INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Meaning, Examples, Types & Courses

information systems
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I’ll admit it: “Information systems” is one of the most ambiguous concepts I’ve ever heard. Huge amounts of data sprang to mind immediately, and after some study, I discovered that my assumption wasn’t too far off. It, like many ambiguous business phrases, comprises a wide range of mechanisms that contribute to corporate success. So, what exactly are information systems? In this guide, I’ll unpack everything about the term including its types, examples, the course you can opt-in for, and what information systems truly means in business.

What Is Information Systems?

The word “information systems” refers to the many networks, hardware, and software that people and corporations employ to make sense of data and put it to use. Information systems acquire, process, and distribute data in addition to analyzing it.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, information systems are notably significant in business because organizations can use them to make decisions, implement specific continuous management duties, or engage with customers. Businesses of all sizes use information systems in a variety of ways to achieve various goals, whether it’s evaluating supply chains, processing financial records, submitting invoices to vendors, or automating operations typically handled by human resources departments. Personal computers, cloud computing, and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter would be impossible to operate without the support of information systems. The same can be said about Google, eBay, and a plethora of other internet-based businesses that supply important goods and services.

Types of Information Systems

There are essentially six types of information systems that a business might implement in varied levels. These are some examples of information systems:

#1. Transaction Processing System

A transaction process system (TPS) is a software application that collects, modifies, and retrieves business transactions on demand. At any given time, a running firm undertakes multiple transactions. These commercial transactions comprise more than just the purchasing and selling of things; they often include bank deposits, inventory counts, payment data for newly hired employees, and so on. These transactions are handled by a transaction processing system.

Another function of a transaction processing system is to update a company’s transaction records. It may then conveniently store the entire collection of records in order to generate business reports. Payroll systems, stock control systems, and billing systems are all examples of transaction processing systems.

A transaction processing system allows a company to safely meet all of its contractual obligations. It can also keep consumer information in a secure area and allow access to the relevant authority as and when required.

#2. Management Information System

A Management Information System (MIS) investigates people, technology, organizations, and their interrelationships. Management Information Systems can provide the best information for an institution’s management to use in developing investment strategies. Because these systems emphasize service through technology, data analysis, and project management are at the heart of them.

Management information systems of many types can provide reports for specific business requirements. These reports include summary reports, ad hoc reports, execution reports, and so on.

#3. Decision Support Systems

A Decision Support System is an interactive information system that aids a company’s management in making choices. It accomplishes this by storing and analyzing company data in order to assist the business in taking proper action.

Because decision support systems are interactive, they conveniently provide information and tools for data manipulation. The interactive maps we use on our cell phones when traveling are an example of such a system. These maps show us which routes are the quickest to take, as well as the best means of transportation for the trip.

DSS assists in visualizing data and making it easier to grasp. This, in turn, improves management’s ability to make successful judgments at a far faster rate.

#4. Expert System

This information system is a complex computer-based system that aids in the representation of knowledge as data, which is mostly executed by computer programs. Expert systems, as the name implies, are supposed to emulate human intellect, particularly reasoning, to some level. As a result, an expert system provides the required expertise that management can use to identify, predict, or capture problems.

Furthermore, because it contains artificial intelligence, this type of information system can be used to aid in issue-solving. To further comprehend the concept of an expert system, imagine it as a consultant who is an expert in specific business sectors.

An Expert System’s key components are its knowledge library, a search apparatus, an information-gathering system, and a display interface via which users can interact with its outputs.

#5. Office Automation System

Office Automation Systems allow data to be transferred from one system to another without the need for manual labor or human involvement.

This Office automation systems allow data transportation in the digital age by combining and sending massive amounts of data in an orderly fashion. Because of the lack of manual efforts, OAS is a technique that reduces errors, speeds up corporate operations, and ensures their dependability.

The OAS also ensures that all process activities are transparent to management. Businesses can use this to actively identify and eliminate bottlenecks in business processes.

#6. Knowledge Management Systems

A knowledge management system is a sort of information system that saves information in order to help users build knowledge. This can aid in the collaboration of several departments.

Companies utilize Knowledge Management Systems to organize their documentation, FAQs, and other pertinent information. The KMS also makes all documented firm information available to its employees and consumers, albeit to varying degrees.

Documents such as business policies, training materials, and general client queries can all be gathered in one location and accessed at any time.

Examples of Information Systems

There are various examples of information systems that can serve a range of purposes based on the demands of a company. Examples of information systems include:

#1. Expert systems

AI is getting smarter by the day, and it’s being used in information systems to replicate human problem-solving (think Siri!). To solve issues and make judgments, expert systems employ knowledge that would otherwise be provided by a subject matter expert. In a business setting, it can fix accounting issues or detect viruses.

#2. Office automation systems

Automation saves many hours that would otherwise be spent completing simple activities by automating them. To implement more effective procedures, office automation systems mix computer and communication technology with human resources. A COO, for example, may plan monthly company-wide email updates that contain AI-generated progress reports.

#3. Process control systems

Process control systems are the solution if you want to apply information systems to product manufacture. They use sensor input to generate specified outputs and are typically used to guarantee a product fulfills certain standards. A thermostat is a basic example: when the temperature falls below a set level, the heat turns on. If your physical product is frequently criticized by clients, you may seek to adjust your process controls.

#4. Data warehouses

Data warehouses are information management systems that help with analytics and other business intelligence tasks. They collect and analyze data from a wide range of sources. Data warehouses can provide insight into firms, allowing for better decision-making.

#5. Enterprise systems

Enterprise systems, often known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, are integrated systems that incorporate all of the hardware and software that a company employs for various roles in its operations. These enterprise-wide platforms facilitate information flow between departments and allow procedures from various sectors of the business to be integrated across an organization.

#6. Geographic information systems

Geographic information systems (GIS) are tools for collecting, organizing, mapping, and analyzing data that have a spatial component. By allowing users to visualize data on a map, GIS helps improve analysis and decision-making. Global information systems are a sort of GIS that combines data from all around the world.

How To Apply Information Systems in Business?

Here are some examples of business activities that necessitate the use of an information system.

  • Enterprise resource planning: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the use of information systems to automate corporate administration and planning operations.
  • Supply chain management (SCM): Information systems provide a common venue for connecting with various supply chain management partners. Furthermore, it facilitates and empowers communication between parties.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM): Many information systems assist in meeting the needs of customers. Furthermore, various information applications make it simple for businesses to communicate with their target audience.

Typical components of information systems

Let’s look at the components of an information system now that you know what it is. It is made up of five parts: hardware, software, data, and telecommunications.

#1. Hardware 

This is the technology’s physical component. It comprises PCs, hard drives, keyboards, iPads, and other electronic devices. The cost of hardware has dropped dramatically, but its speed and storage capacity have improved tremendously. However, the environmental impact of hardware consumption is a major worry today. Storage services are now provided by the cloud, which may be accessed via telecommunications networks.

#2. Software 

There are two sorts of software: system software and application software. The system software is an operating system that controls the hardware, program files, and other resources while providing the user with a graphical user interface (GUI) control over the PC. Application software is intended to help users manage certain tasks. In a nutshell, system software makes hardware usable, whereas application software performs specific functions.

Microsoft Windows is an example of system software, whereas Microsoft Excel is an example of application software. Large corporations may employ licensed programs developed and maintained by software development firms to meet their specific demands. The program might be proprietary or open source, and it can be freely downloaded from the internet.

#3. Data 

Data is a collection of information that, when collected and structured collectively, may be tremendously effective for commercial operations. Businesses collect all data and utilize it to make decisions that can be examined for company operations effectiveness.

#4. Telecommunications 

Telecommunication is the process of communicating with a computer system or other devices in order to transmit information. The network can be set up in either wired or wireless mode. Fiber optics and coaxial cable are examples of wired technologies, whereas radio waves and microwaves are examples of wireless technologies.

What Exactly is an Information System?

Information systems contain data about important people, places, and things within the organization or in the surrounding environment.

What are the 5 Types of Information System? 

The five types of information systems are as follows:

  • Knowledge Work System. 
  • Management Information System.
  • Decision Support System.
  • Office Automation System.
  • Transaction Processing System.

What are the 5 Main Components of Information System?

Hardware, software, data, human resources, and telecommunications are its five components.

What is the Main Purpose of an Information System?

Users of information systems can collect, store, organize, and distribute data, which can be used for a variety of reasons in businesses. Many companies utilize information systems to manage resources and increase efficiency.

Why Should I Study Information Systems?

There are numerous employment opportunities available to IS students. You will be able to advance your career by studying information systems. Web development, database administration, computer programming, and security analysis are all options for a profession.

What are the Basics of Information System?

Computer hardware and software, telecommunications, databases and data warehouses, human resources, and procedures are the primary components of information systems.

What are 3 Benefits from Using an Information System?

The top three advantages are increased information delivery to decision-makers, improved customer service, and continuous system availability.

What are the 3 Functions of Information Systems?

An information system comprises data about an organization and its surroundings. The information required by companies is produced by three main activities: input, processing, and output. The result of feedback is returned to the appropriate people or activities inside the organization to review and refine the information.


Data-driven decision-making relies on information systems. It enables organizations to make sense of massive amounts of data and utilize that knowledge to discover and correct process flaws. Without it, your organization would be stuck in the same inefficiencies that are holding it back. Take that information systems course, learn that stuff, gain that degree, and be the best you can be. Best wishes!


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