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The importance of information.

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1. The importance of information Almost overnight, it seems, success in almost any field has become impossible without information technology. In manufacturing, health care, education, policing, retailing, banking, farming and thousands of other fields, information is as valuable a resource as capital or people. Information is gathered about market trends, buying preferences, customer profiles; computers analyse, summarise and present this data to managers who use it as the basis for decision-making. Accessible, accurate and up-to-date information can help to ensure that decisions of all kinds are likely to be correct, from how many thousands of a particular toy to manufacture in time for Christmas, to whether or not to open a new factory. 2. Case study 3. Collecting and analysing data Data can be collected for a specific purpose, or it may be collected for one purpose and then used for some other purpose. If it is personal data, then care would have to be taken not to contravene the Data Protection Act ('Data must not be used for any reason incompatible with its original purpose'). Tesco's, for example, collects huge amounts of data on customer buying patterns through its Loyalty card. This massive amount of data can be analysed in thousands of different ways to help predict likely sales, or to suggest new marketing ploys. ...read more.


7. The benefits of ICT Information technology systems have become indispensable in many businesses today. The benefits include: * Speed of processing. Modern banking systems, for example, could not function without information technology. An MICR reader can sort and process over 2,400 cheques per minute. * Vast storage capacity. Hundreds of thousands of transactions can be stored on disk for processing and analysing in organisations such as banks, building societies, government departments, hospitals and retail stores. * Ability to search and combine data in many different ways. Retail stores can analyse purchases to identify trends and preferences. The police computers can analyse thousands of different pieces of information to help catch criminals. * Instant response. Real-time systems such as airline reservation systems can give an instant response to a query about seat availability, and update their information as soon as a booking is made. When a customer pays for their groceries or other goods using a credit or debit card, the information on the card can be captured and the status of the account checked almost instantly. If sufficient funds are available, the transaction will be accepted. * Accurate results. A computer can calculate the company payroll or the electricity bills for thousands of people with 100% accuracy every time. ...read more.


2. A college maintains an extensive database of its full-time students. The database contains personal data, the courses students attend, and higher education or employment applications. a. Describe how the college might keep the personal data of the students up to date. b. The college wishes to sell the personal data to a local sports retailer. An agreement is to be written between the college and the retailer. Describe three issues, relating to the data that should be included in the agreement. 3. A telephone company collects the telephone numbers of people who receive calls through a 'Friends and Family' scheme. Under this scheme, subscribers receive discounts on phone calls to numbers they dial most frequently. The customer has to inform the telephone company which numbers are to be included on their 'Friends and Family' list. a. Describe briefly one way in which the telephone company could use this data their advantage. b. How can the telephone company keep their data up-to-date and accurate? 4. Low quality information can be misleading, distract or incomprehensible. This type of information is of little value to the decision maker. The output of good quality information is costly and dependent upon many factors. a. Identify three factors, which affect the quality of information. b. State two factors which affect the cost of providing good quality information. Chapter 9 - Information as a Commidity Section 1 - Information: Nature, Role and Content Rai Karra Page 1 4/20/2007 ...read more.

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