Lecture 4. Information Systems Analysis BIS ISA L4 WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 1. Business Information Systems. Information Systems Analysis

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1 Business Information Systems Maria Galant-Pater, MSc. Information Systems Analysis Lecture 4 Information Systems Analysis A. System Analysis Process B. Perspectives of IS Analysis The 7 phases of SDLC A. System Analysis Process 1. Identyfying problems, opportunities, and objectives 7. Implementing and maintaining the system 6. Testing and evaluating the system 5. Developing and documenting software 2. Determining human information requirements 3. Analyzing system needs 4. Designing the recomended system The start point: The Information System does not fit the organization. There is a lack of documented knowledge about the information system in the organization. 3 4 (Information) Systems Analysis Definitions Result of Systems Analysis 1. Systems Analysis is the collection of notations, methodologies and tools used to gather details and analyze a problem situation prior to information system design and implementation. 2. System Analysis, as performed by system analyst, seeks to understand the humans needs of and to analyze systematically: data input, data flow, data processing, transforming and storing and information output within the context of a particular business. requirements definition which is used As a statement of the problem to be solved For communication between designer and end-users To support information system evolution To support design validation 5 6 WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 1

2 The requirements definition consists of: A systems analyst Functional requirements What does the system do? What information is maintained? What activities are carried out? What interfaces are supported? Non-functional requirements Global constraints on the system, such as performance constraints, (resource constraints, security, reliability,..)., operational constraints (hardware requirements, personnel,...), life cycle constraints etc. 7 studies the problems and needs of an organization to determine how people, data, processes, communications, and information technology can best accomplish improvements for the business. 8 Where do Systems Analysts Work? In traditional businesses: Working in traditional information services organizations (permanent project teams) Working in contemporary information services organizations (dynamic project teams) In outsourcing businesses Contracted to traditional businesses In consulting businesses Contracted to traditional businesses In application software businesses Building software products for traditional businesses Roles of the Systems Analyst Consultant -- often hired from outside, specifically for a project; this means that she brings a new perspective but will not be familiar with company culture/politics. Supporting Expert -- knows well relevant hardware and software technologies, advises on alternative hardware/software configurations. Change Agent -- will be expected to suggest alternative business processes which improve on current practices (business reengineer) The Task of Information Systems Analysis Is to Define a Problem and Find a Solution To figure out what an organizational information system is like, so that: This system can be made more efficient The system can take advantage of the speed, processing capacity and memory of computers to carry out or support its information processes The system can take advantage of electronic communication to improve communication between various divisions of the organization The system can provide new services The system can integrate several operations 11 Systems Analyst Tasks How to define a problem and find a solution? Interviewing individuals who offer, use or manage information processing services for the organization in order to find out: What information processes and procedures are performed/needed within the organization What information is being maintained What needs do users have? Learning about the nature of the business of the organization and its goals in order to: Recommend computer changes that will help the organization to better achieve its goals Understand the nature and reasons for the information processing tasks that are done by members of the organization. 12 WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 2

3 and it means that system analyst also: recommends equipment builds representation defines requirements specifies: a) the format of the data b) the human processing procedures c) the programs d) control procedures monitors the design, development, installation and effectiveness of the new IS What are Skills Required by thesystems Analyst? Working knowledge of information technology Computer programming experience and expertise Results of his work will be used later during system design and implementation General business knowledge What are Skills Required by thesystems Analyst? Problem-solving skills Interpersonal communication skills Interpersonal relations skills Flexibility and adaptability Character and ethics Systems analysis and design skills System Analyst has to be good at ignorance hiding SYSTEM ANALYST B. Perspectives of System Analysis Social Perspective Professional Perspective Technological Perspective WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 3

4 Perspectives of IS Analysis Social perspective - applied sociology, anthropology, psychology etc., looking at issues such as: how do individuals and organizations use information, how are they affected by increased availability of information,... Technological perspective - IT tools, such as hardware, computer networks, databases, compilers, CASE tools,...and methods for using them. Professional perspective - professional practices and standards in performing information service-related tasks, such as: communication protocol standards, software standards, government policies on privacy, security, accuracy etc. of information, acquisition, cataloguing, selection, professional standards on information... etc. John Zachman is one of the founding developers of IBM's Business Systems Planning (BSP); Business Systems Planning - a method for analyzing, defining and designing an information architecture of organizations. ogranizational information system. Framework for Information Systems Architecture originated in 1987; has been updated several times since; provides a formal and highly structured way of viewing and defining an enterprise (also development of IS) Systems Architecture Framework Systems Architecture Framework Current view of the Zachman Framework Current view of the Zachman Framework Contextual (Why) Goal List primary high level organization goals (How) Process List list of all known processes (What) Material List list of all known organizational entities (Who) Organizational Unit & Role List list of all organization units, sub-units, and identified roles (Where) Geographical Locations List locations important to organization; can be large and small (When) Event List list of triggers and cycles important to organization 32 Conceptual (Why) Goal Relationship Model identifies hierarchy of goals that support primary goals (How) Process Model provides process descriptions, input processes, output processes (What) Entity Relationship Model identifies and describes the organizational materials and their relationships (Who) Organizational Unit & Role Relationship Model identifies enterprise roles and units and the relationships between them (Where) Locations Model identifies enterprise locations and the relationships between them (When) Event Model identifies and describes events and cycles related by time 33 WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 4

5 Current view of the Zachman Framework Logical (Why) Rules Diagram identifies and describes rules that apply constraints to processes and entities without regard to physical or technical implementation (How) Process Diagram identifies and describes process transitions expressed as verb-noun phrases without regard to physical or technical implementation (What) Data Model Diagram identifies and describes entities and their relationships without regard to physical or technical implementation (Who) Role Relationship Diagram identifies and describes roles and their relations to other roles by types of deliverables without regard to physical or technical implementation (Where) Locations Diagram identifies and describes locations used to access, manipulate, and transfer entities and processes without regard to physical or technical implementation (When) Event Diagram identifies and describes events related to each other in sequence, cycles occur within and between events, without regard to physical or technical implementation 34 Current view of the Zachman Framework Detailed Representation Eventually the cells with the detailed representation give Rules detail for (Why); Process detail for (How); Data detail for (What); Role detail for (Who); Location detail for (Where); and Event detail for (When). There is a sixth row in the current Zachman framework, but it is not used for enterprise architecture while the enterprise is described by rows one to six, enterprise architecture uses only rows one to five, thus only five rows are shown here. Since the product development (i.e., architectural artifact) in each cell or the problem solution embodied by the cell is the answer to a question from a perspective, typically, the models or descriptions are higher-level depictions or the surface answers of the cell. The refined models or designs supporting that answer are the detailed descriptions within the cell. Decomposition (i.e., drill down to greater levels of detail) takes place within each cell. If a cell is not made explicit (defined), it is implicit (undefined). If it is implicit, the risk of making assumptions about these cells exists. If the assumptions are valid, then time and money are saved. If, however, the assumptions are invalid, it is likely to increase costs and exceed the schedule for implementation. 35 Framework set of rules 1. The columns have no order : The columns are interchangeable but cannot be reduced or created 2. Each column has a simple generic model : Every column can have its own meta-model 3. The basic model of each column must be unique : The basic model of each column, the relationship objects and the structure of it is unique. Each relationship object is interdependent but the representation objective is unique. 4. Each row describes a distinct, unique perspective : Each row describes the view of a particular business group and is unique to it. All rows are usually present in most hierarchical organization. 36 Framework set of rules 5. Each cell is unique : The combination of 2,3 & 4 must produce unique cells where each cell represents a particular case. Example: A2 represents business outputs as they represent what are to be eventually constructed. 6. The composite or integration of all cell models in one row constitutes a complete model from the perspective of that row : For the same reason as for not adding rows and columns, changing the names may change the fundamental logical structure of the Framework. 7. The logic is recursive : The logic is relational between two instances of the same entity. 37 Flexibility in level of detail One of the strengths of the Zachman Framework is that it explicitly shows a comprehensive set of views that can be addressed by enterprise architecture.[12] Some feel that following this model completely can lead to too much emphasis on documentation, as artifacts would be needed for every one of the thirty cells in the framework. John Zachman clearly states in his documentation, presentations, and seminars that, as framework, there is flexibility in what depth and breadth of detail is required for each cell of the matrix based upon the importance to a given organization. An automaker, whose business goals may necessitate an inventory and process-driven focus, could find it beneficial to focus their documentation efforts on What and How columns. Whereas a travel agent company, whose business is more concerned with people and event-timing, could find it beneficial to focus their documentation efforts on Who and When columns. However, there is no escaping the Why column's importance as it provides the business drivers for all the other columns. 38 Systems Architecture Framework Social perspective 39 WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 5

6 A stakeholder is any person who has an interest in an existing or new information system. Stakeholders can be technical or nontechnical workers. Stakeholders Groups Nontechnical stakeholders Technical stakeholders Nontechnical stakeholders Nontechnical stakeholders System owners pay for the system to be built and maintained System users are the people who use or are affected by the information system on a regular basis - capturing, validating, entering, responding to, storing, and exchanging data and information. 42 System users classification Internal users Clerical and service workers Technical and professional staff Supervisors, middle managers, and executive managers Remote and mobile users (internal but disconnected) External users (for now out of interest!!!) 43 Nontechnical stakeholders Technical stakeholders System users classification primary users directly use the output of information system in order to perform their work. secondary users - are those who input data into IS, but do not directly use the output of information system in order to perform their tasks. People holding this jobs often will have the job description of data entry personnel. System designers design the system to meet the users requirements. System builders construct, test, and deliver the system into operation. IT vendors and consultants sell hardware, software, and services to businesses for incorporation into their information systems WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 6

7 Systems analysts facilitate the development of information systems and computer applications by bridging the communications gap that exists between nontechnical system owners and users and technical system designers and builders. 46 Lecture 3 47 System owners Information system SCOPE (purpose & vision + goals & objectives + costs & benefits) System users Information system REQUIREMENTS (what the system is and what must to do independent of technology) System designers Information system DESIGN (how the system will be implemented using technology) System builders Information system COMPONENTS (actual, technical implementation of the system) Technologies for System Analysis Information technology is a contemporary term that describes the combination of computer technology (hardware and software) with telecommunications technology (data, image, and voice networks). HARDWARE COMMUNICATIONS SOFTWARE WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 7

8 Technologies for System Analysis Hardware Personal computers (PCs), Workstations, Mainframes; Hardware components: CPUs, memory, disk Peripherals, Monitors Palmtops, etc. Software Word processing, Spreadsheets, Presentation software, Website design, Web search engines, Document management, COTS or OTS, DBMSs with CASE software Compilers, OS Platforms Connectivity etc. Communications , fax Wireless communication telephones, networks, internet telephone switches, etc. 52 An information system (IS) is an arrangement of people, data, processes, communications, and information technology that interact to support and improve day-to-day operations in a business, as well as support the problem-solving and decisionmaking needs of management and users. 53 Information System Platform Information System = Information Base(Dtabase) + Applications + Interfaces Information bases developed through File, Database or Web technology, using DBMSs, file, database and website design methodologies and tools. Applications developed in terms of programming languages, fourth generation languages (4GLs), using programming methodologies such as structured or object-oriented programming, and corresponding tools. Interfaces for end-users and other systems developed in terms of generic programming tools (such as compilers), or, more recently, in terms of other sets of specialized tools (HCI tools and data servers) Focuses for Information Systems Data the raw material used to create useful information. Processes the activities (including management) that carry out the mission of the business. Interfaces how the system interfaces with its users and other information systems. Lecture WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 8

9 Social & The DATA Focus Social & The DATA Focus From 1. System owners perspective all what is needed is... Business knowledge - the insight that is gained from timely, accurate, and relevant information. (REMEMBER: Information is a product of raw data!) 2. System users perspective the most important are... Data requirements - a representation of users data in terms of entities, attributes, relationships, and rules. Data requirements should be expressed in a format that is independent of the technology that can or will be used to store the data. 3. System designers perspective all what is needed is Database schema 4. System builders perspective the most important is... Database management system Social& The PROCESS Focus The PROCESS Focus system owners perspective List of Business Events &Responses Business functions are ongoing activities that support the business. Functions can be decomposed into other sub-functions and eventually into processes that do specific tasks. A cross-functional information system supports relevant business processes from several business functions without regard to traditional organizational boundaries such as divisions, departments, centers, and offices The PROCESS Focus system users perspective List of Process Requirements Business processes are activities that respond to business events. Business processes are the work performed by the system. Process requirements are a representation of the users business processes in terms of activities, data flows, or work flow. A policy is a set of rules that govern a business process. A procedure is a step-by-step set of instructions and logic for accomplishing a business process. The PROCESS Focus system designers perspective System designers perspectives An application schema is a model that communicates how selected business processes are, or will be, implemented using the software and hardware. Software specifications represent the technical design of business processes to be automated or supported by computer programs to be written by system builders WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 9

10 The PROCESS Focus system builder perspective System builders perspectives Application programs are language-based, machine-readable representations of what a software process is supposed to do, or how a software process is supposed to accomplish its task. Prototyping is a technique for quickly building a functioning, but incomplete model of the information system using rapid application development tools. Social & The INTERFACE Focus Social & The INTERFACE Focus DATA + PROCESSES + INTERFACES FOCUS System owners perspective List of business locations & systems System users perspectives Interface requirements are a representation of the users inputs and outputs. System designers perspective Interface specifications User dialogues describe how the user moves from window-towindow, interacting with the application programs to perform useful work. System builders perspective Interface programs Middleware is a layer of utility software that sits in between application software and systems software to transparently integrate differing technologies so that they can interoperate The COMMUNICATION Focus The COMMUNICATIONS Focus DATA Building Blocks PROCESS Building Blocks The Network INTERFACE Building Blocks In contemporary Information Systems there is no possibility to achieve good functionality of the system without usage of NETWORKS technology ideas. Every group of stakeholders is interested in solving some kinds of its problems by using network technology: Owners - problems connected with dispersed Business Location Users - Communication Requirements also include networks aspects because of (for example) the dispersed business location Designers - Network Architecture problems with coordination of subsystems functionality Programmers - Network Programs problems with the usage of dispersed software The only thing that we should add to this architecture is the time dimension SDLC phases, and we will be able to show where the system analyst should be extremely involved. Figure 2.8 Caption: Role of the Network in Information Systems Edit Date: :59: Type of Art: Line (portrait) Software: Visio Authors: Whitten, Bentley, and Dittman WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 10

11 Lecture 3 70 P I E C E S The PIECES Problem-Solving Framework the need to improve performance the need to improve information (and data) the need to improve economics, control costs, or increase profits the need to improve control or security the need to improve efficiency of people and processes the need to improve service to customers, suppliers, partners, employees, etc. 72 Perspectives and Problems User s Perspective No system: What system? I haven t seen a new system % of large IT projects are cancelled before completion Unusable: It might work, but it s dreadful to use... No engine under the hood: It s very pretty but does it do anything useful? 73 Perspectives and Problems Perspectives and Problems Owner s - Client s Perspective Too expensive Too late Bad press Change of mind Change of requirements Designers/Programmers Developer s Perspective Wrong requirements Unsufficient resources Incomplete requirements Impossible requirements Blame the others WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 11

12 Why Which Do Things Go Wrong? Additional bibliography: Framework slides are taken from: Information System Analysis and Design, lecture handouts by Dr M.A.Kashem, Assistant professor. CSE, Dhaka Univ. of Engineering & Technology, Gazipur, Lecture 5: Information Acquisition: Requirements Gathering & Specification 77 WIZ K4-Z1 - MGP 12

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