In a broader sense, information is structured, processed and organised information. It gives context to data and allows effective decision making by users. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a restaurant is highly detailed information-it becomes information the business can utilise when determining the most profitable or least profitable dish. Similarly, information about customer demographics can provide businesses with crucial insight into making decisions about marketing, packaging and promotion.
To see complete definition of information you would need to view it in its whole extent. Now, if we take a look at the earlier definition, we see that information is “a collection of facts or data that support an action or answer”. Facts can be seen as a collection of objective real world data while answers are subjective and are partly derived from knowledge and partially learned from experience. With regards to marketing, the best marketing strategy is to know the customer’s buying preferences, their current state of mind and what they expect in the future. Knowing this allows marketing professionals to create products and/or services that address their customers’ needs more efficiently and help them make a more profitable future purchase. Similarly, to process this complex data, computer programmes are developed that interpret the required information and produce targeted marketing messages and offers that the target audience finds relevant and attractive.
There are many uses for information and its systems are continuously growing in size and scope. For instance, medicine is one domain in which vast quantities of information are generated, stored, processed and made available to doctors and other health care professionals to make better informed decisions about patient care. Electronic medical records (emr) have emerged as a major breakthrough in the field of medical information management. These records contain vast sets of information such as patients’ medical history records, diagnostic test results, treatments prescribed, laboratory data, laboratory results and so on. They are an important part of clinical practice management and ensure that medical practices maintain adequate records to meet legal requirements.
The evolution of information systems is also resulting in the evolution of information systems available to the general public. In the recent past, the public has access to information systems designed for business purposes. Examples of information systems available for the public include: email systems, telephone systems, industrial software systems, content management systems for retail businesses. This article aims to provide a brief overview of information systems and consider how they can benefit users.
One of the benefits of information systems is that they allow processes to be streamlined. For example, the process of entering medical records into electronic patient medical records and then converting the records into billing data can be done a lot quicker using information management systems than trying to do it manually. Another benefit is that information systems allow information to be shared in a way that is highly efficient. This can often be compared with the water cycle – water moving from the top of the storage tank up the river to the delta, getting filtered through different channels and being distributed to different places, where different species of fish thrive. In this case, the information travelled along the river bed, filtering through different channels until reaching the delta where different species of fish were able to live in the water. The same principle applies to information systems: with more ways of sharing the information, it becomes possible to achieve efficiency.
Information systems are also useful because they allow information to be accessed from any computer in the world, at any time. This is especially useful in information-rich environments, such as the internet, where users can share large amounts of information from all over the world. Similarly, some information systems are designed so that users can check up on their databases at any point of time, simply by logging on to the website and clicking on a link. This ability to check up on information anytime and anywhere is a huge benefit to individuals and businesses who rely on their information management systems.