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Level 125

Higher Information Systems - Data & Information

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Form: aural
information is presented through the spoken word. It may be a face-to-face conversation or a telephone conversation. Using presentation software you may incorporate music into a verbal presentation.
Form: visual
information could take the form of pictures and information presented in charts. Video footage may also be used to get a message over in a presentation. This can enhance written or aural information.
Form: written
information can be typed or handwritten. It may be an email, report, memo, report card, etc.
Frequency: continuous
information is gathered constantly; it may take the form of monitoring information to make a decision. For example, a computer server room may have a temperature-controlled environment where the temperature cannot rise above a cer…
Frequency: annual
information is gathered once a year. This may be an annual statement of profit or loss for the year.
Frequency: daily
information is gathered once a day. This may sales and stock levels in a supermarket, which are recorded each day to monitor what needs to be reordered.
Frequency: hourly
information is gathered once an hour. This may be an attendance register taken once an hour/period by a teacher.
Frequency: monthly
information is gathered once a month. This may be a statement of sales made by employees each month used to work out who is the top salesperson.
Level: operational
information is used at the lowest level of management to help with the running of a company on a day-to-day basis. Taken mainly from internal sources it is based on a very short timescale.
Level: strategic
information is used at the top level of management for long-term decisions and has little detail. It can be taken from internal and external sources. In terms of timescale it is over 1 year…
Level: Tactical
information is used at the middle level of management with a shorter timescale to strategic. It is used to make medium- to short-term decisions like managing a project lifecycle. It will mostly be taken …
Nature: formal
information is very structured, neat and consistent, for example typed letters sent from a school to parents on headed paper with the school and council logo.
Nature: informal
information is not very structured, neat and consistent. Instead it is less structured. For example, it may be an email from one teacher to another asking a question.
Nature: qualitative
information is represented using text, for example a description of an event.
Nature: quantitative
information is represented using numbers, for example the percentage of students in Scotland achieving an A, B or C in Higher Information Systems.
Source: external
information is produced outwith an organisation. For example, the Data Protection Act is legislation produced outwith an organisation but used on a daily basis.
Source: internal
is any information that is generated within an organisation, for example a company's sales figures for the week.
Source: primary
information is read from an original piece of documentation, this is where it appears for the first time, for example a teacher's class register of attendance.
Source: secondary
information is not read directly from the original piece of documentation, this is where it may be processed from the original into a new form, for example a summary of all the absentees in a school year group.
Time: future
information is a prediction of what might happen. This is based on the historic and present information already available.
Type: aggregated
information shows totals, for example a week, month or year's worth of sales totals.
Type: detailed
information is used for day-to-day decisions and may be a complete stock database showing actual levels of each item of stock.
Type: sampled
information is a small part taken out of a larger volume of information. It may be detail about only one item of stock from a complete stock database. Medium- and long-term decisions are made on sampled information.
Use: planning
information is about deciding in advance of an activity what has to be done. This can be broken down into five steps: what, why, how, when and who. You have to plan in advance …
Use: control
information is used to measure performance against a predetermined measurement. If you go above or below this measurement then you have to take action to control the process to bring it back in line with the measurement.
Use: decision making
information is about deciding on the best course of action from a choice. This is done by looking at all the information available and making a decision about which action to take based on the evidence available.
'Credit card statements must have the correct rate of interest applied to the balance otherwise customers will complain and the card company could be prosecuted'.
Information must be readily available to everyone that needs it otherwise it cannot be used to make decisions.
'A customer may ring up and order some goods and the sales person may say that they will be delivered the next day. The salesperson may say that they will be delivered the next …
Level of detail (or conciseness)
If information is presented in a way that is short and sharp and to the point then it may be easier to use. If there is too much detail it may be difficult to use to make decisions.
The font is appropriate in size and colour, graphs are the correct size and are readable. If information is well presented then it is easier to read and comprehend therefore it can help when making decisions.
'A group has asked their record company for a breakdown of their royalties for all months over the last three years and the record company only gave them the total royalties for each year.…
Reliability (or objectivity)
is concerned with how much truth is in the information. Is it fact or is it just guesswork? Anyone can publish information on the internet therefore its reliability should always be questioned before being used.
Information must be received on time for it to be useful. If it is late it may be of little use.