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 wi-fi networks on your campus, database search services in the library, to printers you use in the computer labs. Every time you go shopping you are interacting 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 is being recorded. As well, our smartphones are constantly connecting 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 a broad array of 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.