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Information granularity

refers to the extent of detail within the information (fine and detailed or coarse and abstract)

Transactional information

encompasses all of the information contained within a single business process or unit of work, and its primary purpose is to support the performing of daily operational tasks

Analytical information

encompasses all organizational information, and its primary purpose is to support the performing of managerial analysis tasks

Real time information/systems

immediate, up-to-date information. Real-time systems provide real-time information in response to query requests


Are all the values correct?


Are any of the values missing?


Is aggregate or summary information in agreement with detailed information?


Is each transaction, entity, and event represented only once in the information?


Is the information current with respect to the business requirements?

Relational database

a type of database that stores information in the form of logically related two-dimensional tables


a person, place, thing, transaction, or event about which information is stored


also called fields or columns, are characteristics or properties of an entity class

Primary key

a field (or group of fields) that uniquely identifies a given entity in a table

Foreign key

a primary key of one table that appears as an attribute in another table and acts to provide a logical relationship between the two tables

Physical view

the physical storage of information on a storage device such as a hard disk

Logical view

how users logically access information to meet their particular business needs

Relational integrity constraints

rules that enforce basic and fundamental information-based constraints

Business critical integrity constraints

enforce business rules vital to an organization's success and often require more insight and knowledge than relational integrity constraints


software through which users and application programs interact with a database


allows separate systems to communicate directly with each other

Forward vs. backward integration

A forward integration takes information entered into a given system and sends it automatically to all downstream systems and processes. A backward integration takes information entered into a given system and sends it automatically to all upstream systems and processes.

single thread search engines

use automated programs referred to as spiders or crawlers to visit websites and record which terms exist on the web pages at the site. This information is stored in very powerful databases owned by the search engine.

multi-threaded search engines

sometimes referred to as meta search engines. These search engines allow the user to search multiple databases simultaneously, via a single interface. When you enter terms in a MTSE it forwards the search terms to STSEs, obtains results from each STSE and returns them to the user.

phrase searches

allow you to search for strings of specific characters. Quotations marks are an effective method for narrowing your search because the terms within the parentheses are treated as one unit.


Properties of the entities (Color, Employment Date, Name...)


specification of the maximum number of instances of one entity type that can be related to the number of instances of another entity type.


Persons, places, or things about which an organization wishes to save information

Foreign key

a primary key of one table that appears as an attribute in another table and acts to provide a logical relationship between the two tables


An instance of entity 'A' can relate to one or more instances of 'B' while an instance of 'B' can relate to one or more instances of 'A'.


Most modelers do not place attributes on diagrams but rather keep attributes out of the data model and in the data dictionary

One to many

one instance of entity 'A' can relate to one or many instances of entity 'B', but an instance of 'B' can relate to only one instance of 'A'.


an instance of entity 'A' can relate to one and only one instance of entity 'B', and an instance of 'B' can relate to only one instance of 'A'.

Primary key

a field (or group of fields) that uniquely identifies a given entity in a table


Describes how entities relate to each other

Compare the multi dimensional nature of data warehouses (and data marts) with the two dimensional nature of databases

A relational database contains information in a series of two-dimensional tables. In a data warehouse and data mart, information is multidimensional, meaning it contains layers of columns and rows. For this reason, most data warehouses and data marts are multidimensional databases. A dimension is a particular attribute of information. Each layer in a data warehouse or data mart represents information according to an additional dimension

Identify the importance of ensuring the cleanliness of information throughout an organization

If an organization is using a data warehouse or data mart to allocate dollars across advertising strategies (such as in the case of Sega of America), low quality information will definitely have a negative impact on its ability to make the right decision.

Explain the relationship between business intelligence and a data warehouse

In modern businesses, increasing standards, automation, and technologies have led to vast amounts of available information. Data warehouse technologies have set up repositories to store this information. Improved ETL has increased the speedy collecting of information. Business intelligence has now become the art of sifting through large amounts of data, extracting information, and turning that information into actionable knowledge.

Define the systems organizations use to make decisions and gain competitive advantage

Transaction Processing Systems. Decision Support Systems. Executive Information Systems.

Describe the three quantitative models typically used by decision support systems

(1) sensitivity analysis, (2) what if analysis, and (3) goal seeking analysis.

Describe the relationship between digital dashboards and executive information systems

EIS systems, such as digital dashboards, allow executives to move beyond reporting to using information to directly impact business performance. Digital dashboards help executives react to information as it becomes available and make decisions, solve problems, and change strategies daily instead of monthly.

List and describe four types of artificial intelligence systems

(1) expert systems, (2) neural networks, (3) genetic algorithms, and (4) intelligent agents.

Describe three types of data mining analysis capabilities

Data-mining tools apply algorithms to information sets to uncover inherent trends and patterns in the information, which analysts use to develop new business strategies. Analysts use the output from data-mining tools to build models that, when exposed to new information sets, perform a variety of data analysis functions. The analysts provide business solutions by putting together the analytical techniques and the business problem at hand, which often reveals important new correlations, patterns, and trends in information.

Data warehouse

is a logical collection of information gathered from many different operational databases that supports business analysis activities and decision making tasks. The primary purpose of a data warehouse is to aggregate information throughout an organization into a single repository in such a way that employees can make decisions and undertake business analysis activities. Therefore, while databases store the details of all transactions (for instance, the sale of a product) and events (hiring a new employee), data warehouses store that same information but in an aggregated form more suited to supporting decision making tasks. Aggregation, in this instance, can include totals, counts, averages, and the like. Because of this sort of aggregation, data warehouses support only analytical processing.

ELT (extraction, transformation, loading)

a process that extracts information from internal and external databases, transforms the information using a common set of enterprise definitions, and loads the information into a data warehouse.

Data mart

contains a subset of data warehouse information. Data marts have focused information subsets particular to the needs of a given business unit such as finance or production and operations.

Multi dimensional analysis

The information is multidimensional, meaning it contains layers of columns and rows. Most data warehouses and data marts are multidimensional databases. A dimension is a particular attribute of information. Each layer in a data warehouse or data mart represents information according to an additional dimension.


A cube is the common term for the representation of multidimensional information. Once a cube of information is created, users can begin to slice and dice the cube to drill down into the information.

Data mining

the process of analyzing data to extract information not offered by the raw data alone.

Information cleansing/scrubbing

a process that weeds out and fixes or discards inconsistent, incorrect, or incomplete information. Specialized software tools use sophisticated algorithms to parse, standardize, correct, match, and consolidate data warehouse information.

Business intelligence

refers to applications and technologies that are used to gather, provide access to, and analyze data and information to support decision- making efforts.

Association detection

reveals the degree to which variables are related and the nature and frequency of these relationships in the information.

Cluster analysis

a technique used to divide an information set into mutually exclusive groups such that the members of each group are as close together as possible to one another and the different groups are as far apart as possible. Cluster analysis is frequently used to segment customer information for customer relation- ship management systems to help organizations identify customers with similar behavioral traits, such as clusters of best customers or onetime customers. Cluster analysis also has the ability to uncover naturally occurring patterns in information

Decision support system (DSS)

models information to support managers and business professionals during the decision-making process. Three quantitative models are typically used by DSSs: (1) sensitivity analysis, (2) what-if analysis, and (3) goal-seeking analysis.

Digital dashboards

integrate information from multiple components and tailor the information to individual preferences. Digital dashboards commonly use indicators to help executives quickly identify the status of key information or critical success factors.


enables users to get details, and details of details, of information. Viewing monthly, weekly, daily, or even hourly information represents drill- down capability.

Executive information system (EIS)

a specialized DSS that supports senior- level executives within the organization. An EIS differs from a DSS because an EIS typically contains data from external sources as well as data from internal sources. Consolidation, drill-down, and slice-and-dice are a few of the capabilities offered in most EISs.


involves the aggregation of information and features simple roll- ups to complex groupings of interrelated information. Many organizations track financial information at a regional level and then consolidate the information at a single global level.

Goal-seeking analysis

finds the inputs necessary to achieve a goal such as a desired level of output. Instead of observing how changes in a variable affect other variables as in what-if analysis, goal-seeking analysis sets a target value (a goal) for a variable and then repeatedly changes other variables until the target value is achieved.

Sensitivity analysis

is the study of the impact that changes in one (or more) parts of the model have on other parts of the model. Users change the value of one variable repeatedly and observe the resulting changes in other variables.


is the ability to look at information from different perspectives. One slice of information could display all product sales during a given promotion. Another slice could display a single product's sales for all promotions.

Statistical analysis

performs such functions as information correlations, distributions, calculations, and variance analysis. Data-mining tools offer knowledge workers a wide range of powerful statistical capabilities so they can quickly build a variety of statistical models, examine the models' assumptions and validity, and compare and contrast the various models to determine the best one for a particular business issue.

What-if analysis

checks the impact of a change in an assumption on the proposed solution. For example, "What will happen to the supply chain if a hurricane in South Carolina reduces holding inventory from 30 percent to 10 percent?" Users repeat this analysis until they understand all the effects of various situations.

CRM (customer relationship management)

CRM is a business philosophy based on the premise that those organizations that understand the needs of individual customers are best positioned to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the future.

RFM (recency, frequency, monetary value)

How recently a customer purchased items (recency). How frequently a customer purchases items (frequency). How much a customer spends on each purchase (monetary value).


CRM reporting technologies help organizations identify their customers across other applications.


CRM analysis technologies help organizations segment their customers into categories such as best and worst customers.


CRM predicting technologies help organizations make predictions regarding customer behavior such as which customers are at risk of leaving.

Operational CRM

Operational CRM supports traditional transactional processing for day-to-day front-office operations or systems that deal directly with the customers.

Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM supports back-office operations and strategic analysis and includes all systems that do not deal directly with the customers. The primary difference between operational CRM and analytical CRM is the direct interaction between the organization and its customers.


Personalization occurs when a website can know enough about a person's likes and dislikes that it can fashion offers that are more likely to appeal to that person.

CRM success factors

Understanding customer behavior and preferences, then realigning product and service offerings and related communications to make sure they are synchronized with customer needs and preferences

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

measures that are tied to business drivers

Efficiency Efficiency IT metrics measure the performance of the IT system itself including throughput, speed, and availability.

Efficiency IT metrics measure the performance of the IT system itself including throughput, speed, and availability.


Effectiveness IT metrics measure the impact IT has on business processes and activities including customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and sell-through increases


Benchmarking is a process of continuously measuring system results, comparing those results to optimal system performance (benchmark values), and identifying steps and procedures to improve system performance.

Types of metrics (IT, supply chain, CRM, etc.)

A metric is nothing more than a standard measure to assess performance in a particular area. Metrics are at the heart of a good, customer-focused management system and any program directed at continuous improvement.

Balanced scorecard

a management system, in addition to a measurement system, that enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action. It provides feedback around both the internal business processes and external outcomes in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results. When fully deployed, the balanced scorecard transforms strategic planning from an academic exercise into the nerve center of an enterprise.


Measurements that are easy to understand

Precisely definable

Clearly defined measures so that they can be applied and evaluated consistently.


Two or more qualified observers should arrive at the same value for the measure


The metric should measure the property it is intended to measure


Measures should be insensitive to insignificant changes in the process or product.

Units of measure

Most appropriate unit of measure


How precise the count should be. Materiality refers to knowing when it becomes irrelevant to be more precise with your measurement because it will have a negligible impact on the meaning of the measure or the impact of the information on the decision.


Must have a representative sample to measure accurately

Buyer power

Buyer power is assessed by analyzing the ability of buyers to directly impact the price they are willing to pay for an item. Factors used to assess buyer power include number of customers, size of orders, differences between competitors, sensitivity of price, and availability of substitute products.

Competitive advantage

a product or service that an organization's customers place a greater value on than similar offerings from a competitor. Unfortunately, com- petitive advantages are typically temporary because competitors often seek ways to duplicate the competitive advantage.

Entry barrier

a product or service feature that customers have come to expect from organizations in a particular industry and must be offered by an entering organization to compete and survive

First-mover advantage

occurs when an organization can significantly impact its market share by being first to market with a competitive advantage.

Loyalty program

reward customers based on the amount of business they do with a particular organization

Primary value activities

Primary value activities, shown at the bottom of the graph, acquire raw materials and manufacture, deliver, market, sell, and provide after-sales services.

Rivalry among existing competitors

when competition is fierce in a market and low when competition is more complacent. Although competition is always more intense in some industries than in others, the overall trend is toward increased competition in almost every industry

Supplier power

Supplier power is assessed by the sup- pliers' ability to directly impact the price they are charging for supplies (including materials, labor, and services). Factors used to assess supplier power include number of suppliers, size of suppliers, uniqueness of services, and availability of substitute products.

Supply chain

A supply chain consists of all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in the procurement of a product or raw material. In a typical supply chain, an organization will probably be both a supplier (to customers) and a customer (of other supplier organizations

Support value activities

Support value activities, along the top of the graph, such as firm infrastructure, human resource management, technology development, and procurement, support the primary value activities.

Switching costs

Switching costs are costs that can make customers reluctant to switch to another product or service. A switching cost need not have an associated monetary cost.

Threat of new entrants

when it is easy for new competitors to enter a market and low when there are significant entry barriers to entering a market

Threat of substitute products or services

when there are many alternatives to a product or service and low when there are few alternatives from which to choose.

Value creation

The value chain approach views an organization as a series of processes, each of which adds value to the product or service for each customer. To create a competitive advantage, the value chain must enable the organization to provide unique value to its customers.

Cache memory

a small unit of ultra-fast memory that is used to store recently accessed or frequently accessed data so that the CPU does not have to retrieve this data from slower memory circuits such as RAM

Central processing unit (CPU)

the actual hardware that interprets and executes the program (software) instructions and coordinates how all the other hardware devices work together.

Communication devices

The equipment used to send information and receive it from one location to another (e.g., modem).

Compact disk (CD)

an optical drive designed to read the data encoded on CD-ROMs and to transfer this data to a computer

Digital video disk (DVD)

a CD-ROM format capable of storing up to a maximum of 17 GB of data; enough for a full-length feature movie.

Flash memory

a special type of rewriteable read-only memory (ROM) that is compact and portable

Gigabyte (GB)

roughly 1 billion bytes

Gigahertz (GHz)

the number of billions of CPU cycles per second

Guided transmission medium

Wire media are transmission material manufactured so that signals will be con- fined to a narrow path and will behave predictably. The three most commonly used types of guided media are: Twisted-pair wiring, Coaxial cable, Fiber-optic cable

Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP)

Allows web browsers and servers to send and receive web pages.

Unguided transmission medium

various types of media used to carry the signal between computers (wireless)

Hard drive

a secondary storage medium that uses several rigid disks coated with a magnetically sensitive material and housed together with the recording heads in a hermetically sealed mechanism

Magnetic medium

a secondary storage medium that uses magnetic techniques to store and retrieve data on disks or tapes coated with magnetically sensitive materials

Megabyte (MB or M or Meg)

roughly 1million bytes

Megahertz (MHz)

the number of millions of CPU cycles per second, how CPU speed usually calculated

Optical medium

a secondary storage medium for computers on which infor- mation is stored at extremely high density in the form of tiny pits

Primary storage

The computer's main memory, which consists of the random access memory (RAM), the cache memory, and the read-only memory (ROM) that is directly accessible to the central processing unit (CPU).

Random access memory (RAM)

the computer's primary working mem- ory, in which program instructions and data are stored so that they can be accessed directly by the CPU via the processor's high-speed external data bus.

Read-only memory (ROM)

the portion of a computer's primary storage that does not lose its contents when one switches off the power

Secondary storage

The equipment designed to store large volumes of data for long-term storage (e.g., diskette, hard drive, memory card, CD).

Terabyte (TB)

1 trillion bytes

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

provides the technical foundation for the public Internet as well as for large numbers of private networks. The key achievement of TCP/IP is its flexibility with respect to lower-level protocols. TCP/IP uses a special transmission method that maximizes data transfer and automatically adjusts to slower devices and other delays encountered on a network

Value‐added network (VAN)

a private network, provided by a third party, for exchanging information through a high-capacity connection.

Virtual private network (VPN)

a way to use the public telecommunication infrastructure (e.g., Internet) to provide secure access to an organization's network

Voice over IP (VoIP)

uses TCP/IP technology to transmit voice calls over long-distance telephone lines.


refers to RAM's complete loss of stored information if power is interrupted

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