QBA 362

Fall 2013

Mid-term exam study guide.


The following are possible topics for multiple choice, short-answer, and essay questions:


Types and organizational levels of decision making and information systems - strategic, tactical, operational.

Definition of management information system (MIS), information technology (IT).

Characteristics and use of information as a resource - including the relationships among people, information and IT.

Qualities or attributes of information (I also referred to these as ‘qualities’ and ‘dimensions’ of information):

·         Personal.

·         Organizational.

Information systems and the Porter five forces model.

·         Be able to describe each force and give examples.

·         Think of ways IT can be used to manage each of these forces.

Run-Grow-Transform and IT.


Major IT initiatives:

·         Supply chain management (SCM) systems (remember the MicroSoft Dynamics GP demo)..

·         Customer relationship management (CRM) systems (remember the Netsuite demos).

·         Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems (remember the Total ERP video).

·         Social media.

For these four types of IT systems above think about.

·         The use (i.e., the function - what they are used to do) and the potential benefits and disadvantages of using these systems.

·         Whether each type of IT is best suited to support a cost, differentiation, or focus strategy.

·         Whether each is best suited for run, grow, or transform in the Run/Grow/Transform framework.

·         Limitations of social media – recall the discussion about Malaria research.


Types of hardware devices and generally what they do.

·         RAM, secondary storage (hard drives, optical drives, usb drives, etc.), processor, input / output devices, CPU, CPU components, ports, system bus.

·         Differences between system, utility, and application software.

·         Types and functions of system software.

·         Operating system activities.

·         Personal productivity / application software.


Characteristics and purposes of OLTP and OLAP systems.

Explain the relational database model - including the roles of logical structure, logical ties, integrity constraints.

Explain differences between database logical structures - tables, fields, records, relationships, primary keys, etc.

Compare physical versus logical views of a database / data warehouse.

Components of a database management system - explain each and be able to give examples of each in Microsoft Access.

Characteristics of and differences between database, data warehouse, data mart.

·         Issues in extracting data from operational databases and moving into data warehouse.

·         The problems encountered in using a transaction database for high level decision analysis - for this watch the 7 minute Youtube video from CSI - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgEugd5kZgk.

·         How a data warehouse addresses these problems.

Data mining tools – explain data-mining and tools used in data-mining (remember the GrapeCity “Can your grid do this? video).


Decision making

·         Characteristics - structured vs. unstructured, recurring vs. ad hoc (non-recurring).

·         Steps in decision making process.

For DSS and expert systems: describe / explain their components.

For DSS, Expert systems, and intelligent agents: define each and explain their uses and differences, give examples of each (recall discussion about Santa Cruz Police Dept. and Disney World).

For intelligent agents: describe the types (information agents, monitoring agents, user agents, etc.) and give examples of each.