P4 * Features and Functions of Information Systems

P4 – Features and Functions of
Information Systems
Types of Information Systems
Features of Information Systems
Functions of Information Systems
Management Information
Systems (MIS)
Marketing Analysis
Human Resources
Communication/data flows
Control and feedback loops;
Closed and open systems.
To achieve P4 you must demonstrate an understanding of the features and functions of
information systems. Create a presentation which shall be used to teach others about
different types of information systems.
In your presentation you will need to describe the different types of systems that are
used, you must also include the features and functions of the information systems as well
as an explanation of the purpose of the system and who might use them (real business
examples would be beneficial here).
P4 – Features and Functions of
Information Systems
Marketing Information System
• One of the first areas of business to adopt the need for an information
• Identifying where and why its sales go up and down.
• Applying and analysing the result of a promotion in one store before
applying it to all stores.
• Analysing the impact of changes on product prices, profit/loss,
Financial Information System
• Simply it is needed to manage income or revenue. However, once
setup it can focus on expenditure and costs to make it more effective.
• Able to identify trends and unusual patterns to support the running
and actions of the business.
• Helps identify the financial impact of an investment, large purchase,
new revenue or expenditure. Keeping the business in the black.
Human Resources Information System
• Human resources have a great need for an information system due to
the amount of analyses they have to perform.
• Information systems support HR in deciding how many staff they need
at key times in their days. The system will help identify skill shortages,
training needs and staff turnover.
• Analysis of staff skills can support the business in decisions over
promotions, training and career development opportunities.
Management Information System (MIS)
• An MIS is a decision support information system
• Input, query and response is usually already predefined
• It is effective in supporting management ask the same questions over
and over to track, analyse, make decisions about the day to day
running of the business.
• Simple systems with complexity hidden away from the users
• Answers are often displayed as tables or graphs but easily exported
into all office applications
• An MIS is only effective if the data entered is accurate, consistent and
acquired with confidence.
P4 – Features and Functions of
Information Systems
• Data input must be as accurate as possible (subject to cost/timescale).
• It should be stored in the most logical way.
• The data then needs to be summarised to meet the needs of the
• The data is vital to the creation of a good information system.
• People are involved in both capturing the data and exploiting the
• It is important to motivate those who capture the data by highlighting
the importance of how the data can help the business.
• In small organisations the Information System may just run on the PC
of the person in charge of that system(s).
• In larger businesses it usually runs on a server, either shared or
dedicated, with internet access if needed.
• It is unusual to require specialised hardware.
• The simplest Information System can be built using standard software.
• However, MIS and some other Information Systems can use complex
• The developer configures this system to a set standard, allowing some
customisation by the business.
• Costs varies but more expensive usually means more features.
• An MIS can be delivered across the internet but this usually brings out
an issue of security of data.
• Many are delivered across an intranet, protected by the businesses
firewall, to safeguard information.
• Telecommunications can be used to provide the utmost security.
P4 – Features and Functions of
Information Systems
• Detailed data inputted into the system, stored, processed ready for
being used as an output.
• Telling the system what and how they expect the outputs to look like
and do. This is usually setup by the trained individual or technician.
• The data should be stored at the most detailed level possible.
• The IT department would take consistent backups of this data.
• The IT department may also store summaries of this data for ease of
• Processing is what turns data into information.
• At its simplest this may be adding up a list of sold products and
working out remaining stock levels but at its most complex this could
be analysing trends and answer complex decisions on actions to take.
• This can be in two formats: graphical and textual.
• Graphical is good for seeing the bigger picture and understanding
trends. Textual is preferred for analysing the detail and making more
accurate choices.
• Outputs should be presented in the most suitable way for the user.
Control and Feedback Loops
• This is what happens as a result of the output from the system.
• An automated example would be a system checking stock levels and
re-ordering stock based on the system outputting a minimum level.
• Or a product automatically increasing its price based on great sales.
Closed and Open Systems
• In a closed system, the user may have some choice about what to
report on but they are limited to pre-defined output formats.
• In an open system there is often greater flexibility. This usually means
significant training is needed to make the best of the system which will
be very analysis based.
P5 – Features and Functions of Information
Systems @ Titus Salt School
To achieve P5 you need to identify the information systems used in a specified
organisation. Titus Salt School staff use many different information systems. The main
one is SIMS but there also systems for Finance, HR, Data etc. which various staff
members will discuss with you over the next few lessons.
Produce a report or presentation with accompanying notes to show four information
systems that are used within school. For each system (Finance, Personnel, Student
Information) cover the following:
The name of the system;
Type of system
Which department(s) uses it
The purpose of the information system
The specific features and functions
The effectiveness of the system (benefits, weaknesses and is it fit for purpose)
Study collections