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Unit 3 (P4, P5, P6, D2): Features and Functions of Information Systems

Describe the features and functions of information systems (P4)



Data collected must be accurate so when it is processed, it will not output wrong information. The data will then be summarised to create information which may not be the easiest, cheapest and most logical information, but it is done how the business wants it.


People have an involvement in collecting and the using information. Those who collect data will put it through the information system. The people who use the information will use it to benefit the business.


Hardware used depends on the size of the business. Small businesses manage and store information on few computers whereas bigger businesses have servers to manage and store their information. These servers can be accessed by many different users depending on their access within the business.


Most information systems will use specialised software that has all the basic functions of an information system. Basic functions include describing the database and structure, source of data, queries and how it will be summarised. The more complex the information system, than the cost will become more expensive. Depending on your business needs, you may decide to have a basic information system to save on money.


Telecommunications in a business is used since information can be sent to others users through an intranet connection. An intranet connection in a business makes the information that is transferred secure and safe since you need to be within that area to access intranet. A firewall will be needed for the intranet for better security.



Detailed data is put into the information system which is stored, processed and then forms the basis of the output. Depending on the business, the user can have certain levels of functions they can tell the system to perform which will determine the output of the system. This part is done by the IT department and is not available to users.


Data is stored at the highest detailed level possible. Data that is stored needs to be safe and secure. The IT department should make backups on a scheduled basis every day. In case of disaster, backups should also be stored outside the business which is also safe and secure.


Processed data will be analysed by the information system to produce information for the business to use. Data such as sales will produce graphs to represent sales over a period of time.


Output can be displayed in either a graphical or textual format:

  • Graphical is a better format to present information in charts, graphs, diagrams or pictures. Sales would be better for a graphical format which could display a trend of a graph.

  • Textual is best for when the business wants to find specific details or sufficiently accurate values.

This does not mean to say that you have to only have one output. You can use both graphical and textual information together to produce better information to further benefit the business.

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