Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Types of Information Systems

The figure gives you an overall idea of what is the kind of information, which is required at all levels in an organization. It may be any vertical -Manufacturing, Accounting, Marketing or HR, everyone needs information.

To process and provide this information to the various levels we have different Information Systems.

1) TPS – Transaction Processing System: Computerized systems that perform and record the daily routine transactions necessary to conduct the business; they serve the organization’s operational level. At the operational level, tasks, resources, and goals are predefined and highly structured.

2) KWS – Knowledge Work Systems: It serve the information needs at the knowledge level of the organization. Knowledge work systems aid knowledge workers. Knowledge work systems (KWS), such as scientific or engineering design workstations, promote the creation of new knowledge and ensure that new knowledge and technical expertise are properly integrated into the business.

3) MIS – Management Information Systems: Information systems at the management level of an organization that serve the functions of planning, controlling, and decision making by providing routine summary and exception reports. MIS summarize and report on the company’s basic operations. The basic transaction data from TPS are compressed and are usually presented in long reports that are produced on a regular schedule. MIS generally provide answers to routine questions that have been specified in advance and have a predefined procedure for answering them. These systems are generally not flexible and have little analytical capability.

4) DSS – Decision Support System: Information systems at the organization’s management level that combine data and sophisticated analytical models or data analysis tools to support semi structured and unstructured decision making. DSS help managers make decisions that are unique, rapidly changing, and not easily specified in advance. They address problems where the procedure for arriving at a solution may not be fully predefined in advance. DSS have more analytical power than other systems. They are built explicitly with a variety of models to analyze data, or they condense large amounts of data into a form where they can be analyzed by decision makers. DSS are designed so that users can work with them directly; these systems explicitly include user-friendly software. DSS are interactive; the user can change assumptions, ask new questions, and include new data.

5) ESS – Executive Support System: Information systems at the organization’s strategic level designed to address unstructured decision making through advanced graphics and communications. They address non-routine decisions requiring judgment, evaluation, and insight because there is no agreed-on procedure for arriving at a solution. ESS creates a generalized computing and communications environment rather than providing any fixed application or specific capability. ESS are designed to incorporate data about external events such as new tax laws or competitors, but they also draw summarized information from internal MIS and DSS. They filter, compress, and track critical data, emphasizing the reduction of time and effort required to obtain information useful to executives.

So this in Brief is the various Information Systems used in the organization. This is a very fundamental concept and should be known in case you aspire for a degree in systems management.

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