1.1. Chapter Introduction

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Define what an information system is by identifying its major components.
  • Discuss the role information systems play in organizations.
  • Distinguish between data, information and knowledge.
  • List the characteristics of valuable information.
  • Discuss the impact technology has on different management disciplines/functions.
  • Describe the different roles that people play in the design, development, and use of information systems.
  • List the different types of users of information systems.

Information systems surround us every day. From your campus’s Wi-Fi networks to library database search services, to printers you use in the computer labs. Every time you go shopping you interact with an information system that manages a company’s inventory and sales. Even driving to school or work results in an interaction with the transportation system, impacting traffic lights and cameras. Your car’s computer system does more than just control the engine – acceleration, shifting, braking, and other data being recorded. Our smartphones also constantly connect to available networks, recording our location and other data.

Can you think of some words you would use to describe an information system? Terms like  “computers,” “networks,” or “databases” might pop into your mind. The study of information systems encompasses various devices, software, and data systems. Defining what an information system encompasses provides a solid foundation for understanding the different systems that are used in businesses and their purpose.

Chapter 1: What Is an Information System?” from Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019) by David Bourgeois is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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Information Systems for Business and Beyond Copyright © 2022 by Shauna Roch; James Fowler; Barbara Smith; and David Bourgeois is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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