An information system comprises of an asset of people, procedures, and equipment. It is used for the management and better control of an organization. The function of an information system is to collect store, process, and present data to manage the business of an organization. Processing of data is an integral part of an information system. Characteristics of information system are as follows:
Characteristics of information system
- Deterministic or Mechanistic: The output from this system is uniquely determined, (example: evaluating formula).
- Probabilistic or stochastic: A degree of uncertainty exists so that the output is specified in terms of average or distributions (example: random number simulations).
- Adaptive or cybernetic: A system adapts itself to changes in the environment (example: a stock control problem where the re-order strategy depends on changes in demand).
In real life, few systems are truly deterministic. However, deterministic models are often created for systems which are stochastic or even adaptive.
Two other major characteristics of information system
Passive information systems
Passive information systems are methods that will answer inquiries based on the data that is carried within them, but the information is not altered. A simple example would be an electronic encyclopedia where questions can be used to search for data, and extremely helpful information can be received, but the user is not authorized to alter the data. Another instance would be the student file in a school that can be accessed by portions of the teaching faculty to find out where a student is at a critical time of day, or to look up their phone number to communicate the parents. The database of knowledge is a valuable resource, but it is not reasonable for an ordinary scholar to alter it.
Interactive Information Systems An interactive system is individual that data can be entered for processing which may alter the contents of the database. An instance would be the school secretary modernizing the attendance record of a pupil in the pupil file. In commerce, a stock control method in a supermarket is an interactive data system.
Management information systems
A management knowledge system is a software that allows the managers within a company to obtain and analyze data.
The administration of a corporation, or any other organization, is usually working on two planes. These levels may be different constants of management or may be the same women but
with two distinct tasks. One is the day to day administration of the organization, keeping track of invoices, assuring that the business has enough stock, preparing for the operators to be paid. The other is the strategic administration, making decisions about what items of stock to keep, what new items to stock, what to discontinue.
The first of these administration tasks is situation driven. The information system can be used to trigger decisions that have to be made. A certain item is announced to be low in stock by the method requiring a decision to be made as to either to reorder and how numerous to reorder.
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