Differences within Management Information Systems
Columbia Southern University
There are key differences between data, information, information technology (IT), and information systems (IS) that are all key aspects of management information systems (MIS). This paper will discuss those key differences between them, and how they relate to MIS overall. Also, metrics will be used to visualize the differences between information and data, for a better overall understanding of those specialties. Let’s get stated.
Data is defined as recorded facts or figures (CITE). You get data by gathering all information. Data is the facts, point blank, with no need to dig into the data to find the truth. Data is up front and to the point. Data is very important with all aspects of MIS. Accurate data is very important since businessmen and CEO’s use this information to make deals and base decisions about a company using the data that had been collected from his/her employees. Data is also defined, according to an online database, TechTerms, as “Computer data is information processed or stored by a computer. This information may be in the form of text documents, images, audio clips, software programs, or other types of data. Computer data may be processed by the computer’s CPU and is stored in files and folders on the computer’s hard disk.” (Christensson, 2006). All this being said, it is the hard facts of information that is being received and sent by the computer systems.
Information can be very similar to data, but it is what you do to the data is what information is. According to Thakur, information is defined as; Information is data that has been processed in such a way as to be meaningful to the person who receives it. It is anything that is communicated. (Thakur, n.d.). He also states, “Information is data that has been converted into a more useful or intelligible form. It is the set of data that has been organized for direct utilization of mankind, as information helps human beings in their decision making process.” (Thakur, n.d.). Basically, you take the hard evidence that you receive, data, and you form it, organize it, and present it in a way that will help someone understand the data that was collected. Information is the broken down version of data, better for understanding no matter what audience is being spoken to.
Data and Information Matrix (Retrieved from Guru99)
Differences in Data and Information
With data, this is the starting point for all information. You cannot get information without first collecting the data from the subject source, whatever it is. Data is the hard facts of the topic. This can be represented with data trees, graphs, matrix’s, and hard numbers. This can be used to present to the CEO or business executives when they are looking for hard facts and only want data. Information however, is related to the data but presented in a way that is easier to understand and the language is based on the audience that it is being presented to. Some people cannot understand the in depth information and details that data contains, so breaking it down to an understandable level is where information is used. Information makes the data more understandable.
When publishing work about any subject, data has to be collected. This data usually will never be released to the public and will never be told on how or what the data is. Once someone collects the data, they summarize it and put it in a way that people understand. This is publicized and shared to the public. Many people get this confused because when you do a research paper, you are citing information, not the data collected. Since we do not see data, usually, how do we know it is accurate and true?
Information Technology (IT)
Information Technology (IT) involves the development and use of computer systems. This involves software, the network and the maintenance needed to distribute the data that has been collected to someone or sent to to a storage container. In order for a system to work properly, technology needs to be developed to assist in sending the data where it needs to go.
Information System (IS)
Information systems is the process of turning raw data into useful information. This is very important because not everyone that is in an organization can understand data in its raw form. The terminology, graphs, and charts can sometimes be intimidating for people and when they see that, they cannot take in what is being briefed. So, information systems were created in order to simplify the data into works and a language that the organization can understand easier.
Information Technology vs. Information Systems
There are differences between these two fields. Although they seem the same, they are in fact very different. According to the text by Kroenke, D. M., & Boyle, R. J., they state, “you can buy IT, but you cannot purchase an IS. Let’s take, for example, a system that an organization uses to monitor inventory. You can purchase cloud services to provide the technology (hardware and software, the database structure, and procedures for the operation of the system). Then, you have users who will provide the data to input into the system so that inventory can be monitored. Lastly, you have the procedures that tell your users (people) how to keep the system current. Managing this inventory system is an example of an IS.” (Kroenke & Boyle, 2017). Basically, you can purchase all the tech and equipment needed to run something, IT, but in order to use the data, you need personnel and information to be put into these technology systems. Those are the differences within the two systems.
Christensson, P. (2006). Data Definition. TechTerms. Retrieved from https://techterms.com/definition/data
Guru 99., (n.d.). Difference between Information and Data. Guru99. Retrieved from https://www.guru99.com/difference-information-data.html
Kroenke, D. M., & Boyle, R. J. (2017). Using MIS (10th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Thakur, D., (n.d.). What is the Difference Between Data and Information. Ecomputer Notes. Retrieved from http://ecomputernotes.com/fundamental/information-technology/what-do-you-mean-by-data-and-information
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