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MIS
Management Information Systems
Syllabus
What I expect you to do!
11 Labs
• You must go to all 11.
– 2% penalty for first lab missed
– 5% for 2nd
– 10% for 3rd
– Automatic course failure if you miss a 4th lab.
• Remember you can drop the course and take
it in a semester where you are less busy.
Lab
• Pre-lab quiz 20%
• In-lab activity 50% (hard to makeup)
• Post-lab question/activity 30%
• If you miss a lab, you still have to make it up
before the next lab period, otherwise you get
a penalty and a zero.
Pop Quizzes & IS Speaker Series
• About 10 pop quizzes on reading and the IS
Speaker Series
– You can use your notes
– should be easy to get 100’s
• Take notes while reading
• Take notes while listening to IS Speaker Series
• Attend IS Speaker Series talks
– http://www.cs.siena.edu/News_&_Events/IS_Speaker_Series.php
– Videos will be available in the library
Lecture
• Eventually, I will stop using PowerPoint.
– 70% of exam questions are answered in lecture
• You can’t do well in this course unless you
come to lecture
Exams
• Exams 1 and 2 given in class
• Cumulative final exam
Group Project
• Propose an idea for how to improve a
business using technology
– Research the business and technology
– Log your hours via Google Spreadsheet
• Make an ePortfolio (individual)
• Make a group Wiki (to share your research)
• Make a group presentation about your idea
Summary
• Attend 11 labs
– One miss won’t kill you
• Attend lecture
– 2-3 misses won’t kill you
• Actual work
–
–
–
–
–
–
11 pre-labs
10 post-labs writeups
10 pop quizzes
1 group project (with individual component)
2 in-class exams
1 final exam
MIS
Management Information Systems
The Fundamentals
Stuff that is not in the book
Management Information Systems (MIS)
• What does this term really mean?
• Management
– a major at Siena,
– a good occupation.
– the act of managing;
handling, directing, controlling.
A well-known
manager on TV
MIS applies to many fields
• More than just Information Systems used by Managers?
• The study of systems that help with
the management of information
• The information
could be for
–
–
–
–
–
Accounting
Finance
Marketing
Scientific Research
Computer Gaming
Madden 12 Football Player Management
MIS helps build understanding
• We will study the principles of transforming data into
information and then beyond
Correctness
People
Wisdom
Knowledge
Computers and
Systems
Understanding
and developing
principles and
concepts
Understanding
patterns
Information
Adding value, context,
relationships, and
patterns
Data
Understanding
A better course title for MIS
• I would call this course…
Computer Systems for Managing Information
Computer being used to
manage information poorly.
Why do you have to take MIS?
• Chapter 1 answers this question (read it).
– Your ability to manage information using technology will
determine your success in any business field.
• Contrary to media portrayals,
high school-aged students
are not masters of technology, but
often clueless consumers of
new technology
?
IT vs. IS
• First, does anyone know the difference
between
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
and
INFORMATION SYSTEMS
?
INFORMATION
TECHNOLOGY
VS.
Innovations in storing,
transmitting, and sharing
information
• hardware devices like:
– Telephone
– Computer Printer
– Wireless Network Router
• Also includes software,
languages, and protocols:
– Photoshop, Java, Flash, HTML,
HTTP, etc.
INFORMATION
SYSTEMS
1. Computer hardware and
2. Software,
but also includes:
3. People
4. Processes, and
5. Data
Familiar Information Systems
– Twitter
– iTunes
– Blackboard
Software is always part of bigger
systems
Consider these examples
• Twitter
– Pointless without people?
• iTunes
– Little value without data (music, movies, etc.)
• Blackboard
– Useless without procedures
Hardware is always part of bigger
systems
Consider these examples
• iPhone
– Pointless without people
• Solid State Hard Drive
– No value without data (files, movies, etc.)
• Xbox Kinect
– Difficult to use without procedures
Information Technology is part of
Information Systems
IS
IT
Hardware
PC, iPad, Android Phone,
RFID Scanner, Laser Printer, etc.
Software
Excel, Access, Blackboard, iTunes
Chrome, Windows 7, Oracle
People
users, administrators,
owners, etc.
Data
numbers, words, images, video, etc;
computerized (digital) or on paper
Procedures
often documented in writing
IT is practically
free
• Cost of labor and natural resources keep rising.
• But, every 18 months, the cost of information
technology decreases by nearly 50%
– See Figure 1-1 in the book
• Data communication and storage are so cheap
that CEO’s consider it free.
– Businesses leverage this free commodity.
– And, consumers are happy to pay for it.
Leveraging Technology
• In 1992, I bought Metallica’s
Black Album for $16.99
at store called Record Town.
• Today, you can download new albums on iTunes
for $9.99.
– Information Technology makes delivering music
cheaper
• right or wrong?
– This is great for the consumer
• right or wrong?
How Leveraging Technology Works
• Those who purchase “cheap” songs on iTunes
often
– Pay $60-$100/month for their iPhone service
– Pay $1000-3000 every three years for a MacBook
How Leveraging Technology Works
• Consumers pay for Apple’s store (iTunes) by
buying Apple hardware
• Apple Corporation can sell music without
– moving stuff in trucks
– building a store in your town
– hiring clerks
• BTW: If you own a PC, Microsoft leverages
consumers in many other ways.
Famous quote
• “Instead of learning
how to program computers
kids minds are being
programmed by computers.”
– Who said it? When?
• We rely so much on technology that it changes the way
we think and behave.
– This change is good if you are a
master of technology
– its bad if you are
• a grunt user/employee
• clueless consumer of technology
Why I care?
• I teach Computer Science (CS)
majors how to
blow up your business job!
• In CS, we build software systems that replace costly human
labor to help businesses become more profitable
– unless you have ideas on how to use information systems to improve
business, you might not have a “thinking” career in business.
How will I help you?
By making you do lab
activities where you will
• Use computer systems to
solve problems and
manage information
• Labs are important
because
1.
2.
3.
You get to actually do
stuff
Then, you think about
what you did
Then, I tell you why it
was important
What lab might look like if I
were handsome and smiled
Why you should care about labs.
You need to know
• How to use information systems in
non-routine ways.
• How information systems can help
– Solve problems
– Make better decisions
– Create strategic advantages
• What better way to learn this than to actually do
it on computer?
Will doing the labs make me
a master of technology?
• No!
• You have to do 5 other things
• But, these things will also help you
– get an A in the course and
– avoid a grunt-like career with no job
security
• Do you want to know the 5 things?
#1 Read
• Read the text book
• Read the lab instructions
• Read your own writing
before you submit it
• If you don’t understand
what you are reading, read
it again 2 more times!
– And, if someone still has to
explain it to you, read it a 3rd
time again so you understand
your misunderstanding
Abstract Reasoning
• Reading hones your abstract
thinking skill
• Pictures & video are nice,
but written words
– help you imagine
– help you build your own
mental model of the world
• If you rely on others to build
a model for you,
– You will not understand
things as deeply
– and, you’ll struggle to solve
problems on your own
#2 Look at the world as a system
1. Goal
2. Observe
Input
Output
3. Action
1. Identify goals
2. Make honest observations about the world around you, and
connect inputs with outputs
3. Take action to achieve your goal
#2 Look at the world as a system
Input
Output
Connect input and outputs
• Goal: I want to get an A.
• Observations:
– Studied 2 hours for
exam1 and got a B.
– Studied 4 hours for
exam2 and got a A-.
• Input: hours studied
• Output: grade
Why this helps
• Some systems are poorly
designed and unfair, some
are fair and consistent.
• Regardless, understanding
how a system works is the
key to controlling the
system and achieving goals.
#3 Share ideas and
be open to criticism
McDonald’s Grunt:
• Goal: To be a manager
• Observation: We cook too many
fries at once. By the time we sell
them all, the last order is cold.
• Idea: We should cook half as
many fries, but twice as often.
Idiot Night Manager:
• Criticism: Dude, we are going to
have to work harder to fill the
fryer twice as often.
Grunt:
• Openness: You are right, but my
goal is to make crispy, tasty fries
and I’m not afraid to work harder.
#4 Experiment
(test what works the best)
• Grunt:
– Filling the fryer at 50%
capacity but twice as often
is too much work.
– but filling it at 66%
capacity but 1.5 times as
often works out great
– Also we can change the %
based on how busy we are.
• Idiot Night Manager:
– Good job, nerd!
• District Manager:
– Since we hired Grunt, we
are selling more fries
– customers say the fries are
fresher and crispier
• Outcome:
– Grunt gets promoted to
“thinking” position
– Idiot Manager has to
follow Grunt’s nerdy fry
cooking process any way.
#5 Identify bad ideas and
do the right thing.
• Student #1 goal
– My goal is to minimize the
amount of work to do on this
project.
• Student #1 idea
– I will just copy text from
Wikipedia.
• Student #2 identifies bad idea
– That’s plagiarism and it might
lead to you having to do more
work.
Outcome:
• Student #1 gets
– a zero on project,
– fails the course
– must take the course again
– must redo project next
semester anyway
• Student #2 ends up doing a lot
less work on the project than
student #1.
NOT
How these steps
apply to MIS
To leverage information technology and systems in your
future career/business, you must often
• use technology and systems in new/innovative ways,
– do things you’ve never done before with very little help.
• This is NOT easy.
• It requires: reading, making systematic observations,
collaborating, experimenting, and eventually doing the
right thing.
How can I help
to make it easy?
• My job as your teacher is NOT to show you
what buttons to press.
• My job is to teach you non-routine skills, i.e.,
strategies for how to press the right buttons.
Technology & Non-routine skills
1. Abstract Reasoning
– reading is essential in developing thoughts and ideas
– technology cannot put thoughts in your mind like
reading can
2. Systems Thinking
– business itself is a system with input and output
– business systems are rich with technology
3. Collaboration
– sharing your ideas and handling criticism positively
makes for better ideas
– technology impacts how people collaborate
Technology & Non-routine skills
4. Experimentation
– try things, take risks, be curious
– don‘t just use technology, experiment with it
5. Ethics & Integrity
– doing the right thing will eventually pay off.
– Technology makes it easier to cheat, but also
easier to catch cheats
Don’t be afraid to
“press new buttons”
But, before you press a button, read and think
• What is your goal?
– Goals are often formalized in writing.
• What does the button do?
– Buttons are often described in documentation (i.e.,
writing).
After you press the button, think and reflect
– Did the button do what is was supposed to?
– Did pressing it get you closer to your goal?
Chapter 1 take away
• Non-routine skills that are valued in MIS?
– Abstraction
– System Thinking
– Collaboration
– Experimentation
– Ethics & Integrity (this one is mine)
Good Information Systems vs.
Bad ones
• Dr. Breimer’s Goal: I want information about
you on a roster cheat sheet so I can get to
know you all better.
• My system (a bad one):
1.
2.
3.
4.
Students make documents (Word)
Student upload them (Blackboard)
I download them and grade them (Blackboard)
I mash them up (Word)
My bad system
•
•
•
•
People: Instructor and 30 students
Software: Word and Blackboard
Hardware: Your computers and mine
Processes: The pre-lab instructions (written)
my process (in my head)
• Data: Your names, majors, pictures,
interesting facts about you, your goals
My bad system
• Input: Information entered into 30 Word
documents
• Processing: A lot of cutting, pasting, screen
capturing your photos, cropping them.
• Output: My roster cheat sheet
• Feedback: I keep track of how long it takes; it
takes me about 1.5 hours to make my cheat
sheet.
Why is it bad?
on your
computer
on
blackboard
on my
computer
How could it be better?
on the
cloud
Major take-away
• A better system can reduce the amount of
work, but not necessarily for everyone
involved.
• In your career, do not think a system is bad
just because it makes *you* do more work.
• Companies care more about the aggregate
work and you may be on the wrong end of the
pyramid of success.
A bad system
• You and your partner are working
collaboratively on a Word document
• Goal: To share document with partner
• Information System:
– Software: Email
Emailing attachments:
a bad system
on your
computer
your sent
mail/inbox
partner’s
partner’s
inbox/sent mail computer
V1
V1
V1
V1
V2
V2
V2
V2
V3
V3
V3
V3
Using WinSCP
a better system?
your
z: drive
partner’s
z: drive
V1
V1
V2
V2
V3
V3
Take-aways from Intro Lab
• WinSCP is great way for you to access your lab
work from home and copy a file for your partner.
• ScreenHunter is a nice way to “take a picture” of
your computer screen.
• Google, when used thoughtfully, is perhaps the
greatest software component ever created.
• All of these are software components that can be
part of bigger systems.
Take-aways from Intro Lab
• The software and hardware you decide to use
greatly impacts how a system works.
– Software is often designed with a goal in mind.
• The software designer’s goal and your goal in
using it may be different
– Email was not designed to help people collaboratively
edit a document
– Neither was WinSCP
– Google Docs was
• But, to innovate/improvise with the tools you
have is key.
Chapter 1 Key Topic
• What are the 5 Components of an Information
System?
Components of an Information System
Actors
Instructions
Bridge
Hardware
Software
Computer Side
Data
Procedures
People
Human Side
Automation: Move work from human side to computer side
More difficult to change
Components of an Information System
• The benefits of automation is not just to do
things automatically.
• What are the real benefits of automation?
Automation: Move work from human side to computer side
More difficult to change
Hardware
Software
Computer Side
Data
Procedures
People
Human Side
2 big motivations behind IS
automation
Agility
Growth
People are often
Procedures are often
– slow to change
• Often hard to retrain
• Replacing people with
computers (hardware) helps
businesses become more
agile.
– Business processes can be
changed easier if they are
implement with hardware or
software.
– ambiguous
• not formally defined
– tedious
• difficult to follow
• Replacing procedures with
programs (software) helps
business to grow
– Business processes can be
scaled –up easier if they are
implemented with software or
hardware.
iTunes as a System
Hardware
Examples?
Software
Examples?
Data
Examples?
Procedures
Examples?
People
Examples?
iTunes as a System
Hardware
User devices:
iPhone
iPod
iPad
MacBook
MP3 Player
PC
Apple side:
Media Server
Infrastructure:
Network
Routers
Software
User devices:
iTunes itself
Mac OS
Apple side:
Media Content
Management
System
Data
Media itself
Music
Movies
TV Shows
Apps
Games
Procedures
People
User:
Create account
Login
Buy song
User:
Consumer who
buys songs,
Apple Side:
Add new song
Organize songs
Advertise new
songs
Content
Providers:
Upload song
Get money
Apple :
System admins
Programmers
CSR
Marketers
Content
Providers:
Artists, Record
Studios, App
Developers,
Colleges
Blackboard as a System
Hardware
Examples?
Software
Examples?
Data
Examples?
Procedures
Examples?
People
Examples?
Blackboard as a System
Hardware
Software
User devices:
PC
Laptop
User devices:
Web Browser
Excel
Admin side:
Web Server
Database
Server
Admin side:
Blackboard
system itself
Database tools
Infrastructure:
Network
Routers
Data
Student Grades
Procedures
Student:
Login
PowerPoint files Submit
assignment
Word
Check grades
Documents
Faculty:
Assignments
Enter grades
Upload project
Project
description
Descriptions
Admin side:
Messages
Create courses
Enroll students
Calendar items
People
Students
Faculty
System Admins
Information
System View
Concrete & Real
(i.e., not abstract)
5 components:
1. Hardware
2. Software
3. Data (bridge/center)
4. Procedures
5. People
VS.
General
System View
Conceptual View (i.e., abstract)
8 properties:
1. Stakeholder
2. Goal
3. System Boundaries
4. Input
5. Processing
6. Output
7. Feedback
–
key in understanding systems
8. Control
iTunes
Stakeholder
Customer
Musician/
Artist
Goal
Input
Processing
Output
iTunes
Stakeholder
Customer
Goal
wants to buy a
cheap song
Input
Processing
Output
Song selection,
credit card
number
Check to see if
card is valid,
Start download
of song
Decoded audio
file, can be
copied on up to
8 devices
(song)
Create artist
account, song
added to
system
Electronic funds
added to
account for
each song sold
(money)
(money)
Musician/
Artist
Wants to sell
their music
Artist account
information,
encoded audio
file
(song)
iTunes: Customer Feedback
Stakeholder
Customer
Goal
wants to buy a
cheap song
Input
Processing
Output
Song selection,
credit card
number
Check to see if
card is valid,
Start download
of song
Decoded audio
file, can be
copied on up to
8 devices
(song)
(money)
Examples of Feedback:
Message: “Lagy Gada not found, did you mean Lady Gaga.”
Message: “you have $4.99 left on your gift card.”
Message: “this song is authorized on 5 devices.”
Message: “5 minutes left to download song.”
Feedback from a user/customer
perspective
• Messages that let you know what is
happening
• Information about your usage of the system
– Is your input good?
– Is your output on the way?
• Helps you
– correct mistakes
– enter input
– understand the output
iTunes: Artist (content provider) Feedback
Stakeholder
Musician/
Artist
Goal
Wants to sell
their music
Input
Artist account
information,
encoded audio
file
(song)
Processing
Create artist
account, song
added to
system
Output
Electronic funds
added to
account for
each song sold
(money)
Examples of Feedback:
Message: “Your song X has been purchased 74 times.”
Message: “County is not a valid category for song X.”
Message: “You have not uploaded an image for your band.”
Message: “5 minutes left to upload song Y.”
Feedback from an artist perspective
• Messages that let you know what is
happening
• Information about your usage of the system
– Is your input good?
– Is your output on the way?
• Helps you
– correct mistakes
– enter input
– understand the output
Key Concept: Feedback is relative to
the stakeholder/goal.
• Notice how similar the feedback is for
customers and artists.
• Why?
• They are both the same kind of stakeholder.
– Both users of iTunes.
– Symmetric goals
• Buy song
• Sell song
• But, iTunes has another stakeholder! Who?
iTunes: System Owners perspective
Stakeholder
Apple
Corporation
Goal
Input
Processing
Sell media (music,
apps, movies, etc.)
New
features
Create new
user accounts
Provide content to
add value to iPhone,
iPads, etc.
New
types of
media
Add new media
Promote media
Output
Increased
usage,
exposure,
market share
Increased
sales (money)
Examples of Feedback:
• Top selling songs, shows, apps, etc.
• Login/usage report including top devices used (i.e.,
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, MacBook, PC, etc.)
• Sales by media type (music, movies, etc.)
Feedback from the system owner’s
perspective
• Messages that tell you
– if the system is working
– how well it’s working
– how close you are to achieving a goal
• Apple did NOT create iTunes to generate a
sales report?
• The sales report is feedback, not output.
Pop Quiz #1
Information Systems have 5 components.
1. What 2 are part of the human side?
2. What 2 are part of the computer side?
1. Which one is the bridge?
2. Describe Moore’s law?
Why IT matters?
Aeronautical Technology
Jet liners today are actually
• Slower than ones from the
80’s
• More expensive to build
• Higher total cost of
ownership
Information Technology
Computer of today are
• 1000 times faster than the
ones from the 80’s
• 1/4th the cost
• Cost less than the electricity
to power them
System Boundaries & Data Flow
1. Goal: Make a profit off the selling of music
2. Stakeholder: Apple Corp.
3. Information System Boundaries
8. Control:
New Features
4. Input:
More musicians
People:
Hardware:
Software:
Customers
Media Server
iTunes
Musicians
Data: User devices
Procedures: Songs
Account Info
Buy song
Sell song
5. Processing: Charge
customers, distribute songs,
organize musicians, promote
7. Feedback:
Usage Reports
6. Output:
Electronic Funds
Lady Gaga Perspective
1. Goal: Sell my music
2. Stakeholder: Lady Gaga
3. Information System Boundaries
8. Control:
promote new
song
4. Input:
New songs
People:
Hardware:
Software:
Customers
Media Server
iTunes
Admin
Data: User devices
Procedures: Songs
Account Info
Categorize
song
5. Processing: Charge
customers, distribute songs,
promote
7. Feedback:
Top Selling Songs
6. Output:
Electronic Funds
Dissatisfied Customer Perspective
1. Goal: Buy my favorite music
2. Stakeholder: iTunes Customer
3. Information System Boundaries
8. Control:
Pick a new song
Or stop using
iTunes
4. Input:
Song Selection
People:
Hardware:
Software:
Admin
Media Server
iTunes
Musician
Data: User devices
Procedures: Songs
Create new Account Info
account
5. Processing: Charge
customers, distribute songs,
promote
7. Feedback:
“AC/DC not
found”
6. Output:
A digital song
Satisfied Customer Perspective
1. Goal: Buy my favorite music
2. Stakeholder: iTunes Customer
8. Control:
Buy an iPod so I
can enjoy
Buckethead on
the go
4. Input:
Credit Card #
Song Selection
3. Information System Boundaries
People:
Hardware:
Software:
Admin
Media Server
iTunes
Buckethead
Data: User devices
Procedures: Songs
Create new Account Info
account
5. Processing: Charge
customers, distribute songs,
promote
7. Feedback:
“Buckethead
album on sale”
6. Output:
A digital song
Key Concept: Feedback is not output
• “you have $4.99 left on your gift card.”
– Consumers do NOT login to iTunes to find out how
much money they have left on a gift card.
– They spend the gift card
• “County is not a valid category for your song.”
– Artists to NOT login to iTunes to figure out how to
spell “Country.”
– These messages are forms of feedback, not output!
Feedback
VS.
All feedback is a form of
output because it comes out of
the system
But, feedback is specific
output that
• helps stakeholders use a
system
• tells owners if a system is
working
Output
is more directly connected to
the goal or purpose of a
system.
If you want to buy a song from
a system, the output is the
song.
What if the goal of a system is
to generate a sales report?
Great Examples
Cash Register System
Facebook
Goal: In the 1980’s McDonalds
wanted to track sales in real
time so they invest in a
computerized cash register
system. Real time sales
reporting will help them
improve their supply chain.
Sales Report
Output or feedback?
Goal: In 2008, McDonalds wanted
to use social networking to
distribute coupons to better
promote its new menu items.
Hopefully sales for the new
items will improve once the
coupons are on Facebook?
Sales Report
Output or feedback?
Great Examples
Blackboard
Blackboard
Goal: Professor wants to share
grades with students.
Problem: Students keep asking
for their grades in class
Investigation: Professor notices
that students have never
logged in.
Solution: Professor shows
students how to login.
Goal: Professor wants to track if
students are clicking on the
assigned case studies
Input: Case Studies (Word
Documents)
Processing: Students login, navigate
to case studies, click on
document, Blackboard tracks the
clicks.
Student Login Report
Output or feedback?
Student Click Report
Output or feedback?
Input vs. Control
• Input is what you put into the system.
– It is typically processed in some way, which directly or
indirectly helps to produce output.
• You input fuel into a car and the car produces forward
movement
• From Apple’s perspective, you put musicians and customers
in iTunes and money comes out.
– Input is usually a noun: Fuel, a song, a grade, money,
raw data, potatoes, a musician.
• Control is how you might change the system
– Control is usually a verb.
Examples of System Control
• Deep Fat Fryer: Raise the cooking temperature
• Facebook: Restrict wall posting to only close
friends
• Blackboard: Show only my active courses
• Assembly Line: Increase production by 20%
• iTunes: Block artists from uploading Microsoft file
formats
• Furnace: Limit the output to 71 degrees
System Control
• Systems have variables that can be changed
– And parameters that cannot be change
• Variable:
– Assembly line can be set to output between 0 and
20 cars per minute
– Output is set to 10
• Parameter:
– 20 cars per minute is the maximum
Critical Thinking Question
Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees
• Is this an example of input, output,
processing, control or feedback.
Analysis Technique
Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees
• First ask two questions:
1. Who is the stakeholder?
2. What is their goal?
Analysis Technique
Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees
1. Who is the stakeholder?
Me
2. What is their goal?
To keep the room temperature at 68
degrees
Analysis Technique
Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees
– “setting” is a verb
– Could be processing or control
• Control can change/invoke processing but may
not produce output.
• Processing directly leads to output.
–
–
–
–
What if there is no fuel?
What if the temp is already 68 degrees?
“Burning fuel” is the process
“Heat” is the output.
Analysis Technique
Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees
– “68 degrees” is a noun, a number, a temp value
– Could be input, output, or feedback.
• Are you putting this value into the system our
does the system spit out this number?
• Does this tell you if the system is meeting the
goal?
Special Topic
• How are Information Systems used in
throughout businesses?
• Are there different types or categories?
Information Systems
support all levels
of a business’s
hierarchy
Strategic
Decision Making
Executive Level
Tactical Decision Making
Management Level
Business Processes
Operations Level
Information Systems
Support all types
of employees
CEO
President
Strategic
Decision Making
Executive Level
VP Finance
Research
Director
District Manager
Tactical Decision Making
Management Level
Production
Manager
Graphic Artist
Assembly Line
Worker
Dean
Designer
Account
Supervisor
Business Processes
Operations Level
Night
Manager
Teacher
Cashier
Abstract Thinking & Experimentation
• Be aware of your company’s goal in using
Information Systems
– Don’t mistaken your ignorance for a stupid system.
• Read the system’s instructions, help documents,
and manual if available.
– And, use the web to find answers
• Don’t be afraid to experiment with systems
– If you fail, backtrack and try again
– Try to find the best process to achieve your goal.
• Don’t just settle on a process that works
Computer
Information Systems
first supported the
Management Level
Early 1980’s
Strategic
Decision Making
Executive Level
Paper Reports
Spreadsheet Program
Data Import
Store Information in Computer Files
instead of Paper Files
Raw Data Entry
Business Processes
Operations Level
Management
demanded
specialize systems and
pushed data entry to
Operational Level
Late 80’s
Strategic
Decision Making
Executive Level
Paper Reports
Accounting
Information System
Electronic
Reports
Raw Data Entry
Data Entry System
Each manager wanted
their own custom
system for their
Functional Area
Strategic
Decision Making
Executive Level
Late 1980’s
to early 90’s
Financial Information
System
Accounting
Information System
Account Data
Entry System
Inventory Data
Entry System
Production
Information System
Finance
Data Entry System
Assembly Line
Control System
Executives wanted
integrated, real-time
information
(no more paper
reports)
Mid 1990’s
Executive
Information System
Financial Information
System
Accounting
Information System
Account Data
Entry System
Inventory Data
Entry System
Production
Information System
Finance
Data Entry System
Assembly Line
Control System
Functional Systems
• In in the early 1990’s, Information Systems were
focused on the narrow needs of specific
Functional Areas
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Accounting – Inventory Control
Finance – Investment Reporting
Operations - Production Control
Human Resources – Benefit Management
Marketing – Sales Management
Enterprise Systems
• Executives notice that
– fast, accurate information gave their company a
strategic advantage.
• Money was being spent
on very similar systems
for each Functional Area
• Could Accounting and Finance
use the same system?
– Could all the systems be integrated?
Studying Systems
• Large companies had so many information
systems that you could actually study them
like animals.
• Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Fish, etc.
– Different families
• Different species
• This is called a taxonomy
– helps you understand similarity and difference
• Information Systems also have a taxonomy.
Large companies replaced many
“functional systems” with one large
“enterprise system”
Late 90’s and
2000’s
Executive
Portal
Financial
Reports
Accounting
Reports
Enterprise
System
(central database)
HR
Reports
Marketing
Reports
Production
Reports
Data Entry
Framework
Finance
Accounting
Operations &
Production
Marketing
HR
CMCC Lab
• Computer Mediated
• Communication (early innovations)
– email
– instant messaging
• Collaboration (more recent innovations)
– shared documents
– digital whiteboard
CMCC  ECS
Enterprise Collaboration Systems
• Companies had many independent systems in
different departments
– Email (Outlook Express)
– Scheduling (r25 system)
– Video & Teleconferencing (Cisco system)
• Companies now value having one unified system
– Outlook (email, scheduling, task management)
– Lotus Notes (same)
– Google Apps
CMCC Lab & Group Project
What you needed to do in lab..
1. Worklog complete and shared with me
2. Google Calendar complete with your schedule
– Reoccuring group meeting (5 of you should be free)
– One meeting with me in March (2 of you should be
free)
3. About Us page on Google Site with links to each
group member’s ePortfolio
CMCC Post Lab!
• Ignore the Post-lab on Blackboard!
– We are doing a special post-lab
• Project Proposal
– Each team member will list companies, technologies,
and one idea.
• Due next Monday/Tuesday
– Then, meet with your team and agree on the “best”
idea.
• Preliminary research and final “idea” are due by
February 29th
Taxonomy of Systems
• Large companies had so many information
systems that you could actually study them like
animals.
• Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Fish, etc.
– Different families
• Different species
• This is called a taxonomy and it helps you better
understand the similarity and difference between
animals.
• Information Systems also have a taxonomy.
Classic Taxonomy of
Information Systems
All Information Systems
PCS
Process
Control
Systems
Operational Systems:
Management Systems:
Systems that Support Operations
Systems that Support Management
TPS
Transaction
Processing
Systems
ECS
Enterprise
Collaboration
Systems
MIS
Management
Information
Systems
DSS
Decision
Support
Systems
EIS
Executive
Information
Systems
Functional vs. Enterprise
• An attribute of a system, not a category in taxonomy.
– Analogy: Some lizards are Herbivores, some Carnivore, and some
Omnivores.
– Some DSS’s can be Functional, some Enterprise, and some CrossFunctional.
• Functional
– Tailored to the goals of one functional business unit (Accounting,
Marketing, HR, etc.)
• Enterprise
– Tailored to the goals of the entire company; typically used by all units
• Cross-functional
– Tailored to two or more functional business units, but not all.
Another Taxonomy
All Information Systems
CrossFunctional
Systems:
Functional
Systems:
Focused on one
functional area
TPS
PCS
Process
Control
Systems
Transaction
Processing
Systems
Two or more area,
but not all
DSS
Decision
Support
Systems
MIS
Management
Information
Systems
Enterprise
Systems:
Integrates all
functional areas
ECS
Enterprise
Collaboration
Systems
EIS
Executive
Information
Systems
Transaction Processing System (TPS)
• Helps to manage transactions
– ATM Machine System
• Banking Transactions
– Cash Register System
• Point of Sale Transactions
– Accounting System – Checking Account Transactions
– Even Pay-per-view or OnDemand is a TPS
• What functional areas use TPS?
– Accounting, Finance, Operations, Marketing, Human
Resources.
Process Control Systems (PCS)
• Monitors and Controls Production Processes
(duh)
– Often Industrial/Manufacturing Processes
• Examples:
– Petroleum Refining
– Power Generation
– Automobile Manufacturing
– Making French Fries
Enterprise Collaboration Systems (ECS)
• Supports Operations (Surprised?)
• Teamwork, communication, and collaboration
• Examples:
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
E-mail
Chat
Video Conferencing
Calendaring
Journaling
Workflow
File Sharing
Management Information System (MIS)
• Supports Management (duh?)
• Analysis & Reporting
– Charts, Graphs, Summary Tools
• Usually connected to TPS and PCS systems.
• Examples:
– Banner – Manages College Information (Siena uses it)
– Spreadsheet (Excel) – One of the first and most basic
• Now considered a tool that is part of a system
– Oracle's Corporate Performance Management
Decision Support System (DSS)
• What-if Analysis, Decision Modeling, Scenario
Building, Highly interactive, ad hoc.
• Most DSS’s are custom developed for specific
companies; very few out-of-the-box products.
• One Example:
– Enterprise Decision Manager 2.0 Fair Isaac Corporation
Executive Information Systems (EIS)
•
•
•
•
Supports high-level strategic management
Uses critical data from other systems (MIS and DSS).
Portal Concept: one place with links to all information
EIS’s integrate external information such as economic
developments and news about related markets and
competitors. Helps strategic decision making, not just tactical.
– Tactical – doing things the right way right
– Strategic – doing the right things
Information Flow
Information
Exchange/
Communication
Enterprise Collaboration System
System
Information
Flow
Executives
Executive Information System
Managers
DSS
MIS
TPS
PCS
Operational Systems and Staff
Information Flow
Operations
Enterprise Collaboration System
Management
Executives
Executive Information System
Managers
DSS
MIS
TPS
PCS
Operational Systems and Staff
Processes vs. Transactions
• Are transactions a type of business process or
are processes a type of business transaction?
• Do transactions involve processing?
• Do processes involve transactions?
• Confused?
Example of a Business Process
• Toyota manufactures a Sienna Minivan
Example of a Business Process
• Exxon-Mobile refines crude oil into gasoline
Process Control Systems (PCS)
• PCS’s help to
– control processes (duh!)
– automate processes
– speed up processes
– make processes more cost effective
– generate feedback to better understand processes
Business Processes involving
Computers and Information
• Siena College registers students for classes
• Times Union Center checks tickets at door
• Doctor’s Office schedules patient visit
The transaction component of
information processing
• Siena College bills a student for classes
• Times Union Center sells tickets to customers
• Doctor’s Office cashes check from patient
Is this a process or a transaction?
1. Lakisha says, “I want a Big Mac without Mayo!”
2. Mason enters order into McDonald’s Point-ofSale Terminal, which he thinks is a stupid
system.
3. Mason says, “duh, umm, that’ll be $3.75.”
4. Lakisha hands Mason a $5 bill
5. Mason hands Lakisha $1 and one quarter
6. 17 minutes later…
Mason hands Lakisha an undercooked Big Mac
with Mayo.
Here is the real business process:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Lakisha says, “I want a Big Mac! with no mayo” and Mason enters this
order into an Information System and then goes back to picking his
nose.
2 minutes later…
Aiden stops thinking about Madden 2012, reads the order monitor and
places beef patty on grill. After undercooking the burger, he moves it to
a processing area
3 minutes later…
Hailey stops texting, reads her order screen but ignores “no mayo.” She
places burger on bun with lettuce, tomato, and lots of mayo, and moves
it to a receiving area, but forgets to press the “order complete” button
so no one knows its ready.
12 minutes later…
Lakisha says, “Where the **** is my Big Mac?” and Mason hands
Lakisha a Big Mac with lots of mayo that is undercooked and has been in
the receiving area for 12 minutes.
Process vs. Transaction
• McDonald’s “makes” a hamburger
• McDonald’s takes customer’s money and
gives customer a hamburger.
Process vs. Transaction
A Process
• The steps involved in
– transforming raw materials
into a product
– providing a service
• FYI: taking a customer’s
money is not a service
• Information Processing:
Transforming Raw Data into
useful Information
A Transaction
• Usually involves two entities
– customer and business
(or C2C, B2B, etc)
• Things of value are
exchanged
– money for a product
– money for a service
Process vs. Transaction
• While a transaction is part of a bigger business
process, the transaction does not produce the
product or service
– Example: Handing a cashier money does NOT
produce a hamburger.
– What are the key processes in making a
hamburger?
Process or transaction?
• Customer use a credit card to buy their 40
year old brother a $120 StarWars light-saber
from Amazon.com.
Process or transaction?
• Placing 10 lbs of sliced potatoes into a deepfat fryer in order to cook French fries.
Process or transaction?
• Time Warner mails a customer a cable TV bill
Process or transaction?
• Toyota printing 1000 payroll checks for the
assembly line workers at a plant in Ohio.
Process or transaction?
• Siena department heads
– develop a schedule of classes and
– assign professors to teach the classes.
• Students register for classes.
• These processes were hell before information
systems could help
Process Control Systems (PCS)
• Information Systems that help control
processes, not transactions.
• Is a cash register a PCS?
What is a cash register these days?
Functionality/Capabilities
–
–
–
–
–
Store money in a drawer
Swipe/read a credit card
Connect to VISA/MC/AE
Scan a product’s bar code to get price
Calculate the amount of change
• These capabilities
– Have nothing to do with making products or services
– Have everything to do with transaction of the product.
Bored? Offended?
• The examples I’m giving you are intentionally
simple to eliminate confusion.
• Soon we will look at very complex systems and
you will be challenged.
PCS + TPS + MIS is common
• IBM sells McDonalds a system which
combines a
– Cash Register System (example of TPS) with an
– Order Processing System (example of PCS).
• Together the TPS and PCS send data to a
– Supply Chain Management System
(example of MIS)
• helps McDonalds streamline its distribution of raw
materials (buns, burgers, potatoes).
Critical Thinking Question
• Observation: The new deep
fat fryer at McDonalds has a
wireless network adapter.
• Question: Is this the stupidest
thing you’ve ever heard of or
what?
• Real Question: Why would you
ever connect a deep fat frying
to the Internet?
Deep Fat Fryer as a Hardware Device
• Goals: Fresher fries, less waste
• Fryer as PCS Data Source
– Amount of Fries cooked is input to other systems
• Helps you determine when to change the fryer oil more
consistently
• Compare to fries sold (from TPS) and you get feedback
– If fries sold << fries cooked then we are cooking too many fries.
• Fryer as a processing control device
– Fryer tells you exactly how far to fill it.
– Instead of cooking fries on demand, you always cook fries,
but vary the “load” based on historical sales (from TPS).
Control vs. Processing revisited
• Comparing fries cooked to fries sold to calculate %
waste is information processing
– Cooking the fries is physical processing, not information
processing.
• % waste is feedback
– Not necessary to cook fries but indicates if you are
meeting your goal.
• Looking at yesterdays data might not be enough to
make good estimates.
• Changing the system so it looks at the average for all
weekdays is information system control.
• Computing this average is information processing.
Human Reaction
• Imagine if you’ve been
working at McDonalds for
10 years and now a device
tells you exactly how many
pounds of potatoes to put
in the fryer.
• How might you react?
– How should you react?
Summary
• Information Systems include IT (Hardware and
Software) but also People, Data, and
Procedures to follow.
• Understanding General System requires
identifying 8 key components: Goals,
Stakeholders, System Boundaries, Input,
Processing, Output, Feedback, and Control.
Summary
• Historically, system have been designed for
the 5 core functional units of business.
• 6 different types of systems emerged: PCS,
TPS, ECS, MIS, DSS, and EIS.
• More recently, enterprise systems have been
developed to integrate systems in all the units.
Summary
• The output of one system could be the input
to another.
• The output of one system could be feedback
to another.
• Feedback is information that helps you
– Improve a system
– Change a system
– Control a system
Summary
• If you clearly define a system’s goals,
boundaries, and stakeholder than it is easier
to separate input, processing, output,
feedback and control.
• Just understanding the input and the output
of a system is often enough to “figure it out”
and “leverage it” to gain advantages.
• Leveraging system or designing good systems
requires understanding good and bad systems.

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