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Supplement 1 - Supplement 1 Information Systems Basic...

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Supplement 1: Information Systems Basic Concepts 1.1 What is the IPO Model? IPO is an acronym for Input, Processing and Output. The IPO Model simply states that all computers perform only a few basic functions: Input Processing Output Storage Input is the function that gathers data from the environment and gets it into the computer. The environment may include human beings as well as other computers. Output is essentially the opposite of input. Output is the function of disseminating information from the computer to its environment; again either a human being or another computer. The processing function refers to any manipulations necessary to turn data into information. Processing might be a calculation such as addition or subtraction. Processing might be sorting or ordering the data. Often, processing is many, many such steps. Storage is what we do with our data/information when it’s in the computer and not being input, processed or output. Supplement 1 – Page 1
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1.2 What Categories Can Business Information Systems be Divided Into? Business Information Systems can be divided into three categories: Operational, Collaborative and Managerial. These classifications differ in: which employees tends to use the systems in each category, and the primary purpose of the systems: input, processing or output. 1.3 What are Operational Business Information Systems? Operational business information systems tend to be used by lower level, non-managerial employees. The focus of operational BIS is on input or data collection. Operational information systems do process and output the data but the processing and output are very, very simple. For example, processing may simply be ordering the data collected. Output is usually just a list of all the data collected. Minimal calculations are performed or output. Often the output or dump of collected data by an operational information system is used as input into an information system with more sophisticated processing capability such as an MIS. Operational BIS include Transaction Processing Systems and Process Control Systems. Transaction Processing Systems or TPS are used to record data about everyday transactions. These transactions can occur hundreds or thousands of times each day. Examples of transactions include selling a product, employees punching in and out on a time clock, students submitting assignments. Each of these transactions requires some data to be recorded. For example, when a product is sold, we must capture something to identify the item, the quantity, the sales price and the date of the sale. We may also want to capture the payment method, the customer’s identifying information and the sales clerk/cashier’s identity. The effort in developing a TPS is put into the input activities. We try to capture as much data as possible as quickly as possible and with a minimum number of errors. Few calculations are performed beyond those necessary to compliment the data collection.
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