Information Systems and Flows


Types of information - Qualitative


Opinion/tastes/employee motivation+attitudes

Cannot be collected in numerical terms


To help a business understand staff, customers and to develop products.


Customers panels, focus groups, observation of behavioural patterns, surveys.

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Types of information - Quantitative


Can be expressed numercially


  • Find trends
  • Size of markets
  • Seasonal variations
  • Productivity rates or levels of labour turnover
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What is information processing?

What is Information Processing?

Can be paper based = Manual

 Can be IT based = Electronic

Steps of information processing & efficiency:

  • Storing information- Stored in a logical order? Easy to reieve and accessible? Easy to edit
  • Processing information- Text manipulation? Mathematical manipulation? Classification by categorising data?
  • Retrieving data- method used?
  • Information dissemination- (to spread infor widely) Manual? Electronically?
  • Validation and Verification- Checks of original source? Fact or opinion? Who wrote it?
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Manual systems


  • Ring binders
  • Card indexes
  • Document files
  • Box files
  • Filing cabinets


  • Low risk of hacking
  • Access can be easily restricted
  • Cheaper to set up


  • Requires large amounts of space
  • Easy to manually misfile
  • Data access can be slow
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Electronic systems


  • CD
  • DVD
  • Disks
  • Memory sticks


  • Speed of access
  • Automatic validation checks
  • Less storage space required


  • Volatile memory - loses its contents if power supply is lost
  • Expensive to set up
  • Media (examples above) can become corrupted.
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Key Terms

Downward communication- Flows from higher to lower hierarchical levels

Upward- Flows from lower to higher hierarchical levels

Horizontal- Flows between employees on sames hierarchical level.

Qualitative information- Is data an individuals' opinions and tastes.

Quantitative information- Is expressed in numerical terms so is measurable.

How does information flow in an organsiation?

Vertically- Down and up the hierarchy.
Horizontally- Acorss the hierarchy & within and across functional departments.

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