Applied Business in IS
• This unit introduces system design and analysis concepts in developing information systems
• This unit also provides a practical approach to the use of commonly available spread sheet, database and accounting packages and their application in supporting business information systems requirements in business and other organisations
1. EXCEL 2007 Practical Exam (open book) – week 4 tutorial → 15%
2. ACCESS 2007 Practical exam (open book) – week 8 tutorial → 15%
3. MYOB Practical exam (open book) – week 12 tutorial → 15%
4. Final exam (closed book) – 55% → covers the theory that is in lectures
NOTE: Revision in week 3, 7 and 11 tutorials
Why do business use information systems?
• Information systems are:
- Crucial to success of modern business organsations
- Constantly being developed to make business more competitive
- Impact productivity and profits
- Helpful in good decision making process
How do we develop these information systems?
• Understanding what business requires thorough systems analysis and design
• Systems analysis – process of understanding in detail what a system should accomplish
• Systems design – process of specifying in detail how components of an information system should be physically implemented
• Systems analyst – uses analysis and design techniques to solve business problems using information technology
What are the types of problems that a system analyst might solve?
• Example 1:
- Customers want to order products any time of the day or night. So, the problem is how to process those orders around the clock without adding to the selling cost.
• Example 2:
- Marketing department wants to anticipate customer needs better by tracking purchasing patterns and buying trends. So the problem is how to collect and analyse information on customer behaviour that marketing can put to use.
• More examples:
- Problems planning production amounts to satisfy customer demands.
- Problems reducing inventory holding costs and obtaining supplier discounts.
- Problems limiting complete information about the organization’s financial position.
- Problems limiting employee flexibility in benefits plan.
The analyst as a business problem solver:
• Has computer technology knowledge and programming expertise
• Understands business problems
• Uses logical methods for solving problems
• Has fundamental curiosity
• Wants to make things better
• Is more of a business problem solver than a technical programmer
Analyst’s Approach to problem solving:
Research and understand the problem
Verify benefits of solving problem outweigh the costs (e.g.- is it too costly)
(If feasible) Define the requirements for solving the problem
(What is required to solve it? What specific objectives must be satisfied? What data needs to stored and used, what processing should be done to the data, what outputs must be produced? What needs to be done must be defined first NOT how it will be done)
Develop a set of possible solutions (alternatives)
(Here it will be decided how it will be done)
Decide which solution is best and recommend
Define the details of the chosen solution
Implement the solution
Monitor to ensure desired results
• When a new information system will be a solution to a problem, it is important to understand the problem itself.
• This is the essence of systems analysis → understanding and defining what it takes to solve the problem
Systems that solve business problems: KEY TERMS
• System – a collection of interrelated components functioning together to achieve an outcome
• Information systems – collection of interrelated components that collect, process, store, and provide as output the information needed to complete business tasks
• Subsystem – part of a larger system
• Functional decomposition – dividing a system into smaller subsystems and