Monday, 11 April 2011

HND Information Systems Assignment

PART A

Task:

Identify and explain four levels of Information Users in an Organisation and briefly describe the information requirements of these levels. Explain how the information systems help in making the decisions on a day to day basis.

Answers:

The four levels of information users in an organization are

  1. Operational Level
  2. Knowledge Level
  3. Management Level
  4. Strategic Level

Strategic Level: 

Provides a detailed description of the nature of their activities in the objects clause of their memorandum of association is the function of the top level management. Their most important role is establishing the goals of the organization. They are typically responsible for interacting with representing with representatives of the external environment, such as financial institutions, political figures and important suppliers and customers.

Their Main objectives are:

  • Setting key objectives, policies and identifying factors essential for the development of the enterprise.
  • Efficient accomplishment of goals in the enterprise and maintaining strategic balance in all actions taken by the authorities in higher level.
  • Making appointments to the top position in the enterprise such as managers, department heads etc.
  • Reviewing the work of different personnel’s in all levels.

Information Needed:

Information about external factors affecting the organization such as Political, Economical, Social and Technological are needed for this level.

System Required:

Executive Support Systems (ESS) are used by senior managers to make decisions. ESS addresses non-routine decisions requiring judgement, evaluation and insight because there is no agreed-on procedure for arriving at a solution. It is designed to incorporate data about external events and it employs the most advanced graphics software and can deliver graphs and data from many sources immediately to senior executive’s office or to a boardroom.



Management / Tactical Level: 

Tactical Level Management implements strategic objectives and monitor operations. It is this level which administers most of the well-known conventional control systems. This includes budgetary control, production control, inventory control etc. To avoid rigidity, it is important that the Information System incorporates more than one level of feedback thus:

  1. Conventional feedback is used for routine reporting which initiates corrective action if deviations occur.
  2. Adaptive feedback causes the amendment of short-term plans or budgets where the Information System indicates that conditions have changed sufficiently for small-scale corrections to be inappropriate.
  3. Crisis feedback is responsible to substantial or uncontrollable deviations from plans which may indicate changes to long-term plans.

 Much of the information used by the Tactical Level comes from informal sources and is gathered, assessed, analysed and judged by the manager personally. In addition, the manager is supported by Formal Information Systems which are increasingly computer based. Four types of Formal information systems can be identified:

1. Control Systems
2. Database Systems
3. Enquiry Systems
4. Decision Support Systems.
  
Knowledge Level


Knowledge Management Level is defined as the management function responsible for the regular selection, implementation and evaluation of goal-oriented knowledge strategies that aim at improving an organisation's way of handling knowledge internal and external to the organisation in order to improve organisational performance. The implementation of knowledge strategies comprises all person-oriented, organisational and technological instruments suitable to dynamically optimise the organisation-wide level of competencies, education and ability to learn of the members of the organisation as well as to develop collective intelligence.

Operational level

Operational Level is concerned with the implementation and control of the day-to-day activities of the organisation. Their activities are highly dependant on Formal Information System dealing almost exclusively with the internal information. Effective and efficient information processing is essential since controls are numerous, monitoring is constant, data volumes are high and response is needed rapidly, often in real time. Hence, virtually all operational informational systems are computer based.
At the operational level, many decisions are structured and frequently incorporated into computer-based systems. Because the circumstances are well-defined, optimising techniques such as linear programming are frequently used.
Linear Programming (LP) is probably the most used optimising model and LP packages are widely available for all computer systems.
LP is used where it s required to optimise the value of a single objective (e.g. maximise contribution where the factors involved (e.g. labour hours, machine capacity, etc.) are subject to some constraints or limitation). It can be used to solve problems which:

A. Can be stated in numeric terms
B. Involve factors having linear relationships
C. Permit a choice between alternatives
D. Have one or more restrictions on the factors involved.

LP is used for numerous problems including production planning, least cost mix problems in food, fertilisers and so on. It will be apparent that the closely defined requirements for the use of LP and other optimising techniques are more likely to be found at the operational level, less so at the tactical level and not at all at the strategic level where uncertainties abound.

PART B

a)

Different sorts of statistics can be used to evaluate the information gathered both automatically and by customer service operators. Using the information gathered automatically companies can understand which computer-generated messages listened most, what sort of users called most, from which geographical areas, which season of the year or the time and similar sort of questioned can find their answers. According to the results companies or operators can make a decision. Similar approach can be used in strategic decision-making using customer service operators’ results. For example; if users from Scotland calling with a specific problem, the companies should take it serious and could improve the service in those areas. That way, they will gain a competitive advantage.

b)

Using implementation framework:

Because a call centre would provide the public with a point of contact to an insurance company, it would give a public a great accessibility to the insurance company’s services. By using computer-generated messages companies can deal with client’s simple inquiries or Frequently Asked Questions or by using call centre operators companies can sell more insurance products to the end users. Companies can easily inform the end users or increase their satisfaction. Doing some inquiries, using statistics insurance companies can gather information about which products sell most or could possibly sell better or get how to increase sales force.

PART C

Types of Information Systems:

·         Executive Support Systems (ESS)

·         Decision Support Systems (DSS)

·         Management Information Systems (MIS)
·         Transaction Processing Systems (TPS)

Transaction Processing Systems (TPS):
Basic Business Systems that serve the operational level. A computerized system that performs and records the daily routine transactions necessary to the conduct of the business.
System Example: Payroll system
Input
Process
Output
Time cards, Employee Lists, Wages and Salary Data
Calculating Pay, calculating cost of benefits, calculating cost of taxes and withholdings, updating ledger and databases
Pay checks and receipts, account balances, management reports

Management Information Systems (MIS)
An MIS provides managers with information and support for effective decision making, and provides feedback on daily operations. MIS provides information to the users in the form of reports. Output or reports are usually generated through accumulation of transaction processing data. MIS is an integrated collection of subsystems, which are typically organized along functional lines within an organization.
System Example is an Annual Budgeting.
Decision Support Systems (DSS)
It is designed to the individual and ties CEO to all levels. It is very expensive to keep up the extensive support staff.
Example could be Contract Cost Analysis.
Executive Support Systems (ESS)
This happens in the Strategic Level. Users are Senior Managers. It takes aggregate data, processes it interactively and outputs projections. An example could be a 5-year operating plan.
a)
There are many advantages of Internet technology to an expanding company. Some of them are: Online Banking, Social Media, Social Networks and etc.
Using online banking all Bank customers can access their accounts and transfer money or spend online. Social Media on Internet is the biggest advertising platform for the new and expanding businesses. Using Social Media businesses can approach to the whole world, create a fan groups, followers. Blogging can help businesses to be well-known to the Internet users. Business can create groups on Social Networks like Facebook. Businesses can create application or widgets and make available to the users on Social Networks. That way they can create user base or fans.
b)
Intranet has a very similar functionality to the Intranet but in a smaller scale or focused in organisational based. Intranet helps company staff to share information, to discuss some specific topics related to their job or responsibilities. Intranet can serve as a group emailing, but more efficiently and secure. Company employees can create interest groups and share and support each others on Intranet.
PART D
Internet, Automated messaging service for call centres, Intranet, statistical analysing tools.
Automated messaging service will help the business cut the cost. Internet will help them expanding their businesses and conducting it efficiently, make it easy to communicate and access to the customers and gather information from customers and evaluate it. Intranet will help to share the information and support the staff.
Aggregation, surfing, calculating are the information methods used in Information systems.
An example for the case of aggregated combinatorial data for the study of composition, processing, structure, and property relationships of transparent conducting oxides by applying data mining techniques such as principal component analysis. Data mappings of mined results are shown to effectively enable visualization of data trends, identification of anomalies in Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy patterns, and scientifically interesting libraries and spectral regions.
Calculating all transactions in the banking system. Surfing the Internet to gather information.
PART E
If we look at the challenges in evaluation of information systems from sceptics and enthusiasts perspective, it will give us an idea about a new information system. Because the information system is new or not applied in that environment yet, lots of people would oppose to a change. Biggest challenge is the unwillingness to the change, because of security reasons, risk in the investment and so on. A lot of people are happy with an existing old system.

Resources/References:

Web: http://www.slideshare.net/mannyardales/types-of-information-systems

Book: Management information systems By Terence Lucey

Book: Knowledge management systems: information and communication technologies for ... By Ronald Maier

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