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Basics of Information System:

An Information System (IS) is a system that accepts inputs in the form of data resources, processes them, and provides output in the form of information products. Information systems are designed in such a way as to help the managers to analyze data and to enable decision-making.

Functions of Information Systems

Information systems carry out certain functions that would enable in data analysis and decision-making. Some of the important functions carried out by information systems are as follows:

Accepting input in the form of data resources

The input function of the IS carries out the data entry activities of recording and validating. The IS obtains the data pertaining to the business transactions and other proceedings and prepares them for processing. The data pertaining to the business transactions are recorded either on a physical medium like paper, or are fed in directly into the computer system. To ensure that the data has been recorded correctly it needs to be validated on a regular basis. The entered data is transferred or sent to a machine readable medium (like a magnetic disk) until it is required for actual processing.

Processing the data resources into information products

The data resources entered into the computer system are processed so as to be transformed into information products. The various processing activities that take place in the computer system are calculation, comparison, classification, and condensation. All these activities organize, analyze, and manipulate the data resources and convert them into information products that are required by the end users. The quality of data stored in the IS should be maintained on a continuous basis by taking up activities like validating, correcting, and revising.

Storing the data resources

Storage is an IS activity in which the data resources and the information products are preserved or stored in an organized manner for use in the future. Data is organized in the same way as text is organized in the form of words, sentences, paragraphs, and documents. In an IS, data is organized in such a manner that it can be retrieved whenever the user needs it.

Generating output

Information is made available to the end-users in various forms. Information systems aim at producing appropriate information products for end users. Some of the common information products are messages, reports, forms, and graphic images which may be provided through video displays, audio responses, paper, or multimedia. Information that is outdated, inaccurate, or difficult to understand would neither be meaningful, useful, nor valuable to end-users.

Controlling the performance of the system

It is extremely important to control the performance of the IS. An IS should provide feedback about all its activities namely, the input, processing, output, and storage activities. This feedback should be monitored and evaluated from time to time in order to check whether the system is meeting the established standards or not.

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