The information system is a combination of different components that work together. These components are hardware, software, data, people and procedures. This article is about information systems, their types, functions with examples.
A set of components that work together to produce information is called an information system. An information system consists of the following components:
- A procedure is an instruction or set of instructions used to accomplish an activity. An information system provides information for daily, short-term and long-range activities of the users in the organization.
Types of Information Systems
Different types of information systems are as follows:
Office Information Systems
Office information system (OIS) is used to increase the productivity of employees. It helps the employees to perform different tasks using computers and other electronic devices instead of manual work. It is also known as office automation.
Office information system provides the facilities to create and distribute graphics and documents, send messages, schedule appointments, browse the web, and publish web pages.
The most important software used in OIS includes word processing, spreadsheets, database, presentation, email, web browser, and personal information management. In OIS, computers have modems, video cameras, speakers, microphones, scanners, fax and web-enabled devices such as cellular phones, etc.
Transaction Processing Systems
The transaction processing system (TPS) is used to store and process day-to-day business activities. An automated teller machine (ATM) is an example of TPS. This system processes data faster reduces clerical costs and improves customer services.
Initially, TPS worked in batch processing. It means that the computer collects data over time and then processes all transactions later as a group. Now the computer processes each transaction as it is entered. This is known as online transaction processing (OLTP).
Management Information System
Management information system (MIS) is used to generate timely, accurate and organized information for the managers and other users. This information is used to make decisions, solve problems, supervise activities, and monitor progress.
It evolved from a transaction processing system. It provides useful information for the management to make important decisions about the organization. MIS creates three types of information:
- Detailed Report: it contains only transactions.
- Summary Report: it consolidates data to review it quickly and easily. It normally contains totals, tables, and graphs.
- Exception Report: it identifies data outside of a normal condition. This condition is called exception criteria. It defines normal activity or status range.
Decision Support System
A decision support system (DSS) is used to analyze data and make decisions. Different managers require different types of information. DSS provides information for different types of users according to their needs. The programs that analyze data are known as online analytical processing (OLAP) applications.
The OLAP application that uses multi-dimensional databases is called MOLAP. The OLAP applications that use the relational database are called ROLAP.
DSS uses data from internal and external sources. Internal sources are the data of the organization such as production and inventory etc. External sources include interest rates, population trends, and prices of raw materials, etc.
A special type of DSS is called executive information system (EIS). It supports the strategic information needs of executive management. It presents information as charts and tables that show trends, rations, and statics etc. it normally uses external data such as new trends, leading economic indicators and interest rates etc.
A data warehouse is a large database system. It stores and manages the data required to analyze historical and current transactions. It is used to access the transactions and their summary quickly. The user can also access the transactions through the web.
A data warehouse usually consists of one or more databases and many sources of data. The sources include internal and external sources. Some data warehouses also use web farming for external data. Data farming is a process of collecting data from the internet for a data warehouse.
Another important external source is clickstream. Clickstream is a collection of actions taken by users through a website. The organization can assess the preferences of the users with the help of clickstream.
Data warehouse contains data about current and historical transactions. The existing data in the data warehouse is normally not changed. Only new data is added. The volume of a data warehouse is very large so the distributed database is used. The distributed databases are connected via network or internet.
A small type of data warehouse is known as a data mart. A data mart is used to help a specific group or department in making decisions. A data mart is developed by extracting data from a data warehouse.
Data warehouses are also used by data mining applications, DSS and EIS. Data mining is a process of finding patterns and relationships among data. The user can check the relationship between literacy rate and income level etc.
A system that scores the knowledge of human experts and imitates human reasoning for making decisions is called an expert system. It consists of two main components:
- Knowledge Base: it is the combined subject knowledge and experience of human experts.
- Inference Rules: These are a set of logical judgments that are applied to the knowledge base in some situations.
Expert systems are used by all levels of users to make decisions. These systems are used very effectively in diagnosing illnesses, searching for oil and making soap, etc. Expert systems are related to artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence is the application of human intelligence to the computer. It takes appropriate actions to complete a job. The actions are based on logical assumptions and prior experience. It is used in speech recognition, logical reasoning, and creative responses.
Integrated Information Systems
Normally, it is very difficult to place an information system in a particular category. Many software applications use a mixture of different types of information systems to create information for different types of users.
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