Computer Information Systems | 5 mins read

Insight into Computer Information Systems

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

What are Computer Information Systems?

As more companies leverage big data across the U.S., effective data management practices are critical. Internal teams must be able to extract, deliver, and share data across the supply chain. This requires the use of information systems or automated software that holds large quantities of business data in a centralized location.

From Human Resources to Accounting to Customer service, each business unit uses computer systems for different reasons. Cross-department teams can collaborate on tasks without ever writing an email or making a phone call. Information is always accurate and up-to-date, which helps improve decision-making and problem-solving.

Because of strong network security policies and information security standards, sensitive data remains safe. With computer information systems, companies can leverage big data to derive the most benefit.
However, information technology isn't just any old software system. A good computer system should have specific functionality that facilitates quick data sharing and easy accessibility. Read ahead to learn more about the functions of an information systems computer solution.

5 Main Functions of Computer Information Systems

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Computer support teams know that a good information system consists of key functions. It should be able to collect data, store it, process it, and produce it upon request. Every single one of the functions controls the sharing and movement of data, along with the feedback loop. A feedback loop is when outputs of an IS are used for future inputs. This occurs during a repetitive task, such as data entry.

Systems can also either be open or closed. An open system is when components and rules conform to specific standards, regardless of the systems' supplier. A closed system is when specifications remain unrevealed in order to prevent interference from third-party software. In short, there are a lot of different features and options when it comes to an information systems program. Read ahead for the top 5.

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1. Computer Information Systems Function Inputs

Input occurs when a computer system receives a command or data and then knows to take a specific action. Within an information system, there are two types of input. This includes output or all of the detailed information that gets stored and processed.

For example, an employee may type in customer information and save it to the system. The system then saves this information for later usage. The second type of input is when a user explains to the computer the type of analysis that needs to be performed. An organization may have both or one type of inputs, depending on various business needs and employee demands.

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Touchpad
  • Scanner
  • Digital camera
  • Microphone
  • Graphic Tablet
  • Webcam

2. Computer Information Systems Storage

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All data within computer information platforms should be high quality, detailed, and secure. Computer programming specialists should regularly perform backups and report summaries to avoid data loss. Technical support should also store every backup in a separate area from the actual office.

This serves as an insurance policy if there is a serious accident or natural disaster that results in data loss. Unfortunately, one major catastrophe can impact the original data storage and backup data storage. This can lead to lost profits, time, resources, and angry customers/vendors.

3. Computer Information Systems Processing

Processing is when raw data is transformed into useful information. A good CIS program can carry out both easy and complex processing tasks. For example, a business user wants to know how many items are sold in one geographical location. This is more of a simplistic processing task, a more complex one may be if the user wants to forecast future data based on historical information. As information technology becomes more sophisticated and business needs evolve, processing tasks like this are commonplace. The sign of an effective computer system is that it can employ predictive analytics to help business owners optimize future decision-making.

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4. Computer Information Systems Feedback or Control Loops

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A feedback or control loop is what occurs when output is processed and created. Computer programming enables the system to regularly repeat the same process, based on that last output. For example, an inventory manager wants to buy new items from vendors as soon as the stock level reaches 30.

A feedback loop with an information system continues until the stock level reaches 30. The system then automatically inputs a new order to the vendor without requiring help or any monitoring from the manager. Well implemented feedback loops minimize the workload and reduce errors, which helps save money.

  • Reduces errors by automatically readjusting input
  • Improves stability of an unstable system
  • Increase or reduce the system's sensitivity
  • Enhance protection against external disruptions to the system
  • Produce a reliable and repeatable performance

5. Computer Information Systems Output

Just like with the input function, there are two types of output. Business owners use the graphical output to assess data on a larger scale, in the form of graphs and charts. These are also referred to as data visualizations. The graphical output helps to present complex information in a way that is easy to understand and present to others.

On the other hand, the textual output is data that is presented in the form of numbers or texts. Textual output is best for specific projects and internal needs. It is not good for presentations or to show to customers.

Key Takeaways for Computer Information Systems

In conclusion, here are the five main functions of computer information systems -

  • A computer information system has two types of inputs. These are outputs or detailed information that is stored and processed. The second are commands given by a user, which tells the system to perform a specific type of analysis.
  • The second function of computer information systems is storage. All storage should be highly secure. Data within storage should be high quality and reliable to optimize decision-making.
  • The third function of information systems is processing. A good computer system should be able to carry out both simple and complex tasks.
  • The feedback loop is the fourth function of a computer information system. This tells a system to perform a task based on the previous output. Output includes graphical output and textual output. Graphical output is better for presentations and is easier to understand. Textual output is better for specific employee queries and internal requirements.

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