Assignment Set – 1(60 Marks

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Q1. What doyou understand by Information processes data?
Ans: The Concept of Information Meaning Information is a complex concept that has a variety of meanings depending on its context and the perspective in which it is studied. It could be described in three ways 1) Processed data, 2) The opposite of uncertainty, and 3) A meaningful signal-to illustrates the richness of the concept of information. Information as Processed Data Data are generally considered to be raw facts that have undefined uses and application; information is considered to be processed data that influences choices, that is, data that have somehow been formatted, filtered, and summarized; and knowledge is considered to be an understanding derived from information distinctions among data, information, and knowledge may be derived from scientific terminology. The researcher collects data to test hypotheses; thus, data refer to unprocessed and unanalyzed numbers. When the data are analyzed, scientists talk about the information contained in the data and the knowledge acquired from their analyses. The confusion often extends to the information systems context, and the three terms maybe used interchangeably. Information as the Opposite of Uncertainty A different perspective on information derives from economic theory and defines information as the negative measure of uncertainty; that is, the less information is available, the more uncertainty exists, and conversely, the more information is available, the less uncertainty exists? In microeconomic theory the equilibrium of supply and demand depends on a market known as

a perfect market, where all buyers and sellers have complete knowledge about one another and where uncertainty does not exist. Information makes a market perfect by eliminating uncertainties about supply and demand. In macroeconomic theory, firms behave according to how they read the economic climate. Economic signals that measure and predict the direction of the economy provide information about the economic climate. The firm reduces its uncertainty by decoding these signals. Taking an example of Federal Express in USA, each incoming aircraft has a scheduled arrival time. However, its actual arrival depends on unforeseen conditions. Data about when an aircraft departed from its destination is information in the economic sense because it reduces uncertainty about the aircraft’s arrival time, thereby increasing Federal Express’s ability to handle arriving packages. Managers also define information in terms of its reducing uncertainty. Because managers must project the outcomes of alternatives in making decisions, the reduction of uncertainty about the outcomes of various alternatives improves the effectiveness of the decision- making process and the quality of the decision. Information as a Meaningful Signal Information theory, a branch of statistics concerned with measuring the efficiency of communication between people and/or machines, defines information as the inputs and outputs of communication. Electronic,auditory, visual, or other signals that a sender and receiver interpret similarly convey information. For example, in the recruitment scenario about, the resumes and applications for the open positions are information because they are signals sent by the applicants, and interpreted similarly by both. The Managers in their roles as communicators both generate and receive information. They receive reports that organize signals or data in a way that conveys their meaning. Reports of sales trends become information; so do reports about hazardous waste sites. Managers derive meaning from the information they see and hear as part of communication and use it to make decisions. This definition of information requires a manager to interpret a given signal as it was intended. For example, a manager’s incorrect interpretation of body language in a negotiation would not be considered to be information from this perspective, although we know that managers use both correct and incorrect perceptions as information in decision making and

other managerial functions. Again, this view of information suggests the complexity of the concept and the value of a multifaceted definition.

2. How do you retrieve information from manual system?
Ans
Retrieving desired data from manual systems can be time consuming and expensive executives spend approximately six weeks a year on average looking for misplaced material. Secretaries may spend as much as 30 percent of their time looking for paper documents and approximately 20 percent of that time searching for misfiled items. Because paper files require large amounts of space, managers may store the data on a different floor or even in a different building. The labour costs of retrieving even small amounts of information exceed those for retrieving information electronically unless the organization can create small and compact storage for its paper records. Electronic systems provide rapid and inexpensive access to information stored electronically in an organized fashion. The costs incurred are only those of using the computer equipment for a fraction of a second, particularly when retrieval is part of ongoing processing. If an individual requests the retrieval, it may require additional processing to translate the retrieval request from a form understood by the person to a form understood by the computer. Then the information is stored in a different place from where it is requested, the request must be transmitted electronically to where the data are stored, and the retrieved data must be transmitted back. Communication costs are relatively low for small amounts of information, but the communication equipment and infrastructure can be expensive unless amortized over a sufficiently large volume of data communication. Companies that have small communication needs can pay to use the infrastructure of third parties, such as telephone companies.

3. What are the challenges of information management?
Ans

Challenges of Information Management In identifying their information management requirements, individuals face four major challenges in addition to securing the most appropriate information. First, they must deal with large quantities of information that may create overload. Second, they may face insufficient or conflicting information. Third, they must find ways to enhance their personal productivity. Fourth, they must acquire and maintain the technical skills needed for effective personal information management. Dealing with Quantities of Information The gap between the amount of information that an organization can collect and the ability of its employees to make sense of that information has been widening rather than narrowing. The early fear that computers would so improve a person’s ability to process and manage information that a job holder would need only one-third to one-half the time to do his or her job has been dispelled The reverse has occurred. Often employees face an infoglut, an overload of information. As individuals move higher in the organizational hierarchy and assume more managerial responsibility, information overload become an even more significant challenge. To avoid such overload individuals must carefully asses their information needs and then find effective ways of managing the required and available information. They must also find ways to manage data better. Facing Insufficient or Conflicting Information Although computers can make large quantities of information available to individuals, such information may not address their needs. Ramesh, ASM of Airtel, may wish to do some library research about competitors’ products. In spite of the large amount of information in the library’s electronic catalog,

she may not be able to secure the precise information she needs. Because computers process input from diverse sources, users may also obtain conflicting information if one source updates information more frequently than another does. Enhancing Personal Productivity Employees in any organization increasingly use information technology to improve their personal productivity. To ensure high productivity, employees must know how to use computers to facilitate, not hinder, their performance. They must know how to access the information they require and recognize when manual data collection and processing is adequate. Often employees must lobby their employers to add new technology that will help increase personal productivity. The ability to show the cost-effectiveness of additional expenditures for diagnosing and meeting information needs is critical. Employees must also understand and demonstrate when advanced technology is a detriment rather than an asset. Maintaining Technical Skills Finally, using information technology effectively requires continuous updating of technical skills. Although many companies provide training to their employees, others do not. Ensuring that employees have the appropriate skills has both financial and time cost implications. As a result, employees may find their mobility and productivity limited by the extent to which they can learn new technical skills independently of their employer.

4. Explain the different components of MIS. Ans
The components of MIS The physical components of MIS comprise the computer and communications hardware, software, database, personnel, and procedures. Almost all organizations employ multiple computer systems, ranging from powerful mainframe machines (sometimes including supercomputers) through minicomputers, to widely spread personal computers (also known as microcomputers). The use of multiple computers, usually interconnected into networks by means of telecommunications, is called distributed

processing. The driving forces that have changed the information processing landscape from centralized processing, relying on single powerful mainframes, to distributed processing have been the rapidly increasing power and decreasing costs of smaller computers. Though the packaging of hardware subsystems differs among the three categories of computers (mainframes, minicomputers, and microcomputers), all of them are similarly organized. Thus, a computer system comprises a central processor (though multiprocessors with several central processing units are also used), which controls all other units by executing machine instructions; a hierarchy of memories; and devices for accepting input (for example, a keyboard or a mouse) and producing output (say, a printer or a video display terminal). The memory hierarchy ranges from a fast primary memory from which the central processor can fetch instructions for execution; through secondary memories (such as disks) where on-line databases are maintained; to the ultra high capacity archival memories that are also employed in some cases. COMPONENT DESCRIPTION Hardware Multiple computer systems: mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers Computer system components are: central processor(s), memory hierarchy, input and output devices Communications: local area networks, metropolitan area networks, and wide area networks Systems software and applications software Organized collections of data used by applications software Professional cadre of computer specialists; end users in certain aspects of their work Specifications for the use and operation of computerized information systems collected in user manuals, operator manuals, and similar documents

Software Database Personnel Procedures

Multiple computer systems are organized into networks in most cases. Various network configurations are possible, depending upon an

organization’s need. Fast local area networks join machines, most frequently clusters of personal computers, at a particular organizational site such as a building or a campus. The emerging metropolitan area networks serve large urban communities. Wide area networks connect machines at remote sites, both within the company and in its environment. Through networking, personal-computer users gain access to the broad computational capabilities of large machines and to the resources maintained there, such as large databases. This connectivity converts personal computers into powerful workstations. Computer software falls into two classes: systems software and applications software. Systems software manages the resources of the system and simplifies programming. Operating systems (UNIX, for example) control all the resources of a computer system and enable multiple users to run their programs on a computer system without being aware of the complexities of resource allocation. Even if you are just using a personal computer, a complex series of actions takes place when, for example, you start the machine, check out its hardware, and call up a desired program. All of these actions fall under the control of an operating system, such as DOS or IBM OS/2. Telecommunications monitors manage computer communications; database management systems make it possible to organize vast collections of data so that they are accessible for fast and simple queries and the production of reports. Software translators-compilers or interpreters, make it possible to program an application in a higher-level language, such as COBOL or C. The translator converts program statements into machine instructions ready for execution by the computer’s central processor. Many categories of applications software are purchased as ready-to-use packages. Applications software directly assists end users in their functions. Examples include general-purpose spreadsheet or word processing programs, as well as the so-called vertical applications serving a specific industry segment (for example, manufacturing resource planning systems or accounting packages for small service businesses). The use of purchased application packages is increasing. However, the bulk of applications software used in large organizations are developed to meet a specific need. Large application systems consist of a, number of programs integrated by the database. To be accessible, data items must be organized so that individual records and their components can be identified and, if needed, related to one another. A

simple way to organize data is to create files. A file is a collection of records of the same type. For example, the employee file contains employee records, each containing the same fields (for example, employee name and annual pay), albeit with different values. Multiple files may be organized into a database, or an integrated collection of persistent data that serves a number of applications. The individual files of a database are interrelated. Professional MIS personnel include development and maintenance managers, systems analysts, programmers, and operators, often with highly specialized skills. The hallmark of the present stage in organizational computing is the involvement of end users to a significant degree in the development of information systems. Procedures to be followed in using, operating, and maintaining computerized systems are a part of the system documentation.

5. Mention different characteristics of MRS. Ans
Characteristics of MRS 1) MRS are usually designed by MIS professionals, rather than end users, over an extensive period time, with the use of life-cycle oriented development methodologies (as opposed to first building a simpler prototype system and then refining it in response to user experience). Great care is exercised in developing such systems because MRS is large and complex in terms of the number of system interfaces with various users and databases. 2) MRS is built for situations in which information requirements are reasonably well known and are expected to remain relatively stable. Modification of such systems, like their development, is a rather elaborate process. This limits the informational flexibility of MRS but ensures a stable informational environment. 3) MRS does not directly support the decision-making process as a search for alternative solutions to problems. Naturally, information gained through MRS is used in the manager’s decision-making process. Well-structured decision rules, such as economic order quantities for ordering inventory or

accounting formulas for computing various forms of return on equity, are built into the MRS itself. 4) MRS is oriented towards reporting on the past and the present, rather than projecting the future. 5) MRS generally has limited analytical capabilities-they are not built around elaborate models, but rather rely on summarization and extraction from the database according to given criteria. Based on simple processing of the data summaries and extracts, report information is obtained and printed (or, if of limited size, displayed as a screen) in a prespecified format. 6) MRS generally report on internal company operations rather than spanning the company’s boundaries by reporting external information.

6. List down the Potential External Opportunities, potential internal Weaknesses Ans
Potential External Opportunities

· Serve additional customer groups · Enter new markets or segments · Expand product line to meet broader range of customer needs · Diversify into related products · Vertical integration · Falling trade barriers in attractive foreign markets · Complacency among rival firms · Faster market growth Potential Internal Weaknesses

· No clear strategic direction · Obsolete facilities · Lack of managerial depth and talent · Missing key skills or competence · Poor track record in implementing strategy · Plagued with internal operating problems · Falling behind in R&D · Too narrow a product line · Weak market image · Weaker distribution network · Below-average marketing skills · Unable to finance needed changes in strategy · Higher overall unit costs relative to key competitors

7. What are the technology evaluation factors that need to be considered during ERP selection. Ans
The technology side of the ERP solution is managed through the database

management technology for data acquisition to data base creation, updation, and maintenance. The application development is done through the client/ server technology, where the servers handle the specific or the general functions as the case may be and the client play the role of processing interactively and locally for meeting the information needs. The client/ server implementation could be two tier or three tier, based on the design and the implementation strategy. To reduce the development effort and for ease of maintenance, the development approach is an object-oriented

approach, where the class and the object libraries are built for reusability of the object and its code.

Technology Evaluation Factor 1) Client server architecture and its implementation-two tier or three tier. 2) Object orientation in development and methodology. 3) Handling of server and client based data and application logic. 4) Application and use of standards in all the phases of development and in the product. 5) Front end tools and back end data based management system tools for the data, process presentation management. 6) Interface mechanism: Data transfer, real time access, OLE/ODBC compliance. 7) Use of case tool, screen generators, report writers, screen painter and batch processor. 8)Support system technologies like bar coding, EDI, imaging, communication, network. 9) Down loading to PC based packages, MS-Office, lotus notes, etc. 10) Operating system and its level of usage in the system. 11) Hardware-software configuration management.

8. What are the common business exposures and risk of using internet by organization. Ans

Business decisions are becoming increasingly dependent on high quality information. Impact of discontinuity in service are: Competitive disadvantage, Loss of revenue, Problems with cash flow, Increased costs, Fines and/or sanctions. In any organisation, management needs assurance that: Organizational goals are being achieved, Mitigation action has been taken to minimize risks to the system, and certain legal obligations have been met. All concerned need an assurance that the right information is being made available: · Growing public awareness and concern · Growing shareholder awareness and concern · Legal responsibilities of management Common Business Exposures Business Exposure Erroneous record keeping Unacceptable accounting Business interruption Some of the Possible Causes Incomplete or inaccurate processing of transactions Improper interpretation or Willful disregard for accounting practices Many factors including irreparable damage to organizational databases Erroneous management Misleading information or failing to decisions acquire necessary information Fraud or embezzlement Deliberate communication of wrong information Statutory sanctions Violation of laws or reporting regulations Excessive costs Loss or destruction of resources Loss of competitive advantage Failure to acquire approvals for high-value expenditures Lack of adequate safeguards over organizational resources Many factors including use of poor IS/IT to satisfy customer requirements

Major threats to IT installations 1. Unreliable systems - Power failure e.g. power outage . - HW failure e.g. disk failure - Systems SW failure e.g. as failure - Application SW failure e.g. incorrect update - Personnel failure e.g. poor training, intoxication 2. Disasters - Natural disasters e.g. fire, water, earthquakes - Financial disasters e.g. law suits, strikes 3. Holistic action - External e.g. sabotage, espionage - Internal e.g. fraud, theft, malice Risks of Internet to Organizations · Contracting viruses · Interception of passwords by hackers · Interception of sensitive/commercial data · Illegal/objectionable use of site by users · Inability to effectively disconnected Internet to own employees · Misrepresentation of identity by site visitors · Legal loopholes in electronic contracts

· No security against eavesdropping · No security against interception · Misuse of supplied/captured information · Misrepresentation of identity of site

9. Explain with relevant example the concept of business process. Also mention their elements. Ans
Business process For initiating business re-engineering, one is required to make some very basic and fund a- mental changes in one’s conventional thinking. The business is re-engineered through process reengineering and the business has a number of processes which together produce the business results. You concentrate on the ‘process’ and not on the task when it comes to reengineering. The business process is defined as ‘a set of activities performed across the organisation creating an output of value to the customer’. Every process has a customer who may be internal or external to the organisation. The scope of the process runs across the departments and functions and ends up in substantial value addition which can be measured against the value expectation of a customer. For example, the order processing scope in the traditional sense is within the marketing department. But when it comes to re-engineering, the scope expands to manufacturing, storing, delivering and recovering the money. Likewise, the scope of the bill payment is not limited to the accounts and finance departments but it covers ordering the vendors, receipt and acceptance or goods and paying the bill amount.

In a classical organisational set-up, the different processes are handled in parts within the four walls of the department and the functions are limited to the responsibility assigned to them. When the bill payment process is to be re-engineered, it will be re-engineered right from the purchase ordering to cheque payment to the vendor. The reason for covering the purchase ordering as a part of the bill payment process, is that the purchase order information decides the number of aspects of bill payment. The basic element of the processes is motivation to perform certain activities. In the process execution, the data is gathered, processed and stored. The data is used in the process to generate the information which would be checked, validated and used for decision making. The decision is then communicated. The process is executed through the basic steps such as receiving the input, measuring the input, analysing the document, performing, processing, recording, accessing data, producing the results and communicating them. For example, the process of receiving a visitor in the organisation could be considered as noncritical. But the process of new product development from the concept to the prototype is critical as it is expected to contribute high value to the customer. If the external customer focus is taken as a criterion for process selection, then all the processes which generate and add value to the customer are called the value stream processes. The value stream processes are critical and become the immediate candidates for reengineering. The other processes in the organisation contribute to the overheads of performing the business function. For example, the processes involving attendance, leave, payment of wages, security, travelling and accounting are not value stream processes as the resources employed in them do not create a value or improve a value to the customer. Such processes are a second priority as far as re-engineering is concerned. Every process is made of a series of activities. In each activity some ‘work’ is done which produces some result for processing into the next activity. If the work done under any activity is analyzed, it will be seen that the people are moving papers and products to achieve some result. In the process they collect the information for decision making and then carry out a physical activity of

pushing the product or the output using the paper for record, document and communication.

Figure above shows this work model comprising six elements.

The people who manage the business are engaged in the series of such work modules distributed across the organisation. When such work modules are viewed together as a single entity, it is a business process. In such process, participating people are considered as a team working with the sole objective of achieving the customer expectation on value. In re-engineering exercise all the six entities, viz., people, paper, activity, information, decision and product stand to scrutiny through a fundamental rethinking for radical redesign to produce dramatic results. Basic elements of business process are: · Motivation to perform · Data gathering, processing and storing · Information processing · Checking, validating and control · Decision making · Communication All these relate to human initiative.

10. Explain the link between MIS and BPR. Ans
MIS and BPR Any exercise towards building design of the management information system will be preceded by an exercise of business process re-engineering. Building the MIS is a long-term project. It is, therefore, essential to have a relook at the organisation where the mission and goals of the organisation are likely to be replaced. The business itself would undergo a qualitative change in terms of the business focus, work culture and style and the value system. This would change the platform of business calling for a different MIS. The MIS will concentrate more on the performance parameter evaluation which is different in the re-engineered organisation. The data capture, processing, analysis and reporting would be process central and performance efficiency would be evaluated in relation to the value generated by the processes. The decision support systems will be integrated in the business process itself, where triggers are used to move the process. The triggers could be business rules and stored procedures, enabling the process to become automotive in its execution. The MIS in the re-engineered organisation would be more of a performance monitoring tool to start with and then a control for the performance. The traditional MIS is function-centered like finance, production, material, etc. The Management Information System in a re-engineered organisation would be process centred, evaluating customer satisfaction, expectations and perceptions. The role of Management Information System will be raised to a level where the following activities would be viewed for the management action: · Control of process cycle time · Work group efficiency

· Customer satisfaction index · Process efficiency and effectiveness · Effectiveness of the Management in enterprise management and not in enterprise resource · The strength of the organisation in terms of knowledge, learning and strategic effectiveness The traditional role of the MIS as a decision supporter will continue, however.

Assignment Set – 2(60 Marks)

1. Explain the needs for information in the following areas a) Cost leadership c) ERP architecture b) Global corporation d) Technology Evaluation Factor

a) Cost Leadership
A cost leadership strategy seeks to achieve competitive advantage by

allowing the business unit to make more profit than its competitors when selling to customers at the same price. Complete information about costs makes costs easier to control and creates a allow patients to consult with doctors online; and diagnostic systems can support physicians’ diagnoses, identify preferred treatments, and specify their cost benefits. competitive advantage. The company requires quality internal information to reduce costs by achieving efficiencies in production, distribution, and sales. Even hospitals can use information technology to reduce costs by eliminating paperwork and improving services. Bedside terminals can store patient

records; electronic conferencing can bring the expertise of a team of physicians in remote locations to a single problem; home health terminals b) Global Corporation
A global corporation has rationalized its international operations to achieve

greater efficiencies through central control. Although its strategy and marketing are based on the concept of a global market, a headquarters organization makes all major decisions. A company pursuing a global strategy needs to transfer the operational and financial data of its foreign subsidiaries to headquarters in real time or on a frequent basis. A high level of information flows from subsidiary to parent, while limited data move from parent to subsidiary.

C) ERP Architecture Any information system has three basic components, viz., the Data Management, the Application Logic, and the Presentation. These components can be built with the client server role definitions. The client is a user and the server provides the services required by the user the to run the system. Since, the information needs are dynamically changing, the architecture required is to separate the data and its management from its application. The user requires the choice of using the data as it suits him the most. Hence, the application logic has to be separate from the data. There is also variability in the manner how the application logic is developed and presented. The architecture could be a two tier or three tier as shown in Fig below.

Client/Server Model – Architecture

Since, the ERP is a generic solution for the business operations, in each case of implementation, customization should suit the specifics of the business or customer. The architecture choice is influenced by this requirement. In a two-tier system architecture, there is a rigid division of roles. The data management is by the server and its processing is through the application logic by client. In this architecture all the requirements are sent to the server by all the users in the network. This affects the load on the server and the response time to the user increases. However, there could be an application which deals with high volume and complex data structure and this approach is more efficient, if response issue is taken care of by the high end multiple CPU and the parallel processing hardware platforms. There could be a case where the user is dumb and is required to use the system in a guided manner with the ‘help’ assistance. Then the three tier architecture is suitable. The client uses the GUI (Graphical User Interface) tools for simplicity while the application logic is processed on another machine. In this architecture three distinct roles are defined and three hardware platforms are made responsible to perform. The servers play two distinct roles of handling the data and the applications logic. This architecture is useful when there is not much change in the application logic and it is complex. Further, this architecture is useful when the user does not want to change the application logic but may want to change the presentation logic. The third possibility is a golden mix of the two architectures. Here the application logic is split into two. The logic which deals with the data more is attached to the server platform, where the data is being managed. The logic, which deals with the presentation and the specific needs of the user, is left to the client platform as shown in Fig. below

Client/Server Model – Architecture

It is very difficult to recommend one or the other architecture as the solution to overcome a typical requirement problem. In the choice of architecture, what is important is the user environment and the information needs and how the user handles them? The best architecture, in a given environment, is the one which is user-friendly, easy to understand and easy to maintain. The technology solutions are available to implement this philosophy. The ERP solutions are multi-users which are distributed over the organisation, spread over to any length. Two main technology solutions are available to the designer and the implementer of the ERP. One is the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the Network Management. The GUI is chosen since it allows the customization for a particular business entity. The GUI screens are so developed that the process running across the organisation is mapped to the business flows instead of the discrete business functions. The network is typically the bottleneck in any client/ server system. With the application logic, appropriately divided between client and server, it creates a reduced traffic intensity due to GUI interface. Accompanying the network efficiency and the GUI, the ERP solution uses a scalable architecture and a parallel processing technology by installing the suitable servers at the required locations. This ensures good performance with a continuous increased load conditions. For most of the customers, the ERP offers a basic business functionality. However, some users have particular needs for which they want an additional support through the tools or other modules. Most of these

requirements are extensions to the basic business functions. These customer specific needs are met through a popular and a widely used, client/server tool set. The business being complex requires a variety of systems to run efficiently. The presence of existing systems is not challenged or minimised by the ERP solution. In fact, most of the ERP solutions use open application programme interfaces that enable easy coexistence and integration with the legacy and the third party systems. The solutions also provide the gateways to the popular databases which are used in business. The ERP solutions are designed to make the office of the business paperless. It keeps all the business information online. Then, the users use the Work Flow Technology to move the process in a screen format from person to person for the changes, the approvals and the execution. With the multimedia technology, the servers can be configured to keep the business information online in any format, including the text, the spreadsheet, the image audio and the network video. The solution offers support for athe electronic notifications, through the EOI, the E-mail, or the internet to the business partners. For example, you can create a purchase order, get it justified and approved by the authorized person sitting at the other location, attach the engineering drawing to the purchase order by accesses to the CAD system, ssemble the documents of the purchase order, and have it sent through the EOI to a vendor located at a distant location without creating any the paper documents.

d) Technology Evaluation Factor
The technology side of the ERP solution is managed through the database management technology for data acquisition to data base creation, updation, and maintenance. The application development is done through the client/ server technology, where the servers handle the specific or the general functions as the case may be and the client play the role of processing interactively and locally for meeting the information needs. The client/ server implementation could be two tier or three tier, based on the design and the implementation strategy. To reduce the development effort and for ease of maintenance, the development approach is an object-oriented

approach, where the class and the object libraries are built for reusability of the object and its code. Technology Evaluation Factor 1) Client server architecture and its implementation-two tier or three tier. 2) Object orientation in development and methodology. 3) Handling of server and client based data and application logic. 4) Application and use of standards in all the phases of development and in the product. 5) Front end tools and back end data based management system tools for the data, process presentation management. 6) Interface mechanism: Data transfer, real time access, OLE/ODBC compliance. 7) Use of case tool, screen generators, report writers, screen painter and batch processor. 8)Support system technologies like bar coding, EDI, imaging, communication, network. 9) Down loading to PC based packages, MS-Office, lotus notes, etc. 10) Operating system and its level of usage in the system. 11) Hardware-software configuration management.

2. How information is selected and organized? Ans
The Components of Perception Perception is an active process by which an individual attends to certain stimuli and then organizes them in a meaningful way. Individuals attend to

certain features of a situation or select specific pieces of information to see or hear because of their needs, personality, or experiences. The information itself may also influence whether attention occurs: Individuals select stimuli that are more intense, repetitive, in motion, novel, very familiar, or in contrast with their background. People tend not to see information that they are exposed to repeatedly without consequence. Try to recall, for example, the pictures and shapes on the back of a five hundred rupee note. In addition, people tend to ignore information that runs counter to deep or long held beliefs. Consider why companies such as IBM or Digital Equipment Corporation failed to recognize the changing nature of the computer market in the late 1980s. Clearly, the subjectivity of perception limits the processing of information. Once individuals attend to information about a situation, they organize it in several ways. They may try to fit it into prototypes or categories that represent typical aspects of similar situations. They may match it to concrete examples. They may view it against a background, for example, within an environmental or situational context. Finally, they may group stimuli into patterns, trying to form a complete picture, sometimes even trying to do so using incomplete information. An understanding of how people select and organize information is critical to designers of information systems. Managers rely on information systems to collect and summarize data about their organization, so systems designers must present information in ways that have the greatest chance of being seen and remembered to ensure that users select the most important information and organize it in the most effective way. Extensive research in information systems has addressed questions such as how much information to put into a single table, what type of data to present as tables and what type as charts, and how best to use color to convey information and facilitate quality decisions. Managers and other jobholders also have a responsibility to ensure that they receive and select the information they need in order to operate effectively. Some managers may receive insufficient information for decision-making; others obtain so much information that they cannot separate the important from the unimportant. Individuals who hold jobs that require extensive coordination with other jobholders, as well as those who have a high ability and desire to communicate more frequently, experience overload more than those who do not. This overload can be particularly problematic: Decision

quality declines as the amount of relevant information increases beyond a manageable limit. Humans versus Computers Humans and computers are complementary in their ability to filter and save information. Humans can effectively decide what is important; computers cannot. Computers generally can retain much more information and collect it faster than humans collect. For example, computers at stores such as Big Bazaar can maintain a complete, instantaneous, accurate inventory on the thousands of items in a store; manual tabulation by a store clerk would take weeks. In addition, computers often process information more accurately than individuals do. Marine biologists obtain the information they require by counting fish, checking maps, and diagnosing equipment flaws under water; underwater personal computers could make the data collection easier. People can think easily in terms of symbols, objects, and concepts that have meaning. They can draw conclusions from data. Increasingly computers are able to think in this way, but they still have only a primitive ability to draw conclusions. Although physicians can use computer programs to help organize disparate symptoms into a pattern that assists with diagnosis, few patients would want a computer acting alone to treat their life-threatening disease. Computers can perform computations much more quickly and accurately than people can: They can add a column of 50 ten-digit numbers in less than a second, whereas such addition would take even the most facile individual several minutes. They can sort a list of one million addresses by ZIP code to prepare envelopes for bulk mailing; to do so manually in a timely fashion would take hundreds of people. Humans Versus Computers Human Assets · Identify important information · Think symbolically · Evaluate information

· Recognize patterns · Draw inferences and conclusions Computer Assets · Retain large quantities of information · Collect information quickly and accurately · Perform extensive computation rapidly and accurately · Sort information rapidly and accurately · Select information meeting preconditions

3) Briefly explain components of MIS. Ans
The components of MIS The physical components of MIS comprise the computer and communications hardware, software, database, personnel, and procedures. Almost all organizations employ multiple computer systems, ranging from powerful mainframe machines (sometimes including supercomputers) through minicomputers, to widely spread personal computers (also known as microcomputers). The use of multiple computers, usually interconnected into networks by means of telecommunications, is called distributed processing. The driving forces that have changed the information processing landscape from centralized processing, relying on single powerful mainframes, to distributed processing have been the rapidly increasing power and decreasing costs of smaller computers. Though the packaging of hardware subsystems differs among the three categories of computers (mainframes, minicomputers, and microcomputers), all of them are similarly organized. Thus, a computer system comprises a central processor (though multiprocessors with several central processing

units are also used), which controls all other units by executing machine instructions; a hierarchy of memories; and devices for accepting input (for example, a keyboard or a mouse) and producing output (say, a printer or a video display terminal). The memory hierarchy ranges from a fast primary memory from which the central processor can fetch instructions for execution; through secondary memories (such as disks) where on-line databases are maintained; to the ultra high capacity archival memories that are also employed in some cases. COMPONENT DESCRIPTION Hardware Multiple computer systems: mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers Computer system components are: central processor(s), memory hierarchy, input and output devices Communications: local area networks, metropolitan area networks, and wide area networks Systems software and applications software Organized collections of data used by applications software Professional cadre of computer specialists; end users in certain aspects of their work Specifications for the use and operation of computerized information systems collected in user manuals, operator manuals, and similar documents

Software Database Personnel Procedures

Multiple computer systems are organized into networks in most cases. Various network configurations are possible, depending upon an organization’s need. Fast local area networks join machines, most frequently clusters of personal computers, at a particular organizational site such as a building or a campus. The emerging metropolitan area networks serve large urban communities. Wide area networks connect machines at remote sites, both within the company and in its environment. Through networking, personal-computer users gain access to the broad computational capabilities of large machines and to the resources maintained there, such as large databases. This connectivity converts personal computers into powerful workstations.

Computer software falls into two classes: systems software and applications software. Systems software manages the resources of the system and simplifies programming. Operating systems (UNIX, for example) control all the resources of a computer system and enable multiple users to run their programs on a computer system without being aware of the complexities of resource allocation. Even if you are just using a personal computer, a complex series of actions takes place when, for example, you start the machine, check out its hardware, and call up a desired program. All of these actions fall under the control of an operating system, such as DOS or IBM OS/2. Telecommunications monitors manage computer communications; database management systems make it possible to organize vast collections of data so that they are accessible for fast and simple queries and the production of reports. Software translators-compilers or interpreters, make it possible to program an application in a higher-level language, such as COBOL or C. The translator converts program statements into machine instructions ready for execution by the computer’s central processor. Many categories of applications software are purchased as ready-to-use packages. Applications software directly assists end users in their functions. Examples include general-purpose spreadsheet or word processing programs, as well as the so-called vertical applications serving a specific industry segment (for example, manufacturing resource planning systems or accounting packages for small service businesses). The use of purchased application packages is increasing. However, the bulk of applications software used in large organizations are developed to meet a specific need. Large application systems consist of a, number of programs integrated by the database. To be accessible, data items must be organized so that individual records and their components can be identified and, if needed, related to one another. A simple way to organize data is to create files. A file is a collection of records of the same type. For example, the employee file contains employee records, each containing the same fields (for example, employee name and annual pay), albeit with different values. Multiple files may be organized into a database, or an integrated collection of persistent data that serves a number of applications. The individual files of a database are interrelated. Professional MIS personnel include development and maintenance managers, systems analysts, programmers, and operators, often with highly specialized skills. The hallmark of the present stage in organizational

computing is the involvement of end users to a significant degree in the development of information systems. Procedures to be followed in using, operating, and maintaining computerized systems are a part of the system documentation.

4) Explain with relevant examples the ascertaining the class of information need for the business execution. Ans
Ascertaining the class of information Ascertaining the information needs of the management for the business execution is a complex task. The complexity can be handled if the information is classified on the basis of its application and the user, which becomes the basis for the ascertainment. The classification could be as shown in table below. Class Example of information User The number of employee’s. products, services, locations, Many users at all Organisational the type of business, turnover the levels. and variety of the details of each one of these entities. Purchases, sales. production, stocks. receivables, payables, Functional Functional heads. outstanding, budgets, statutory information. The trends in sales, production technology. The deviations from the budgets, targets, norms etc. Competitor Middle and-the Knowledge s information, industry and Top Management. business information plan performance and target; and its analysis. Decision Status information on a Middle support particular aspect, such as Management and

Operational

utilisation, profitability standard, requirement versus availability. Information for problem solving and Operations modelling. Quantitative Management. information on the business status. Non-moving inventory, overdue payments and receivables. Information on the production, sales. Purchase, Operational and despatches consumptions, etc. Management in the form of planned versus Supervisor, Section actual. The information for officer monitoring of execution schedules.

The design of the MIS should consider the class of information as a whole and provide suitable information system architecture to generate the information for various users in the organisation. Let us now proceed to ascertain the information needs of each class

5) How do you define Management Reporting Systems? Ans
Management Reporting Systems Management reporting systems (MRS) are the most elaborate of the management-oriented MIS components. Indeed, some writers call MRS management information systems, the name we reserve for the entire area of informational support of operations and management. The main objective of MRS is to provide lower and middle management with printed reports and inquiry capabilities to help maintain operational and management control of the enterprise. Characteristics of MRS

1) MRS are usually designed by MIS professionals, rather than end users, over an extensive period time, with the use of life-cycle oriented development methodologies (as opposed to first building a simpler prototype system and then refining it in response to user experience). Great care is exercised in developing such systems because MRS is large and complex in terms of the number of system interfaces with various users and databases. 2) MRS is built for situations in which information requirements are reasonably well known and are expected to remain relatively stable. Modification of such systems, like their development, is a rather elaborate process. This limits the informational flexibility of MRS but ensures a stable informational environment. 3) MRS does not directly support the decision-making process as a search for alternative solutions to problems. Naturally, information gained through MRS is used in the manager’s decision-making process. Well-structured decision rules, such as economic order quantities for ordering inventory or accounting formulas for computing various forms of return on equity, are built into the MRS itself. 4) MRS is oriented towards reporting on the past and the present, rather than projecting the future. 5) MRS generally has limited analytical capabilities-they are not built around elaborate models, but rather rely on summarization and extraction from the database according to given criteria. Based on simple processing of the data summaries and extracts, report information is obtained and printed (or, if of limited size, displayed as a screen) in a prespecified format. 6) MRS generally report on internal company operations rather than spanning the company’s boundaries by reporting external information.

6) Explain with relevant examples the concept of business process. Also mention their elements. Ans
Business process

For initiating business re-engineering, one is required to make some very basic and fund a- mental changes in one’s conventional thinking. The business is re-engineered through process reengineering and the business has a number of processes which together produce the business results. You concentrate on the ‘process’ and not on the task when it comes to reengineering. The business process is defined as ‘a set of activities performed across the organisation creating an output of value to the customer’. Every process has a customer who may be internal or external to the organisation. The scope of the process runs across the departments and functions and ends up in substantial value addition which can be measured against the value expectation of a customer. For example, the order processing scope in the traditional sense is within the marketing department. But when it comes to re-engineering, the scope expands to manufacturing, storing, delivering and recovering the money. Likewise, the scope of the bill payment is not limited to the accounts and finance departments but it covers ordering the vendors, receipt and acceptance or goods and paying the bill amount. In a classical organisational set-up, the different processes are handled in parts within the four walls of the department and the functions are limited to the responsibility assigned to them. When the bill payment process is to be re-engineered, it will be re-engineered right from the purchase ordering to cheque payment to the vendor. The reason for covering the purchase ordering as a part of the bill payment process, is that the purchase order information decides the number of aspects of bill payment. The basic element of the processes is motivation to perform certain activities. In the process execution, the data is gathered, processed and stored. The data is used in the process to generate the information which would be checked, validated and used for decision making. The decision is then communicated. The process is executed through the basic steps such as receiving the input, measuring the input, analysing the document, performing, processing, recording, accessing data, producing the results and communicating them.

For example, the process of receiving a visitor in the organisation could be considered as noncritical. But the process of new product development from the concept to the prototype is critical as it is expected to contribute high value to the customer. If the external customer focus is taken as a criterion for process selection, then all the processes which generate and add value to the customer are called the value stream processes. The value stream processes are critical and become the immediate candidates for reengineering. The other processes in the organisation contribute to the overheads of performing the business function. For example, the processes involving attendance, leave, payment of wages, security, travelling and accounting are not value stream processes as the resources employed in them do not create a value or improve a value to the customer. Such processes are a second priority as far as re-engineering is concerned. Every process is made of a series of activities. In each activity some ‘work’ is done which produces some result for processing into the next activity. If the work done under any activity is analyzed, it will be seen that the people are moving papers and products to achieve some result. In the process they collect the information for decision making and then carry out a physical activity of pushing the product or the output using the paper for record, document and communication.

Figure above shows this work model comprising six elements.

The people who manage the business are engaged in the series of such work modules distributed across the organisation. When such work modules are viewed together as a single entity, it is a business process. In such process, participating people are considered as a team working with the sole objective of achieving the customer expectation on value. In re-engineering exercise all the six entities, viz., people, paper, activity, information, decision and

product stand to scrutiny through a fundamental rethinking for radical redesign to produce dramatic results. Basic elements of business process are: · Motivation to perform · Data gathering, processing and storing · Information processing · Checking, validating and control · Decision making · Communication All these relate to human initiative.

7) What are the uses of Executive Information Systems? Ans
Executive Information Systems Executive information systems (EIS), are becoming the primary tools of toplevel control in some organizations. They can be best understood by contrasting them with DSS, which they complement. The feature of EIS is to access to a large variety of internal and external data, terse presentation of information with colorful graphics, the ability to "drill down" on more and more detailed data, and the ability to control the system in a very easy way. Speaking tersely: while DSS are primarily used by middle- and lower-level managers to project the future, EIS primarily serve the control needs of higher-level management. They help an executive to spot a problem, an opportunity, or a trend. EIS also have forecasting capabilities that can be used in an "automatic pilot" fashion; in addition to their other features, these

capabilities make EIS a strategic planning tool. The relationship between these two types of information systems, EIS and DSS, is shown in figure

Seen in the light of the structure of a decision-making process, EIS primarily assist top management in uncovering a problem or an opportunity. Analysts and middle managers can subsequently use a DSS to suggest a solution to the problem. More recently, EIS-type applications are coming into use by middle managers as well Characteristics of Executive Information Systems 1) EIS provide immediate and easy access to information reflecting the key success factors of the company and of its units. 2) "User-seductive" interfaces, such as color graphics and video, allow the EIS user to grasp trends at a glance. Users’ time is at a high premium here. 3) EIS provide access to a variety of databases, both internal and external, through a uniform interface-the fact that the system consults multiple databases should be transparent to the users. 4) Both current status and projections should be available from EIS. It is frequently desirable to investigate different projections; in particular,

planned projections may be compared with the projections derived from actual results. 5) An EIS should allow easy tailoring to the preferences of the particular user or group of users (such as the chief executive’s cabinet or the corporate board). 6) EIS should offer the capability to "drill down" into the data: It should be possible to see increasingly detailed data behind the summaries. Executive information systems are a superior tool for exercising the control function of management. Thanks to these systems, many an executive has been able to widen his or her span of management control-in other words, to expand the number of people reporting directly to him or to her. The Role of Expert Systems Expert systems are a leading-edge technology that was successfully introduced from the research domain of artificial intelligence into MIS practice in the mid-1980s. Expert systems suggest a decision based on a computerized process resembling logical reasoning. In doing so, they rely on a knowledge base about the narrow domain of their application; on the facts of the case, they need to decide upon, and on the built-in inferencing (reasoning) mechanism. Expert systems may be incorporated into all types of organizational information systems or used as stand-alone advisory tools. In particular, they are increasingly combined with conventional programming technologies in transaction processing and decision support systems. Expert systems are used to select the cheapest way to mail a package, to render a consumer credit decision, to diagnose equipment malfunction, to plan an investment portfolio, or to configure a complicated equipment order. Complexity of these tasks-and of the corresponding expert systems-varies widely. Most frequently, these systems do not replace an expert, but rather serve as an assistant to a decision maker. The essential component of the knowledge base is heuristics-informal, judgmental elements of knowledge within the expert system’s domain. Reliance on a knowledge base is the essential distinguishing characteristic of these systems. The knowledge base is originally populated and subsequently enhanced as the system is tested on trial cases, and then further enhanced as the system is used.

Expert systems are knowledge-based programs that imitate a reasoning process to suggest a problem solution within their domain of application. The structure of an expert system from the point of view of its user (rather than that of a developer) is shown in figure below.

Simpler systems are usually implemented with expert system shells knowledge-based systems with empty knowledge bases. All the developer (a knowledge engineer or an end user) needs to do is populate the knowledge base with the specifics of the problem domain. There are several methods of representing knowledge, depending on the software used to implement the expert system. A very common way is to encode it in the form of "if-then" production rules. For example, a heuristic rule in a credit evaluation system may read: IF good customer and credit requested < $5,000 and loan term < 1 year THEN grant credit Another rule in the same knowledge base would define a "good customer" as: IF first contact> 5 years and default number = 0

and business volume> $100,000 THEN good customer The user to the system presents the set of facts describing a particular situation during a session. The inference engine of the expert system then acts as a reasoning mechanism and attempts to draw a conclusion by comparing the facts of the case to the knowledge base of rules. The system then gives a recommendation, with an explanation of its reasoning (presented, for example, as a sequence of rules applied). In a transaction processing system for order processing, an expert system may determine an order price by considering the customer, order volume, and all the available promotional prices for the items ordered (because of the multiple promotions offered by companies today – with short duration, regional applicability, and other constraints-this is a nontrivial problem that an order clerk would find difficult to handle on-line). Expert systems are of particular importance in decision support, where they may be used to suggest possible decisions based on problem constraints and the available outcome range. Expert systems are sometimes combined with other technologies derived from artificial intelligence research, for example, limited natural language processing or limited speaker-independent speech recognition.

8) Explain various Organizational limits to Relational Decision Making. Ans
Organizational Limits to Rational Decision Making The rational model of organizational decision making reflects only some aspects of the decision-making environment: those that lend themselves most readily to receiving support from information systems. Other aspects include incrementalism, chance-driven choice making, political/competitive behavior, and programmed choice making. As you shall see, most of these decision-making behaviors are rooted in the divergent interests of the people involved in making a decision. Therefore, various types of group decision support systems (GDSSs) can help these groups to negotiate, foresee, and

manage a crisis, or to look at a broad array of alternatives before arriving at a decision. Charles Lindblom analyzed how the decision-making process, particularly in large organizations (including governments), differs from the rational model. He contended that decision making in large organizations under ordinary circumstances is a process of "muddling through"-making small, incremental changes from existing actions and policies. The important criteria in this decision-making mode are avoiding the uncertainty of major changes and maintaining the consensus of all involved. Making a decision is not concluded by the "choice" of an alternative; it is rather a continuous process, during which any chosen course of action may be modified as it is implemented. The more recent, and most pessimistic, so-called garbage can theory of organizational decision making is based on the premise that not all organizations are destined to succeed-many companies (even those considered excellent at some point) will fail. These firms are unable to adapt to the changing environment, and much of their decision making consists of attaching solutions to problems in a rather random manner. In one sense, "garbage-can" decision making is present to some extent in all companies: because of the difficulty in forecasting outcomes, chance does playa role in providing a solution to many an organizational problem. Other aspects of organizational decision making are reflected by what George Huber called the political/competitive model. A decision process generally includes several participants, each of whom may seek to influence the decision in a direction favorable to themselves or to the unit they represent. For example, several studies of budget development clearly point to it being a political process. The need to reconcile the diverging interests of various stakeholders (for example, senior management, labor, government, and others) often leads participants to avoid making major departures from current policies-and is thus one of the reasons for incremental decision making. Rational decision making in organizations is also limited by programmed behavior. When decision makers engage in this type of behavior, they follow standard operating procedures, which constrains their choices and prevents creative problem solving as they opt for the "safe and tried." An analysis of

the results of previous choices, assisted by information systems, may help decision makers relax the constraints of programmed choice making.

9) Explain different components of DSS. Ans
Components of DSS The three principal DSS subsystems and their principal capabilities are shown in figure 10.1. Various commercial systems support DSS development and package these DSS capabilities in a variety of ways by distributing them among a series of optional modules.

Fig. Components of DSS Data Management Subsystem The data management subsystem of a DSS relies, in general, on a variety of internal and external databases. Indeed, we have said that the power of DSS derives from their ability to provide easy access to data. This is not to say that a simple, usually spreadsheet-based DSS for the personal use of a manager cannot rely on the manager’s limited personal database. It is simply that maintaining the currency and integrity of a significant database of this

kind is usually a daunting task. Proliferation of personal databases also contradicts the principles of information resource management.

Data

Management Subsystem On the other hand, it is usually undesirable to provide a DSS with direct access to corporate databases. The performance of the transaction processing systems that access these databases, as well as the responsiveness of the DSS, would both be degraded. Usually, therefore, the database component of DSS relies on extracts from the relevant internal and external databases. The user is able to add to these data at will. This is shown in figure 10.2. The extraction procedure itself is generally specified by a specialist rather than an end user. The specialist needs to pay particular attention to data consistency across multiple decision support systems that extract data from

the corporate databases. If extracts for the DSS serving the same functional area are made at different times, the extracted databases will differ and "battles of the printout" may result. The Model Management Subsystem The power of DSS rests on the user’s ability to apply quantitative, mathematical models to data. Models have different areas of application and come from a variety of sources. Software packages for developing DSS (socalled DSS generators) contain libraries of statistical models. These models include tools for the exploratory analysis of data-tools designed to obtain summarized measures such as mean and median values, variances, scatter plots, and so forth. Other statistical models help analyze series of data and forecast future outcomes by approximating a set of data with a mathematical equation, by extending the trend of a curve by extrapolation techniques, or by providing for seasonal adjustment. The capabilities of the model management component of DSS are summarized in figure Other models help establish (or reject) causal relationships between various factors (for example, whether the drop in sales volume is caused by the aging of our target market segment). Market response models show how sales depend on such factors as price and promotion. Simulation models that generate input values randomly from a certain probability distribution (also called Monte Carlo models-after the city where the famous casino is, of course) are employed for waiting-line problems, such as establishing the number of operators needed for order taking or deciding on staffing levels for a service center.

Model Management Subsystem Optimization models, developed by management scientists, are available for use in DSS. These models aim to allocate resources to maximize profit or minimize cost or time. A number of such models are based on a linear programming technique. These include models that allocate input resources (labor, materials, capital) among various products; models that assign activities to personnel or equipment; and models that determine the best shipping schedules from several points of origin to several destinations. Other models optimize inventory levels or determine optimal network configurations. Specialized model libraries are available for financial modeling, risk analysis, or marketing. A particular advantage of DSS is the decision maker’s ability to use a model to explore the influence of various factors on outcomes (a process known as sensitivity analysis). Two forms of such analysis are the what-if analysis and goal seeking. When doing what-if analysis, the decision maker creates multiple scenarios by assuming various realistic values for input data, Thus, the decision maker

asks "What if these are the values of the inputs?" The model recomputes outputs for each case. Here are some examples of questions that can be directed toward appropriate models: What will be the cost of goods sold if the cost of raw materials increases by 10 percent? What will be the effects on the company bonus program if sales increase by 3 percent and direct expenses increase by 5 percent? When goal seeking, the decision maker works backward from the assumed results to the needed input values. Thus, the decision maker asks "What will it take to achieve this goal?" Some examples of questions asked in this mode are: · What sales volume will be necessary to ensure a revenue growth of 10 percent next year? · How many service center employees will it take to ensure that every order is handled within three minutes? · What quarterly revenues will we need from each of our three products to generate the desired profits during these quarters? The actual form in which these questions may be asked depends on the options offered by the dialog management subsystem of the DSS, which we shall discuss next. There is significant research interest in providing a degree of automated model management. The user would be able to present the problem in a system of this kind, and the system would automatically select an appropriate model or construct one from the existing models and "building blocks." The Dialog Management Subsystem Along with DSS’s ability to apply models to large volumes of data from a variety of sources, a single advantage of DSS is the user-friendly and flexible interface between the human decision maker and such a system. This stands in contrast to management reporting systems. The notable feature is support of multiple forms of input and output. By combining

various input and output capabilities of a DSS, users can engage in the individual dialog styles that best support their decision-making styles. The field of artificial intelligence has made some notable contributions to dialog management, such as the ability to specify what is wanted in a subset of natural language or to activate the system by voice. The window capability enables the user to maintain several activities at the same time, with the results displayed in screen windows (the user employs a mouse to move between the windows). A variety of help and even training-by-example capabilities may be offered. Significant attention has been devoted by researchers to the effectiveness of computer graphics, as opposed to the tabular display of data. Gary Dickson and his colleagues found that, in general, one cannot claim an advantage (however intuitively appealing it may he) for graphics throughout all decision-related activities. They did find, however, that graphs outperform tables when a large amount of information must be presented and a relatively simple impression is desired. This is very often the case-and the main reason why executive information systems, discussed later in this chapter, rely heavily on graphics. By analyzing the results of research in this area, Ali Montazemi and Shuohong Wang, concluded that line graphics have time-saving effects on decision making for more complex decision tasks only, and are less defective at providing precise information. Color graphics were found to improve decision quality, but they did not reduce the time necessary to arrive at a decision. Graphic representation of quantitative information requires considerable care to prevent distorted perception; Edward Tufte gives a thorough and exciting presentation of the subject. Summarizing the uses of graphical presentation of business information, Richard Scovill tells us that most business graphs are designed to answer just four questions: 1. Who is the biggest? 2. How do circumstances change over time? 3. What is typical or exceptional? 4. How well does one fact predict another? In general, it has been established that different decision makers and tasks are best supported by different display formats. This again proves that the

advantage of DSS in the area of dialog management lies in providing a variety of dialog styles.

10) Write a note on Ethical and Social issues with ECommerce. Ans
Ethical and Social issues with E-Commerce 1. Internet can be used in illegal ways, as there are no laws related to its use. Many servers contain illegal, immoral, defamatory information (which cannot be legally communicated using facilities like TV, radio, etc.). 2. There is minimal or no control over the Internet (unlike telephone, radio, TV, etc.). Limited banning of material in Internet is not possible i.e. all-ornone rule. 3. Free speech advocates say that screening of incoming material is the responsibility of the receiving end 4. There is no law against Spamming i.e. sending unsolicited mail 5. Massive flaming of large quantity of e-mail to one address. The question arises – Is sending/receiving large quantity of mail ethical?

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