thing - A Value chain is a network of activities that improve the effectiveness (or value) of a good or service o Ex: blob of rubber has no value, when shipped to a factory has a little more value, turned into a tire, more value, shipped to a store near customer, more value, mechanic installs tire, more value  Each business process added =more value, called a value chain - Margin: the difference between price customer is willing to pay, and cost the company incurs in moving goods or services trough the value chain o Greater margin = greater profit (per unit) for company - Two types of activities support value chain: o Primary Activities: are activities where value is added directly to the product o Support activities support primary activities - Primary Activities Task Description: o In-Bound Logistics: receiving, storing, and disseminating inputs to the product o Operations: Transforming inputs into the final product o Out-Bound Logistics: Collecting, storing, and physically distributing the product to buyers o Marketing and sales: Inducing buyers to purchase the product and providing a means for them to do so o Service: Assisting customer’s use of the product and thus maintaining and enhancing the product’s value - Support Activities Include: o Firm Infrastructure o Human Resources o Technology Development o Procurement - Primary Activities: accumulate costs, add value to product and net result is total margin of chain - Secondary Activities: contribute indirectly to production, sales and services and add value and costs (can’t calculate directly though) - An organization responds to the structure of its industry by choosing a competitive strategy. Porter’s model of Industry Stru
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