First of all, information can be defined as “data that have been shaped into a form that is meaningful and useful to human beings” (Laudon & Laudon, 2012). From this definition alone we can derive the fact that information is created from data (i.e. raw facts) that have been transformed into an entity that can be interpreted and utilised.
The following illustration will elaborate upon this:
The above table is an example of raw facts such as ‘Malik Sharif’,’23’, and ‘55’ that have been “organised and arranged into a form that people can understand and use” (Laudon & Laudon,2012).
The functions of information:
It is firstly worth noting that an information system is “any organised combination of people, hardware, software, communications networks, and data resources that collects, transforms and disseminates information in an organisation” (O’Brien, 2005). It is clear to see from this that information essentially makes up the foundations upon which information systems are built. Therefore the quality of information used will have a fundamental impact on every aspect of an information system and its contribution to an organisation.
The three primary roles of information systems in business are to support:
- Strategies for competitive advantage
- Business Decision making
- Business processes and operations (O’Brien,2005)
Without the use of information that is relevant and timely information systems cannot provide the aforementioned functions in an efficient manner. As information systems fundamentally revolve around the use of valuable information it is clear to see that any benefits derived from use information systems are as a direct result of correct information being gathered in the first place.
As a result, the value of information cannot be emphasised enough. The points outlined in this post will be further examined in subsequent posts.
Laudon & Laudon (2012), Management Information Systems, Managing the Digital Firm, 12th edition.
O’Brien (2005), Introduction to Information systems, 12th edition.