What is Information Systems?
Information Systems is the study of how to use software and hardware to collect, process, store, analyze and disseminate data across an organization or business.
As the amount of available information continues to grow, organizations of every size are realizing the power of taking a comprehensive approach to how they can use information to optimize results. While there are many types of information systems, some of the most widely used include:
- Transaction Processing Systems (TP) – These information processing systems collect data at the point of a transaction and generate outputs based on the data collected to anticipate demand and allocate resources more efficiently.
- Customer Relation Management Systems (CRM) – These systems synchronize sales and marketing efforts, customer service, as well as feedback and problem resolution to help people collaborate on product, idea development and improve sales and marketing efforts.
- Business Intelligence Systems (BIS) – These systems analyze operational data to maintain and improve logistical networks, minimize risk and help people make effective real-time decisions.
- Management Information Systems (MIS) – These systems help organizational leadership by organizing data and managing information that can be used to get maximum value from personnel, equipment and business processes.
- Decision Support Systems (DSS) – A more advanced type of management information system, a DSS is an interactive information system that analyzes large amounts of data to help business leaders make informed decisions.
As information systems are used by more organizations and become more interconnected, there will be a need for computer scientists and data scientists who can create increasingly sophisticated systems that can collect and analyze more and more data.
Information Systems Industry Trends and Career Outlook
Because more organizations are turning to information systems to stay competitive and innovate, a career in information systems offers a growing number of opportunities. This is especially true for professionals who are well-versed in computer science and understand business and management. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs in this field will grown by 11% in the next ten years, almost 3 times more than all other occupations combined.
While the Information Systems field has many specializations, it may be helpful to think about three key disciplines:
- Information Technology – Developing the hardware and software required to create effective information systems. These are all building blocks in creating systems that can connect and adapt to an organization’s changing needs.
- Data Analysis – As organizations draw on larger and larger data sets, Information Systems will need to develop the tools to organize and analyze the collected data and use it to make increasingly complex decisions.
- Industry Expertise – The most powerful information system requires human knowledge. Managers and executives who understand how to use Information Systems at every level of their organization will be uniquely positioned to put these technologies to work for their organization and get maximum return on their investment.
As Information Systems become more commonplace and more advanced, Information Systems specialists should expect to see the following trends:
- Increased Automation – For organizations to stay competitive, data collection and analysis will need to be faster and more cost-effective. To achieve these goals, Information Systems will need to become more streamlined and automated to provide information faster and avoid redundancies and overlapping costs.
- Cloud-Based – As cloud computing’s power and convenience become more apparent, more industries will look to cloud-based solutions to collect and analyze more data and improve collaboration.
- Cross-Functional Integration – In the past, different Information Systems like a TP, CRM, BIS, MIS or DSS would exist as separate platforms. To improve their processes, organizations are seeking ways to integrate their platforms to gain a more holistic view of their available data.
What Do You Learn in Computer Information Systems?
Students of Drexel CCI's MS in Information Systems can expect to study areas such as software engineering, human-computer interaction and user experience, and data science including big data, data visualization and information forensics. Students may also benefit from learning about artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand and design Information Systems that are best equipped to help achieve present and future goals.
It’s also important to have interdisciplinary experience in business and management in order to hone analytical skills and understand how to apply logic and creativity in decision-making.