The Data Warehouse: Information Systems and Business Decision Making
In a broader sense, information is simply processed, structured and organised data. It gives context to previously processed data and allows effective decision making. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a restaurant is multiple data- this becomes data when the company is able to separate the different items of food according to their flavour, price and source. It also becomes information, when a system is able to track sales by individual establishments or departments. Information is thus crucial for businesses to make informed decisions.
Of course, not all data can be processed and organised into meaningful information systems. In fact, there are many people who find it hard to use computers, let alone a computer interface, and so they rely on people to do most of their work. Human interaction is therefore key to data-processing, information systems and business decision-making. This is where artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing and big data can help.
However, even the developers of information systems have to be careful about how they design the information system. If too much information is available, then people will find it difficult to understand and make correct decisions. It is important, therefore, that the information generated is tightly coupled with real world data, such as sales figures and product specifications, so that people can make sense of it and make sense of the implications of each piece of information. Information systems and business applications need to be robust enough to withstand adversarial and confusing environments. This means developing a well-maintained IT budget and creating a well-structured development environment with well-trained IT professionals.