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Information Systems

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Information System (CS507)
LESSON 1
Defining Needs
Decisions are required to be taken in day to day life. No single task in our life can be done without decision
making. For every assignment we undertake, there has to be a process of making choices. Whenever we
are faced with choices, there is an inevitable need of selecting one particular course of action. Any task
can be done in various ways, but doing it simultaneously through all possible alternatives is virtually
impossible. This necessitates making a reasonable choice from all the options available.
An example can be taken for a person who wants to go to Islamabad. He can look at following options.
Use any of the local bus service available
Go by train
Travel by air
As you can see, the decision to be made in this situation is faced with the availability of a set of combination
of alternatives.
Every decision we take in daily life requires some sort of information about the alternatives available. For
instance, in the above example certain factors need to be considered before taking a decision.
How urgent it is to reach to Islamabad
How much time is available to accommodate travelling, since each mode of travelling will take
different time to reach at the same destination?
Whether bookings are available for the desired day and time.
Is there any possibility of cancellation of booking or flight or bus service.
Which bus service or airline to chose from, since various airlines and bus services are having
travelling facilities to Islamabad.
Without the availability of relevant information, we may take a decision which is wrong or not to our
benefit. For instance if the person does not have complete knowledge of facts he might not be able to
take the right decision.
Similar is the case with business. Businesses are run by organizations which are in-fact a group of people.
As individuals have choices to choose from, organizations also face various alternatives in day to day
operations, Decisions are made by individuals from the management.
1.1 Need for information
Information is required in day to day decision making. Without the availability of right quantity of
information at the right time, the process of decision making is highly affected. For this reason various
sources of information are used to extract information. Some of these are:
o  Newspapers
o  Internet
o  Marketing Brochures
o  Friends & Relatives
1.2 Sources of Information
Sources of information are generally categorized as primary, secondary or tertiary depending on their
originality and their proximity to the source or origin. For example, initially, findings might be
communicated informally by email and then presented at meetings before being formally published as a
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Information System (CS507)
primary source. Once published, they will then be indexed in a bibliographic database, and repackaged
and commented upon by others in secondary sources.
The designations of primary, secondary and tertiary differ between disciplines or subjects, particularly
between what can generally be defined as the sciences and the humanities. For example,
 The historian's primary sources are the poems, stories, and films of the era under study.
 The research scientist's primary sources are the results of laboratory tests and the medical records
of patients treated with the drug.
Written information can be divided into several types.
 Primary Sources
 Secondary Sources
 Tertiary Sources
1.3 Primary Sources
Some definitions of primary sources:
1.  Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based
2.  They are usually the first formal appearance of results in the print or electronic literature (for
example, the first publication of the results of scientific investigations is a primary source.)
3.  They present information in its original form, neither interpreted nor condensed nor evaluated
by other writers.
4.  They are from the time period (for example, something written close to when the event
actually occurred.
5.  Primary sources present original thinking and report on discoveries or share new information.
Some examples of primary sources:
1.  Scientific journal articles reporting experimental research results
2.  Proceedings of Meetings, Conferences.
3.  Technical reports
4.  Dissertations or theses (may also be secondary)
5.  Patents
6.  Sets of data, such as census statistics
7.  Works of literature (such as poems and fiction)
8.  Diaries
9.  Autobiographies
10. Interviews, surveys and fieldwork
11. Letters and correspondence
12. Speeches
13. Newspaper articles (may also be secondary)
14. Government documents
15. Photographs and works of art
16. Original documents (such as birth certificate or trial transcripts)
17. Internet communications on email, and newsgroups
1.4 Secondary Sources
Secondary sources are less easily defined than primary sources. What some define as a secondary source,
others define as a tertiary source. Nor is it always easy to distinguish primary from secondary sources.
For example,
 A newspaper article is a primary source if it reports events, but a secondary source if it
analyses and comments on those events.
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In science, secondary sources are those which simplify the process of finding and evaluating
the primary literature. They tend to be works which repackage, reorganize, reinterpret,
summarize, index or otherwise "add value" to the new information reported in the primary
literature.
Some Definitions of Secondary Sources:
1.  Describe, interpret, analyze and evaluate the primary sources
2.  Comment on and discuss the evidence provided by primary sources
3.  Are works which are written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight?
Some examples of secondary sources:
1.  bibliographies (may also be tertiary)
2.  biographical works
3.  commentaries
4.  dictionaries and encyclopedias (may also be tertiary)
5.  dissertations or theses (more usually primary)
6.  handbooks and data compilations (may also be tertiary)
7.  history
8.  indexing and abstracting tools used to locate primary & secondary sources (may also be
tertiary)
9.  journal articles, particularly in disciplines other than science (may also be primary)
10. newspaper and popular magazine articles (may also be primary)
11. review articles and literature reviews
12. textbooks (may also be tertiary)
1.5 Tertiary Sources
This is the most problematic category of all.
Some Definitions of Tertiary Sources:
1.  Works which list primary and secondary resources in a specific subject area
2.  Materials in which the information from secondary sources has been "digested" -
reformatted and condensed, to put it into a convenient, easy-to-read form.
3.  Sources which are once removed in time from secondary sources
Some examples of tertiary sources:
1.  Almanacs and fact books
2.  Bibliographies (may also be secondary)
3.  Chronologies
4.  Dictionaries and encyclopedias (may also be secondary)
5.  Directories
6.  Guidebooks, manuals etc
7.  Handbooks and data compilations (may also be secondary)
8.  Indexing and abstracting tools used to locate primary & secondary sources (may also be
secondary)
9.  Textbooks (may also be secondary)
1.6 Changing Needs
When needs change, requirements for information change. Information needs of users are changing as a
result of changes in the availability of information content in electronic form. Changing needs of the users
determine the nature of the physical form in which information content is currently being made available
for users' access and use in electronic information environments.
Information needs:
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Each user has a different type of information need depending on what he's trying to find and why
he's trying to find it. If we can determine the most common information needs a site's users have,
we can select the few best architectural components to address those information needs.
For example, if a user is designing a staff directory, we can assume that most users are searching for
items they already have information about. The user already knows exactly what he's looking for, he
has the terms necessary to articulate that need, and he knows that the staff directory exists and that
it's the right place to look. This type of information need would be best served by employing a
search system. So resources should be invested in developing and maintaining a comprehensive
search system.
Another example: the site's users are often new or infrequent visitors. And perhaps the site's
content scope is changing frequently. So the information architecture probably should be very good
at supporting orientation. If that's the case, invest in a table of contents or some other IA
component that's effective at orienting users and communicating what content is contained in the
site.
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Table of Contents:
  1. Need for information, Sources of Information: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Sources
  2. Data vs. Information, Information Quality Checklist
  3. Size of the Organization and Information Requirements
  4. Hierarchical organization, Organizational Structure, Culture of the Organization
  5. Elements of Environment: Legal, Economic, Social, Technological, Corporate social responsibility, Ethics
  6. Manual Vs Computerised Information Systems, Emerging Digital Firms
  7. Open-Loop System, Closed Loop System, Open Systems, Closed Systems, Level of Planning
  8. Components of a system, Types of Systems, Attributes of an IS/CBIS
  9. Infrastructure: Transaction Processing System, Management Information System
  10. Support Systems: Office Automation Systems, Decision Support Systems, Types of DSS
  11. Data Mart: Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), Types of Models Used in DSS
  12. Organizational Information Systems, Marketing Information Systems, Key CRM Tasks
  13. Manufacturing Information System, Inventory Sub System, Production Sub System, Quality Sub system
  14. Accounting & Financial Information Systems, Human Resource Information Systems
  15. Decision Making: Types of Problems, Type of Decisions
  16. Phases of decision-making: Intelligence Phase, Design Phase, Choice Phase, Implementation Phase
  17. Planning for System Development: Models Used for and Types of System Development Life-Cycle
  18. Project lifecycle vs. SDLC, Costs of Proposed System, Classic lifecycle Model
  19. Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD), Design of the information flow, data base, User Interface
  20. Incremental Model: Evaluation, Incremental vs. Iterative
  21. Spiral Model: Determine Objectives, Alternatives and Constraints, Prototyping
  22. System Analysis: Systems Analyst, System Design, Designing user interface
  23. System Analysis & Design Methods, Structured Analysis and Design, Flow Chart
  24. Symbols used for flow charts: Good Practices, Data Flow Diagram
  25. Rules for DFDs: Entity Relationship Diagram
  26. Symbols: Object-Orientation, Object Oriented Analysis
  27. Object Oriented Analysis and Design: Object, Classes, Inheritance, Encapsulation, Polymorphism
  28. Critical Success Factors (CSF): CSF vs. Key Performance Indicator, Centralized vs. Distributed Processing
  29. Security of Information System: Security Issues, Objective, Scope, Policy, Program
  30. Threat Identification: Types of Threats, Control Analysis, Impact analysis, Occurrence of threat
  31. Control Adjustment: cost effective Security, Roles & Responsibility, Report Preparation
  32. Physical vs. Logical access, Viruses, Sources of Transmissions, Technical controls
  33. Antivirus software: Scanners, Active monitors, Behavior blockers, Logical intrusion, Best Password practices, Firewall
  34. Types of Controls: Access Controls, Cryptography, Biometrics
  35. Audit trails and logs: Audit trails and types of errors, IS audit, Parameters of IS audit
  36. Risk Management: Phases, focal Point, System Characterization, Vulnerability Assessment
  37. Control Analysis: Likelihood Determination, Impact Analysis, Risk Determination, Results Documentation
  38. Risk Management: Business Continuity Planning, Components, Phases of BCP, Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
  39. Web Security: Passive attacks, Active Attacks, Methods to avoid internet attacks
  40. Internet Security Controls, Firewall Security SystemsIntrusion Detection Systems, Components of IDS, Digital Certificates
  41. Commerce vs. E-Business, Business to Consumer (B2C), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), E-Government
  42. Supply Chain Management: Integrating systems, Methods, Using SCM Software
  43. Using ERP Software, Evolution of ERP, Business Objectives and IT
  44. ERP & E-commerce, ERP & CRM, ERP Ownership and sponsor ship
  45. Ethics in IS: Threats to Privacy, Electronic Surveillance, Data Profiling, TRIPS, Workplace Monitoring