QBA 362

Spring 2014

Mid-term exam 1 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.

·         The perspective from the authors in the text that sees information systems as a set of relationships among people, information and IT.

·         Dr. Bourgeois’ perspective that sees information systems as being comprised of five components (compared to the three above).

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.

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

Run-Grow-Transform framework and IT.

            What is it? What does it mean? How / why would a manager use it?


Strategic 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 implementing / using these systems.

o   For example: What problems did Nestle encounter? How did they manage them? What was the outcome?

·         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.


Hardware / Software

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.


Database / Data Warehouses / Data Mining

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.

·         Essential that you watch the Tennessee Court System video.

o   Problems with data in Tennessee system that lead to the need for a data warehouse.

o   The Star Schema as a way of logically structuring a data warehouse.

o   I won’t ask questions about the details in the analysis part where the person demonstrates the pivot table analysis – just watch that part for the ‘big picture’ – it shows that once we get the operational data extracted and loaded into the DW, it is easy to slice-and-dice the data and look at it in summary/aggregate form. It might help you later for HW 8.

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

·         The problems encountered in using a transaction database for high level decision analysis - for this watch the Tennessee Court System video and this 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 (view the GrapeCity “Can your grid do this? video).


Analytics / Decision Support

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 (also see slides for some explanation of differences).

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