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Comm 190 Week 1.docx

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Queen's University
COMM 190
Tracy Jenkin

Week 1: Class 1 Chapter 1 Q1 What is an info system? An IS is a group of components that interact to produce information. Five component framework of computer hardware, software, data, procedures, and people. Software= applications People are often the most critical part of an info system. Info systems are not just computers and data. Computer-based information system= information system. Chapter 1 Q2 What is MIS? Management information systems. It is the development and use of info systems that help businesses achieve their goals and objectives. Development and use of info systems In addition to helping choose and implement information systems, you will have important roles to paly in the use of information systems. You will be responsible for protecting the security of the system and its data. You may also have to back up the data to prevent from losing important info. When the system fails, you will tasks to perform while the system is down, as well as helping to recover the system quickly and correctly. Achieving business goals and objectives Info systems exist to help businesses achieve their and goals and objectives. Chapter 1 Q3 How does IS differ from IT? IT refers to methods, inventions, standards and products. It refers to raw technology, and it concerns only the hardware, software and data components of an info system and how these are networked together. An IS is a system of hardware, software, data, procedures and people that produces info. IS includes people in the equation. Chapter 1 Q4 How important are IS to our economy? Industry Canada: Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Sector.-->it provides products and services that other industries, such as retail, manufacturing, insurance, or banking, rely on to get their work done. It is a "hidden" industry with over 1.1 million Canadian workers. It provides many, many jobs. More people work in ICT than agriculture, mining, forestry, oil and gas, etc. There will likely be more jobs in the future in what are termed "service" industries. They supply services that improve business processes. These service companies help other companies, across almost every industry in Canada, more effectively use info system. Oracle and Seibel derive almost half of their revenues from services they provide and not from the software products they produce. Employees in the ICT sector are relatively well-paid. The delivery of services (where people serve other businesses) is a growing area of employment. It can be financially rewarding, with higher-than-average salaries, but it is also a very knowledge-intensive industry. Chapter 1 Q5 How do successful business professionals use IS? Need to know how to use management software (Microsoft Project, OpenProject,etc), business graphics (MS Visio, Smart Draw,etc) and collaborative systems such as Google Docs. You must understand the technologies and businesses enough so that you can identify opportunities for innovation through technology. Knowing more about technology will you a competitive edge. By adding a little bit of technical knowledge to you 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 or organization. Must develop business skills and then learn to think creatively about challenges and opportunities in your businesses and organization, and how you can apply new technology and knowledge of info systems to addressing these business needs. Week 1: Class 2 Chapter 2 Q1 How did this stuff get here? Hundreds-- if not thousands, of different processes successfully interacted just to bring together your muffin and coffee to you. They processes had to do more than just work. They had to work in such as way that all the companies and people covered their costs and earned a profit. All of this activity comes about through the interaction of business processes. Tim Horton's has a process for ordering, receiving, storing, and paying for ingredients like milk and coffee. The coffee roaster has a process for assessing demand, ordering its raw materials, and making deliveries. Organizations make use of these processes to deliver goods and services to customers. So business processes are central to what every organization does. Chapter 2 Q2 A business process is a network of activities, resources, facilities, and info that interact to achieve some business objective. It can also be called a business system. Eg. Inventory-management processes, manufacturing processes, sales processes, customer-support processes. Examples: inventory-management processes, manufacturing processes, sales processes, customer-support processes. The goal inventory is a business process. The goal is to ensure that there is enough inventory to fulfill customers' requests while at the same time making sure there is not too much inventory. The inventory management system supports the process by collecting info. An inventory database keeps track of what the customers have ordered and what is currently in inventory. As customers make purchases, stock moves out of inventory; when inventory reaches a critical point, called the Reorder Point. The system lets the manager know that it's time to order new supplies. Each good has its own Reorder Point. To order new inventory, the manager creates a Purchase Order. It lists the items ordered and quantity desired. This purchase order is sent to the supplier. The supplier receives the purchase order and then ships the appropriate goods along with the Shipping Invoice to the store. Newly received goods are placed in inventory and the database is updated with the quantity received. The supplier is then paid for the goods the supplier has shipped. Chapter 2 Q3 What are the components of a business process? Activities transform resources and info of one type into resources and info of another type. The payment activity transforms quantity received and shipping invoice info into a supplier payment (resource). An activity can consist or be made up or strictly manual activities, be automated, or be a combo of manual and automated activities. Resources are items of value. Both supplier and customer are considered resources, because they have value in this process. Facilities are structures used within the business process. Eg. Inventories and databases, factories, equipment, trucks, filing cabinets. Information: activities use info to determine how to transform the input they receive into the outputs they produce. Chapter 2 Q4 What is info? Info is derived from data; data is defined as recorded fact or figures. Info is data represented in a meaningful text. We do something with data to produce information. Characteristics of Good Info: Accurate Is it based on correct and complete data and it has been processed correctly as expected. Timely Produced in time for its intended use. An info system that tells you not to extend credit to a customer after you have shipped goods is unhelpful and frustrating. Relevant Info should be relevant both to the context and to the subject. A CEO needs info that is summarized to an appropriate level for her job. A list of the hourly wage of every employee in the company is unlikely to be useful. She needs average wage info by department or division, but a list of employee wages is irrelevant in this context. Info should be relevant to the subject at hand. Just barely sufficient Info needs to be sufficient for the purpose for which it is generated, but just barely so. The higher people rise into management, the more info they will be given, and b/c there is only so much time, the more info they will need to ignore. So info should be sufficient, but just barely. Worth its cost Info is often not free. Costs: operating and maintaining an info system, costs of your time and salary for reading and processing the info the system produces. For info to be worth its cost, there must be an appropriate relationship between the cost of info and its value. Chapter 2 Q5 What is the role of info in business processes? Any time a good is moved or service is provided, data and info are always created. Anytime there is a physical flow, there is the potential to capture a f
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