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Developing information systems

11 Mar

There are various approaches to developing information systems. These include examples such as traditional systems life cycle, prototyping, software packages, end user development and outsourcing. Firsty SDLC involves building the system by completing 6 stages sequentially:

  1. Project Definition
  2. Systems Study
  3. Design
  4. Programming
  5. Installation
  6. Post-implementation

Prototyping involves building an experimental system quickly and cheaply and is good as it is fast and has alot of user involvement. Software packages involve purchasing programs that have been written and tested and are good as they are cost saving, there’s limited technical skills and clear expectations. End-user development then involves building the system by end-users with little or no formal technical assistance. Finally, outsourcing means using an external vendor to develop or operate an organisation’s I.S.

Each approach should be safeguarded by security and quality assurance. I.S security includes, data, hardware and network security and also a recovery plan. Quality assurance includes, development methodology, quality measurements, programming standards, testing, development tools and quality audits.

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Organisations using Information Systems

10 Mar

All organisations invest in information systems, it is essential in order to allow organisations to compete, it gives them an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. It also improves organisations’ connections with customers, and business partners.

Organisations purchase information systems as I.S carries many roles in organisations including; operational efficiency, new products, services and business models, customer and supplier intimacy, improved decision making, competitive advantage and survival.

These roles are very important in organisations as improved efficiency can result in higher profitability and better use of resources.Ā IS can enable firms to create new products, services, and business models and a business model includes how a company produces, delivers, and sells its products and services. Also, it helps to develop strong ties and loyalty with customers and suppliers. It is also important as improved decision making comes from real-time data, to the right people. Furthermore,Ā IS can provide many competitive advantages, such as the ability to charge less for a superior product, better performance, and better response to suppliers and customers.

Overall, purchasing I.S for organisations is actually essential for survival as sometimes an investment in an IS is simply out of necessity, this can arise from needing to keep up with competitors, or due to new EU regulations.

 

The Spiral Model

9 Mar

Today I am going to talk about the spiral model which is a traditional model involved in developing information systems. It is a software project that repeatedly passes through phases in iterations called spirals.

There is four phases in this model; planning, risk analysis, engineering and evaluation.

1) Planning involves identifying the objectives eg. functionality, identifying the alternative means of implementing this portion of the product and identifying the constraints imposed on the application of the alternatives.

2) Risk Analysis refers to evaluating the alternatives relative to objectives and constraints, evaluating the risks involved with each alternative and conducting a risk resolution.

3) Engineering refers to developing and verifying the product, the product could be the software requirements specification or the design specification.

4) Evaluation involves planning the next phase and depending on the next phase this could be a requirements plan, an integration plan or and integration and test plan.

Overall, the spiral model is successfully used in developing information systems as it provides early indication of insurmountable risks, it allows users see the system early because of rapid prototyping tools and allows users to be closely tied to all life cycle steps.

Source: http://www.cathaldoyle.com

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The use of Data Flow Diagrams in Developing Information Systems

4 Mar

Data flow diagrams are essential in developing information systems as they are used to graphically represent the flow of data within an information system. DFD is a form of process modelling and is made up of four components; processes, external entities, data flows and data stores.

Processes refer to jobs that are done with the data, and transforming incoming data flows to outgoing flows. External entities refer to any class of people, an organization, or another system which exists outside the system that interacts with the system. Ā These are the places which provide the organisation with data, or have data sent to them by the organisation (e.g. customers, partners, government bodies). Data flows then mark movements of data through the system and connects the processes, external entities and data stores. Finally, data stores are data at rest. They represent holding areas for collection of data, processes add or retrieve data from these stores. Processes are the only component that connect to data stores.

 

There are many reasons why DFD’s are used in developing information systems.Firstly, they provide a pictorial and non-technical representation. They are also easy to understand and amend and quick to produce. Furthermore, they use a limited number of symbols with specific meaning which leads to concise system descriptions. Basically, theĀ reason we do process modelling is to improve the operation of a system, not just to change its physical form.

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Importance of flowcharts when developing information systems

25 Feb
A flowchart is a tool for analysing Ā processes, programs or systems. It has become an imperative part of developing an information system. A flowchart depicts the flow of operation through a programme or process by dividing the system or process into events/activities and presenting the logical relationship between them.
Flowcharts are made up of a set of basic symbols; decision process, connector and comment symbols. They are linked thenĀ using flow lines, to indicate the flow of control through the program, process or system. As we learned in both the lecture and the tutorial flow charts should begin at theĀ top of a page and flow down and to the right.
These are examples of some flowchart symbols:
When developing information systems, there is a wide variety of flowcharts to choose from such as systems flowchart, deployment flowchart, top-down flowchart and logic flowchart, with system being the most commonly used.
In our tutorial we were given the process for getting cinema tickets from a machine, we were given instructions in bullet point form and then created a flowchart which looked similar to the layout of this flowchart:
Overall, a system flowchart like above,Ā focuses on the configuration of a system, including the various processes, decision points within a system, flows of control, data stores and documents and is essential in the development of information systems as it helps analyse processes, programs and systems and depicts a logical flow of activities events and processes.
Thank you for reading!hope you enjoyed it!

Data Visualisation with regard to developing information systems

24 Feb

I am going to discuss the importance of data visualisation when it comes to developing information systems. Data is so crucial and fundamental when it comes to the development of information systems and the success of I.S. Therefore, how we visualise our data is ultimately key in the success of these information systems. So, we begin by receiving raw facts (data) that needs to be represented. We first use these raw facts to create a pivot table, this is an example of a pivot table:

 

This pivot table can then lead to us developing a dashboard, such as:

 

 

 

While studying the importance of data visualisation, we also looked at the revolution of information and how information is a resource that is as important as land, labour and capital. We noted the difference of data being raw facts and information being data that has been processed and useful to human beings. We also studied the importance of a system and its part in data visualisation as it is aĀ collection of interrelated parts that work together to achieve one or more common purposes.

Finally, we looked at a video of David McCandless speaking about the beauty of data visualisation and we see how he can turn complex and difficult data into beautiful and simple diagrams and patterns. Therefore, making it more appealing to the eye and easier to understand, thus proving the importance of data visualisation with regard to the development of information systems.

This is the link for the video:

Enjoy!

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