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MIS Course "Home of the Power of Technology"

Chapter 5

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Here is Chapter 5 Summary and chapter questions, read it & know it: 

  • Data Resource Management. Data resource management is a managerial activity that applies information technology and software tools to the task of managing an organization's data resources. Early attempts to manage data resources used a file processing approach in which data were organized and accessible only in specialized files of data records that were designed for processing by specific business application programs. This approach proved too cumbersome, costly, and inflexible to supply the information needed to manage modern business processes and organizations. Thus, the database management approach was developed to solve the problems of file processing systems.
  • Database Management. The database management approach affects the storage and processing of data. The data needed by different applications are consolidated and integrated into several common databases, instead of being stored in many independent data files. Also, the database management approach emphasizes updating and maintaining common databases, having users' application programs share the data in the database, and providing a reporting and an inquiry/response capability so end users can easily receive reports and quick responses to requests for information.
  • Database Software. Database management systems are software packages that simplify the creation, use, and maintenance of databases. They provide software tools so end users, programmers, and database administrators can create and modify databases, interrogate a database, generate reports, do application development, and perform database maintenance.
  • Types of Databases. Several types of databases are used by business organizations, including operational, distributed, and external databases. Data warehouses are a central source of data from other databases that have been cleaned, transformed and cataloged for business analysis and decision support applications. That includes data mining, which attempts to find hidden patterns and trends in the warehouse data. Hypermedia databases on the World Wide Web and corporate intranets and extranets store hyperlinked multimedia pages at a website. Web server software can manage such databases for quick access and maintenance of the Web database.
  • Data Access. Data must be organized in some logical manner on physical storage devices so that they can be efficiently processed. For this reason, data are commonly organized into logical data elements such as characters, fields, records, files, and databases. Database structures, such as the hierarchical, network, relational, and object-oriented models, are used to organize the relationships among the data records stored in databases. Databases and files can be organized in either a sequential or direct manner and can be accessed and maintained by either sequential access or direct access processing methods.
  • Database Development. The development of databases can be easily accomplished using microcomputer database management packages for small end user applications. However, the development of large corporate databases requires a top-down data planning effort. This may involve developing enterprise and entity relationship models, subject area databases, and data models that reflect the logical data elements and relationships needed to support the operation and management of the basic business processes of the organization.

Chapter 5: Data Resource Management

 

1.      How should business store, access, and distribute data and information about their internal operations and external environment?

 

         Internal - Operational databases store detailed data needed to support the business processes and operations of a company.  They are also called subject area databases (SADB), transaction databases, and production databases  These databases may be replicated and distributed to network servers (distributed databases), on the WWW, on corporate intranets or extranets, or on other company networks.

 

         External – Databases for external use can be operational databases made available through a company’s extranet or on another company network.  It may be a hypermedia database that consists of hyperlinked pages of multimedia. 

 

         Data warehouse  - A company can use a data warehouse as a central source of the data that has been cleaned, transformed, and catalogued for use by management and others, internal and external, to the company.

 

2.      What role does database management play in managing data as a business resource?

        

         The role is one of applying information systems technologies like database management,, data warehousing, and other data management tools to the task of managing an organization’s data resources to meet the information needs of their business stakeholders. 

 

3.      What are the advantages of a database management approach to the file processing approach?  Give examples to illustrate your answer.

 

      Advantages would include:

   Consolidates data records and objects into databases that can be accessed by many    different application programs.

   Serves as a software interface between users and databases to help user easily access the data in a database.

   A database management approach attempts to solve the problems inherent in file processing such as data redundancy, lack of data integration, data dependence, and data integrity.

 

4.      Refer to the Real World Case on Argosy Gaming Co. in the chapter. Why do analysts, users, and vendors say that the benefits of data warehouses depend on whether companies “know their data resources and what they want to achieve with them?” Use Argosy Gaming as an example.

 

      Responses could include:

         Argosy discovered that people thought that they were talking about the same thing, but they actually were not.

         There was no consensus among the business units in Argosy about how to define data.

         There was no consensus among the business units in Argosy about how to use the many categories of data.

         Argosy management had to learn what questions to ask business users.

 

5.      What is the role of a database management system in a business information system?

 

A database management system is a set of computer programs that controls the creation, maintenance, and use of the databases of an organization.  Major uses are database development, database interrogation, database maintenance, and development of application programs.

 

6.      Databases of information about a firm’s internal operations were formerly the only databases that were considered to be important to a business.  What other kinds of databases are important for a business today?

 

Commercial, external databases provide external information to businesses, such as current economic statistics, or abstracts of professional periodicals.  Without these external database services, it would take an enormous effort to obtain the same type of information, by having employees collect relevant data from multiple sources and process them.

 

7.      Refer to the Real World Case on Owens & Minor and NBC Universal in the chapter. What are several major threats today to the security of the data resources of a company and its business partners? Explain several ways a company could protect such data resources from the threat you identify.

 

      Examples of major threats would include:

         It is always possible that someone who has legitimate access will abuse that trust. Strictly limiting access to only those who need it through the use of role-level security functions in the business intelligence software that clearly defines who has access to which data.  Creating a separate security table in the database.

         Opening a company’s system to suppliers and customers.  Web-intelligence software that’s designed to Web-enable business-intelligence systems creating an extranet Web portal that is secure for use by suppliers and customers.

         Owens & Minor’s extranet that potentially could permit customers or suppliers to view competitors’ data.  Establish specific customer and supplier security tables as well as new, secured database views for the extranet. Create “roles” for users that restrict access to limited segments of the data.

 

8.      What are the benefits and limitations of the relational database model for business applications today?

 

Benefits of the relational structure:

         Most popular of the three database structures.

         Used by most microcomputer DBMS packages, as well as many minicomputer and mainframe systems.

         Data elements within the database are stored in the form of simple tables.  Tables are related if they contain common fields.

         DBMS packages based on the relational model can link data elements from various tables to provide information to users.

 

Limitations of the relational structure:

         Cannot process large amounts of business transactions as quickly and efficiently as the hierarchical and network models.

 

9.      Why is the object-oriented database model gaining acceptance for developing applications and managing the hypermedia databases at business websites?

 

Multimedia web-based applications for the Internet and corporate Intranets and extranets have become a major application area for object technology.  Object-oriented databases are able to handle complex types of data (graphics, pictures, voice, and text) better than other structures.  They are relatively easy to use, and they are the key technology being used in multimedia-based applications for the Internet and corporate Intranets and extranets.  As well, they support inheritance - new objects can be automatically created by replicating some or all of the characteristics of one or more parent objects.

 

10.     How have the Internet, intranet, extranets, and the World Wide Web affected the types and uses of data resources available to business end users?

 

The Internet and the World Wide Web have greatly affected the types and uses of data resources available to business end users.  Users are now able to access massive amounts of data from these resources, which enable them to analyze greater amounts of information in order to make better decisions affecting the organization.

 


 

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