Business Information and Information and IT in Business

Higher Business Management
M. McGowan

Sources of Information
Primary information collected by the business itself. Sometimes called Field research. It is first hand information.  Examples: Market Research data, Consumer Research 

Secondary information already published. Also called Desk research.  Examples: Government Reports, MINTEL M. McGowan Reports 

Sources of Information
Internal information collected within the business.  Examples: Employee or customer records 

External information collected from outside the business.  Examples: National Statistics, Rivals accounts 

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Type of Info Primary Secondary

Costs expensive Less expensive than primary, may not be relevant No financial costs May have a financial cost
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Benefits + Reliable, verifiable Easy to obtain, wider number of sources Reliable, verifiable More sources available than primary

Internal External

Types of Information
Written info presented on paper or computer screen  Oral info communicated by voice  Pictorial info displayed by a photo or picture  Graphical info displayed as a graph or chart  Numerical info presented in numbers rather than text M. McGowan 

Qualitative & Quantitative Info  

Qualitative information is descriptive in nature and includes people s feelings and attitudes towards a topic. Example: Why is Cheese & Onion your favourite flavour of crisps? Quantitative information is measurable and expressed numerically. It deals in facts and figures. Example: How often do you eat a packet of crisps in a week?
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Value of Information 

Accuracy Timeliness

is it correct? is it up-to-date and reliable? up-toare there any omissions?  

Completeness 

Appropriateness is it relevant?
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Value of Information 

Availability is it at hand when needed? Easy to obtain? Cost is it expensive to collect? is it free from bias? is it straight to the point?
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Objectivity Conciseness 

Uses of Information in Business 

Monitoring and control used to ensure firm is heading in expected direction DecisionDecision-making before making any decision, managers have to weigh up alternatives or different sides of an argument. Measuring performance - workers output may be measured against a standard set by the worker or colleagues. Identifying new business opportunities analysing consumer trends may M. McGowan a new product or lead to service to fill new customer needs   

Mainframe 

Large, powerful supercomputers (like Cray) capable of multimultitasking Used mainly for scientific and engineering purposes. NASA is one such user.  

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Mainframe +/+/  

+ Enormous memory Vast processing power Extremely fast 



Hugely expensive Increasing dependency

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PC and Laptops 
 

  

Home, Office or mobile computers Now have Notebooks and Palmtops Have hinged screen LCD display Battery powered Trackpad instead of mouse

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PC and Laptops +/+/  

+ Good value for money Ever increasing capacity and processing power 

 

Short shelf life Prone to viruses and breakdowns

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Networks 

LANs (Local Area Networks) are linked to a geographically close server. WANs (Wide Area Networks) use telecommunications such as cable and satellite to link up across continents 

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Networks +/+/  

+ Employees linked together Share data and files 

  

Server breakdowns Prone to viruses Reliance on backups

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E-mail 

Transfer of text, graphics and other information between computer users via telephone lines. Requires internet access and valid email address 

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E-mail +/+/   

+ Instant communication Same message can be sent to many people CostCost-effective 

   

Junk mail Staff may abuse use Viruses E-mail has same legal liability as written material

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Videoconferencing 

Sound and vision linking of people at different locations Enables a virtual meeting between people without having to travel 

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Videoconferencing +/+/  



+ Saves accommodation and travel Saves travelling time Relatively inexpensive 

  

Poor connections Time lags Hard to pick up body language

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Internet  

International network of computers In existence since 1969!

Main uses:  E-mail  Newsgroups  Sharing Information
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Internet 
 

+ Access to vast amounts of information Access to wider global market 

 



Check reliability of information Viruses Staff may abuse access

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Interactive CD or DVD 

Interactive media used for staff training CD holds 650 MB DVD holds 17 GB 



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Interactive CD or DVD +/+/  

+ Cheaper than using consultants One-onOne-on-one - More involving for staff 

 



Employees unsupervised Finite questions No human contact

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Computer Aided Manufacture 

Computers and robots used to control machines

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CAM +/+/   

+ Saves labour costs Consistent quality Twentyfourseven production 

 

Costly breakdowns Can t think for themselves

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EPOS 

Electronic Point of Sale Allows an electronic record kept of all purchases and returns EFTPOS is when Switch and Delta are used. (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale)  

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EPOS +/+/  



+ Records purchases & returns Aids stock control Can be used for market research 

 

Barcodes may be faulty Information has to be entered correctly on Barcode

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Database  

  
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Database data saved and organised in an electronic filing system Keeping and sorting records Searching for information Filing reports Mail merge

Spreadsheet  

 

Spreadsheet - an electronic worksheet used to manage numbers and carry out calculations. Produces charts and graphs What if scenarios Budgets, wages, sales figures, estimates

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Word Processing   

 

Word Processing an electronic typewriter Prepare letters, memos, reports Edit text Graphics and images Mail merge

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Desktop Publishing  

 

Desktop Publishing package that allows professional documents to be created Text, graphics, and images High quality documents Magazines, newsletters, price lists, posters, forms, booklets, manuals, catalogues, leaflets

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Presentation Packages  

 

Presentation Packages projects an image onto large screen Used for presentations Can use audio and movie clips Easily available handouts and notes

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ComputerComputer-aided Design
ComputerComputer-aided Design (CAD) computerised process for creating new parts or products or altering existing ones  Mainly used by architects, designers and engineers  Also used in animation and in simulations  Alterations can be made without redrawing M. McGowan 

DecisionDecision-Making Packages   

Decision-Making DecisionPackages analytical tools for managers Produces statistics and graphs Helps managers evaluate information

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Project Management Packages
Project Management Packages enables project teams to cocoordinate activities  Details budgets  Team member tasks  Records resources used or allocated  Time deadlines  Progress reports M. McGowan 

Benefits of IT
Increases productivity  Reduces waste  Increases speed of work  Improves accuracy and quality  Increases access to information  Improves communication & decisiondecisionmaking  Saves floor space 

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Costs of IT 
    

Costly to develop, install and maintain Training staff is costly and timely Introduction may not be easy Requires new skills Breakdowns very costly and inconvenient Deskilled workers leads to low motivation

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Benefits of Software 

Information can be handled very quickly  Speed and quality of decision-making decisionimproved  Fewer errors made making calculations  Improved accuracy and quality

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Costs of Software 

Expensive to buy  Staff training required and costly  Staff learning curve can be costly  Time can be lost due to glitches  External threats - viruses

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Uses of IT
Assists decision-making decision Assists with providing information for staff  Helps maintain complete and accurate business records  Aids effective communication within an organisation 

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Effects of IT on Employees
Greater productivity  Retraining required  Changes in customer relations more impersonal yet quicker response  Less personal contact 

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Effects of IT on Organisation 

Decentralisation possible  Additional departments/jobs may be created  Fewer staff required  Changes to span of control narrower due to less staff or wider due to autonomy of staff
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INTRODUCTION 

- A new Data Protection Act was passed in 1998 which supersedes the 1984 Act, which will be repealed. There are eight Data Protection Principles in the Act. However, the new Principles are not exactly the same as those in the 1984 Act.
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1. FIRST PRINCIPLE "Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully." 2. SECOND PRINCIPLE "Personal data shall be obtained only for specified and lawful purposes, and shall be processed only in a manner compatible with those purposes." 3. THIRD PRINCIPLE "Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are processed."
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4. FOURTH PRINCIPLE  "Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date".  5. FIFTH PRINCIPLE  "Personal data processed for any purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for those purposes".  6. SIXTH PRINCIPLE  "Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act." 

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7. SEVENTH PRINCIPLE "Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data." 8. EIGHTH PRINCIPLE "Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data."
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Personal data covers both facts and opinions about the individual. It also includes information regarding the intentions of the data controller towards the individual, although in some limited circumstances exemptions will apply.  With processing, the definition is far wider than before. For example, it incorporates the concepts of 'obtaining', holding' and 'disclosing'. 

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