In a very broad sense, information is simply processed, structured and organised data. It gives context to previously processed data and allows effective decision making on how to proceed. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a particular restaurant is data that becomes information once the company is able to identify which the least popular or most popular dish is. A process like this can be applied to all areas of human interaction, including business, politics, marketing, advertising, law and even the way we communicate with each other.
The reason why the term information systems is often used to refer to different areas of business life is because it covers a wide spectrum of activities. There are information systems for finance, sales, customer service, supply chain management, human resources, manufacturing, project management, project execution and so on. The key role of information systems is to capture, process, manage and understand information from various sources and then make available to users decision-making tools or knowledge bases on how to make use of that information. The key role of business information systems is therefore to provide relevant, accurate and up-to-date information to users, which in turn helps them make informed decisions about their business functions.
Information systems are therefore not’merely’ computer systems; they are powerful toolboxes for decision-making, as well as being powerful systems themselves. In fact, information systems are extremely important in any organisation because they allow us to make informed decisions about every aspect of our business processes. They help us achieve our business objectives by giving us better access to critical business information. Moreover, because they allow us to integrate different business processes, they enhance productivity by making us able to churn out better quality output. Lastly, they allow us to make better use of our human resources by streamlining the whole process of recruitment, which in turn, saves time and money. In short, information systems are an essential part of every business process and have the potential to revolutionize how businesses operate.