1MC0076 –Management Information SystemsQuestion 1- What do you understand by Information processes data?Information is a complex concept that has a variety of meanings depending on its contextand the perspective in which it is studied. It could be described in three ways,1 As processed data,2 As the opposite of uncertainty, and3 As a meaningful signal-to illustrate the richness of the concept of information.Information as Processed DataData are generally considered to be raw facts that have undefined uses and application;information is considered to be processed data that influences choices, that is, data thathave somehow been formatted, filtered, and summarized; and knowledge is considered tobe an understanding derived from information distinctions among data, information, andknowledge may be derived from scientific terminology. The researcher collects data to testhypotheses; thus, data refer to unprocessed and non-analyzed numbers. When the data areanalyzed, scientists talk about the information contained in the data and the knowledgeacquired from their analysis. The confusion often extends to the information systemscontext, and the three terms may be used interchangeably.Information as the Opposite of UncertaintyA different perspective on information derives from economic theory and defines informationas the negative measure of uncertainty; that is, the less information is available, the moreuncertainty exists, and conversely, the more information is available, the less uncertaintyexists? In microeconomic theory the equilibrium of supply and demand depends on a marketknown as a perfect market, where all buyers and sellers have complete knowledge aboutone another and where uncertainty does not exist. Information makes a market perfect byeliminating uncertainties about supply and demand. In macroeconomic theory, firms behaveaccording to how they read the economic climate. Economic signals that measure andpredict the direction of the economy provide information about the economic climate. Thefirm reduces its uncertainty by decoding these signals. Taking an example of FederalExpress in USA, each incoming aircraft has a scheduled arrival time. However, its actualarrival depends on unforeseen conditions. Data about when an aircraft departed from itsdestination is information in the economic sense because it reduces uncertainty about the
2aircraft’s arrival time, thereby increasing Federal Express’s ability to handle arrivingpackages. Managers also define information in terms of its reducing uncertainty. Becausemanagers must project the outcomes of alternatives in making decisions, the reduction ofuncertainty about the outcomes of various alternatives improves the effectiveness of thedecision- making process and the quality of the decision.Information as a Meaningful SignalInformation theory, a branch of statistics concerned with measuring the efficiency ofcommunication between people and/or machines, defines information as the inputs andoutputs of communication. Electronic, auditory, visual, or other signals that a sender andreceiver interpret similarly convey information. For example, in the recruitment scenarioabout, the resumes and applications for the open positions are information because they aresignals sent by the applicants, and interpreted similarly by both. The Managers in their rolesas communicators both generate and receive information. They receive reports that organizesignals or data in a way that conveys their meaning. Reports of sales trends becomeinformation; so do reports about hazardous waste sites. Managers derive meaning from theinformation they see and hear as part of communication and use it to make decisions. Thisdefinition of information requires a manager to interpret a given signal as it was intended.For example, a manager’s incorrect interpretation of body language in a negotiation wouldnot be considered to be information from this perspective, although we know that managersuse both correct and incorrect perceptions as information in decision making and othermanagerial functions. Again, this view of information suggests the complexity of the conceptand the value of a multifaceted definition.Question 2 - What are the uses of Executive Information Systems?Executive information systems (EIS) provide direct support for top managers.Characteristically, senior managers employ a great variety of informal sources ofinformation, so that computerized information systems are able to provide only limitedassistance. However, the chief executive officer, senior and executive vice presidents, andthe board of directors also need to be able to track the performance of their company and ofits various units, assess the business environment, and develop strategic directions for thecompany’s future. In particular, these executives need a great diversity of externalinformation to compare their company’s performance to that of its competition, and toinvestigate the general trends of the economies in the many countries where the company
3may be doing business. Frequently, top managers equip a special "war room" with largescreens onto which the EIS projects color displays.Characteristics of Executive Information Systems,1 EIS provide immediate and easy access to information reflecting the key successfactors of the company and of its units.2 "User-seductive" interfaces, such as color graphics and video, allow the EIS userto grasp trends at a glance. Users’ time is at a high premium here.3 EIS provide access to a variety of databases, both internal and external, througha uniform interface-the fact that the system consults multiple databases shouldbe transparent to the users.4 Both current status and projections should be available from EIS. It is frequentlydesirable to investigate different projections; in particular, planned projectionsmay be compared with the projections derived from actual results.5 An EIS should allow easy tailoring to the preferences of the particular user orgroup of users (such as the chief executive’s cabinet or the corporate board).6 EIS should offer the capability to "drill down" into the data: It should be possibleto see increasingly detailed data behind the summaries. Executive informationsystems are a superior tool for exercising the control function of management.Thanks to these systems, many an executive has been able to widen his or herspan of management control-in other words, to expand the number of peoplereporting directly to him or to her.Question 3 - How do you retrieve information from manual system?Information Retrieval is the area of study concerned with searching for documents, forinformation within documents, and for metadata about documents, as well as that ofsearching storage, relational databases, and the Web. There is overlap in the usage of theterms data retrieval, document, information retrieval and retrieval, but each also has its ownbody of literature, theory, praxis and technologies. IR is interdisciplinary based on computerscience, mathematics, library science, information science, information architecture,cognitive psychology, linguistics, statistics and law.Key Drawbacks in Manual Paper Based Systems:● No transparency.● Limited accountability.
4● Can’t retrieve information quickly.● Chance of loss.● Can’t track or monitoring status of file processing.● Scope for tampering contents.● Not able to answer customer questions.● Status of file is not known to the applicant.Entire organization is dependent on the file custodian for answers. Manual processes can beunreliable, slow and error prone. Errors reduce confidence in the organization. Restricted toonsite working hours and geography, Manual data entry, searching for lost files, and manualrework waste time and valuable resources. Papers can be lost at any point along theprocess, exposing potentially sensitive data. Physical papers can be hard to track and takeup physical space for storage.Question 4 - What are the challenges of information management?In identifying their information management requirements, individuals face four majorchallenges in addition to securing the most appropriate information. First, they must dealwith large quantities of information that may create overload. Second, they may faceInsufficient or conflicting information. Third, they must find ways to enhance their personalproductivity. Fourth, they must acquire and maintain the technical skills needed for effectivepersonal information management.1. Dealing with Quantities of Information - The gap between the amount of information thatan organization can collect and the ability of its employees to make sense of that informationhas been widening rather than narrowing. The early fear that computers would so improve aperson’s ability to process and manage information that a job holder would need only one-third to one-half the time to do his or her job has been dispelled The reverse has occurred.Often employees face an info glut, an overload of information. As individuals move higher inthe organizational hierarchy and assume more managerial responsibility, informationoverload become an even more significant challenge. To avoid such overload individualsmust carefully assess their information needs and then find effective ways of managing therequired and available information. They must also find ways to manage data better.2. Facing Insufficient or Conflicting Information - Although computers can make largequantities of information available to individuals, such information may not address their
5needs. An official from a mobile company may wish to do some library research aboutcompetitors’ products. In spite of the large amount of information in the library’s electroniccatalog, she may not be able to secure the precise information she needs. Becausecomputers process input from diverse sources, users may also obtain conflicting informationif one source updates information more frequently than another does.3. Enhancing Personal Productivity – Employees in any organization increasingly useinformation technology to improve their personal productivity. To ensure high productivity,employees must know how to use computers to facilitate, not hinder, their performance.They must know how to access the information they require and recognize when manualdata collection and processing is adequate. Often employees must lobby their employers toadd new technology that will help increase personal productivity. The ability to show thecost-effectiveness of additional expenditures for diagnosing and meeting information needsis critical. Employees must also understand and demonstrate when advanced technology isa detriment rather than an asset.4. Maintaining Technical Skills - Finally, using information technology effectively requirescontinuous updating of technical skills. Although many companies provide training to theiremployees, others do not. Ensuring that employees have the appropriate skills has bothfinancial and time cost implications. As a result, employees may find their mobility andproductivity limited by the extent to which they can learn new technical skills independentlyof their employer.Question 5 - Explain the different components of MIS.The physical components of MIS comprise the computer and communications hardware,software, database, personnel, and procedures. Almost all organizations employ multiplecomputer systems, ranging from powerful mainframe machines (sometimes includingsupercomputers) through minicomputers, to widely spread personal computers (also knownas microcomputers). The use of multiple computers, usually interconnected into networks bymeans of telecommunications, is called distributed processing.The driving forces that have changed the information processing landscape from centralizedprocessing, relying on single powerful mainframes, to distributed processing have been therapidly increasing power and decreasing costs of smaller computers. Though the packagingof hardware subsystems differs among the three categories of computers (mainframes,
6minicomputers, and microcomputers), all of them are similarly organized. Thus, computersystem comprises a central processor(though multiprocessors with several centralprocessing units are also used), which controls all other units by executing machineinstructions; a hierarchy of memories; and devices for accepting input (for example, akeyboard or a mouse) and producing output (say, a printer or a video display terminal). Thememory hierarchy ranges from a fast primary memory from which the central processor canfetch instructions for execution; through secondary memories (such as disks) where on-linedatabases are maintained; to the ultra high capacity archival memories that are alsoemployed in some cases.Hardware: Multiple computer systems: mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers.Computer system components are: central processor(s), memory hierarchy, input and outputdevices.Communications: local area networks, metropolitan area networks, and wide area networksSoftware: Systems software and applications softwareDatabase: Organized collections of data used by applications software.Personnel: Professional cadre of computer specialists; end users in certain aspects of theirworkProcedures: Specifications for the use and operation of computerized information systemscollected in user manuals, operator manuals, and similar documents.Question 6 - Write a note on Ethical and Social issues with E-Commerce.Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-comm., e-commerce or ecommerce, consistsof the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internetand other computer networks. Still, with all these cool features E-commerce has somedownside too; most of which relate to ethical and social issues. These issues basicallyrevolve around four primary concerns, namely; security, privacy, identity and transactionsnon-refutability. Security has always been a major challenge for internet. There have alwaysbeen people trying to hack, crack or jack a page. They are in constant search of finding aback door to a website and steal confidential information or service from a system ordamage a system.Second is privacy. In an online world, it’s very hard to differentiate between good and bad.You may be browsing certain site or downloading a music video and suddenly you might geta pop-up asking you to enter your details to subscribe to new videos or latest updates. You
7simply fill up a form and then you get bombarded by emails selling pills and stuffs you don’thave a clue about. And you thought you’re just filling up a form. Giving your information towhoever online is like signing a death note. Third one is identity. Many times you might haveheard of credit card theft or bank account theft. While shopping online, one is exposed tosuch risks. Electronic systems have a shortcoming in that they can only identify a person’s“virtual” identity, which makes identity theft or impersonation a serious problem.Last but not the least is the problem with non-refutability i.e. verifying whether the transactionreally happened or not online. If you just do a quick Google, you’ll find that there arethousands of cases of disputes and refunds of PayPal and eBay. Doing a transaction onlineisn’t as easy as it sounds. Both the parties have to be loyal to each other and if anyone isn’tdisputes arise and it’s very hard to determine whom to compensate.The concept has come to mean various things to various people, but generally its coming toknow what it right or wrong in the workplace and doing whats right this is in regard to effectsof products/services and in relationships with stakeholders. Wallace and Pekel explain thatattention to business ethics is critical during times of fundamental change times much likethose faced now by businesses, either nonprofit or for-profit. Attention to ethics in theworkplace sensitizes leaders and staff to how they should act. Perhaps most important,attention to ethics in the workplaces helps ensure that when leaders and managers arestruggling in times of crises and confusion, they retain a strong moral compass. However,attention to business ethics provides numerous other benefits.Managing Ethics in the Workplace - Managing Ethics Programs in the WorkplaceOrganizations can manage ethics in their workplaces by establishing an ethics managementprogram. "Typically, ethics programs convey corporate values, often using codes andpolicies to guide decisions and behavior, and can include extensive training and evaluating,depending on the organization.Developing Codes of Conduct - If your organization is quite large, e.g., includes severallarge programs or departments, you may want to develop an overall corporate code of ethicsand then a separate code to guide each of your programs or departments.Resolving Ethical Dilemmas and Making Ethical Decisions - Perhaps too often, businessethics is portrayed as a matter of resolving conflicts in which one option appears to be the
8clear choice. For example, case studies are often presented in which an employee is facedwith whether or not to lie, steal, cheat, abuse another, break terms of a contract, etc.Assessing and Cultivating Ethical Culture - Culture is comprised of the values, norms,folkways and behaviors of an organization. Ethics is about moral values, or values regardingright and wrong. Therefore, cultural assessments can be extremely valuable when assessingthe moral values in an organization.Ethics Training - The ethics program is essentially useless unless all staff members aretrained about what it is, how it works and their roles in it. The nature of the system may invitesuspicion if not handled openly and honestly. In addition, no matter how fair and up-to-dateis a set of policies, the legal system will often interpret employee behavior (rather thanwritten policies) as de facto policy.