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Information Systems Resources: Networks, Hardware, Software, Data & People

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  • 0:06 Understanding Data
  • 1:29 Hardware and Peripherals
  • 2:09 Software
  • 3:17 Networks
  • 3:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lori Jacobson

Lori holds an MBA. She has taught business and accounting at several community colleges.

What are the resources an information system needs? Discover how networks, hardware, software, data and people work together to create usable information.

Understanding Data

We've established that an information system is the combining of users, technology and processes to complete a specific goal. A stakeholder isn't only a user but is someone who has any type of interest in a particular process. These people utilize hardware and software, typically in a network format, to process raw data into usable information.

Data is one piece of a record. Individually, some of your data might be your first name, middle name, last name, address, city, state, zip, phone number and occupation. When put together, we see a record. Consider a global business with nearly 100,000 employees. If we were to put each bit of data on index cards and toss it in a room, we'd have a lot of cards, but could you interpret and use that data? Probably not. What we would have is a great start to a bonfire. But if each person's data was compiled as a record and those records processed into an employee list, we would now have usable information, or a collection of related records.

The old way would have been handwritten or typed index cards filed in many boxes alphabetically. The list would have then been typed and photocopied for distribution. Technology has made that process just a little faster. We now use keyboards, scanners and microphones to input data into a system. The system unit contains components, which house the software that processes the data into information.

Hardware and Peripherals

The components of the system you can physically touch - the system unit (tower, desktop, laptop), internal devices and peripheral devices (keyboards and monitors) - are called hardware. It is important to remember that basic definition: Hardware are the parts of the computer that are tangible and can be touched.

Specifics of peripheral devices are provided in many other ways, but think of them as hardware that surrounds the system unit. Hint: Your peripheral vision is what lets you see out of the sides, or corners, of your eyes. These peripheral devices may be connected by wired or wireless technology to the system unit. Peripherals communicate with the interior components of the system unit via installed software. Software itself is intangible and can't be touched physically.

Hardware allows you to physically interact with your computer.
Examples of Computer Hardware

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