Introduction to Information Skills and Systems

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information systems in context[1]

  • diagrammatic representation of an information system in context
  • the environment – everything that influences and is influenced by the information system
  • the purpose – a statement identifying who the information system is for and what it needs to achieve
  • who the information system is for includes individuals and organisations
  • the information system – a set of information processes requiring participants, data/information and information technology built to satisfy a purpose
  • information processes – computer based and non-computer based activities
  • information technology – hardware and software used in information processes
  • data – the raw material used by information processes
  • information – the output displayed by an information system
  • user – a person who views or uses the information output from an information system
  • participant – a special class of user who carries out the information processes within an information system

information processes [2]

  • collecting – the process by which data is entered into or captured by a computer system, including:
  • deciding what data is required
  • how it is sourced
  • how it is encoded for entry into the system
  • organising – the process by which data is structured into a form appropriate for the use of other information processes such as the format in which data will be represented
  • analysing – the process by which data is interpreted, transforming it into information
  • storing and retrieving – the process by which data and information is saved and accessed later
  • processing – a procedure that manipulates data and information
  • transmitting and receiving – the process that sends and receives data and information within and beyond information systems
  • displaying – the process that controls the format of information presented to the participant or user

the nature of data and information [3]

  • data – the input to an information system
  • data representation – the different types of media, namely:
    • images
    • audio
    • video
    • text
    • numbers
  • information – the output which has been processed by an information system for human understanding
  • the generation of information from data via the information processes
  • how information from one information system can be data for another information system

reasons for digital data representation [4]

  • the need for quality data, including:
    • accuracy
    • timeliness
    • accessibility
  • current data digitising trends, for example:
    • newspapers on the Internet
    • telephone system
    • video on DVD
    • facsimile
    • media retrieval management

social and ethical issues [5]

  • social and ethical issues arising from the processing of information, including:
    • privacy of the individual
    • security of data and information
    • accuracy of data and information
    • data quality
    • changing nature of work
    • appropriate information use
    • health and safety
    • copyright laws
  • the people affected by social and ethical issues, including:
    • participants within the information system
    • users of the information system
    • those in the environment
  • the ethical and social responsibility of developers
  • current government legislation to protect the individual and organisations
  • the use of information systems in fields such as manufacturing as well as the traditional fields of observation and recording
  • global information systems:
    • where the purpose involves international organisations, or
    • where the data and processes are distributed across national boundaries


  1. Board of Studies NSW Syllabus Document
  2. Board of Studies NSW Syllabus Document
  3. Board of Studies NSW Syllabus Document
  4. Board of Studies NSW Syllabus Document
  5. Board of Studies NSW Syllabus Document