Our world is full of lots of information.
From your music play list to your mobile phone contents, from your saved computer games to
the details in your facebook profile, from the information stored by your school to the
data stored by your doctor there is a lot of information and it all needs to be stored,
categorised, searched and sorted. The amount of data that we store is growing
at a tremendous rate. In fact, EVERY DAY we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. So much
that 90% of the digital data in the world today was created in the last two years alone.
That’s the equivalent of a 60-foot high wall of iPads stretching from Edinburgh to
Oman in the middle-east! How do we manage this massive increase in
the data we store? We depend on information systems to help us create, control, store,
find and access this information. So, what is an information system?
An information system is a set of computer-based tools for collecting, storing, and processing
data the data in our world. Businesses and other organizations rely on
information systems to carry out and manage their operations, interact with their customers
and suppliers, and compete in the marketplace. For instance, corporations use information
systems to reach their potential customers with targeted messages over the Web, to process
financial accounts, and to manage their work force. Governments use information systems to provide
services cost-effectively to citizens, to manage the economy and to gather taxes. Digital goods, such as electronic books and
software, and online services, such as auctions and social networking are all provided by
and operated by some kind of information system. A typical information system will have somewhere
to store data, often this is a database, there will be a program which helps you use the
data and the program will have a user interface which you, the user, issue commands and receive
results. Information Systems play a roll in every aspect
of your life. In our constantly connected digital world it is important that you understand
how information systems, and the data they collect, impacts on everything that you do.