This assignment is to review a public University in Dubai, focusing on the ICT department. The university has been struggling to deliver quality education to its students. This is the reason why it has focused on strengthening the ICT department to facilitate the flow of information between the students and their lecturers, students, and management. The ICT department has installed a management information system that has helped it achieve its goals of enhancing the flow of information in the institution. The functions of the ICT department will be discussed in great detail in the following pages.
The research methodology employed for this study included a thorough examination of sources, including books, Internet documents, and personal interviews with junior staff members in the ICT dept. and the University ICT Coordinator. The primary sources used were the books and Internet documents, while the interviews served as secondary sources.
Dubai University – Background
The American University in Dubai is a private place of learning that was founded in 1995; it was founded under the jurisdiction of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. The campus features residence halls, a cafeteria, and a large outdoor sports complex. It is located only 25 miles away from Dubai International Airport. The school has had some famous keynote speakers for formal gatherings, including Bill Clinton, Maleleine Albright, and Steve Forbes, among others.
Products and Services
The school offers a wide variety of subjects, housed in eight schools and departments: Business Administration, Engineering, Communication, Information Technology, Visual Communication, Interior Design, Liberal Arts, and English Proficiency; all programs have full international accreditation.
Other services available in the organization are:
- Course registration
- The courses they have covered in a given time period
- Student’s year of study
- Academic year and semester
The students also fill such forms when they are registering with the institution and also when registering in different departments.
Sources from which information can be obtained include:
- Government records
- Records in the high schools in which the students learnt from and many other sources.
The ICT Department
IT-based information is data that is repaired, stored, retrieved, transferred, and used by computers and other supporting hardware and softwares. On-IT based information is that type of information which is transferred, used, and stored in hardcopies without the use of computers.
Today, the expression “information technology” has swollen to encompass a lot of aspects of computing and expertise, and the phrase has become easily identifiable. The IT sunshade can be quite huge, covering a lot of fields. IT professionals carry out a variety of responsibilities that vary from installing applications to scheming composite PC networks as well as information database. Some of the duties that these IT professionals execute may include management of data, engineering computer hardware networking, database plus software designing, in addition to the management and administration of whole systems. Information technology is a combination of computer and information technology (Brin, 1998).
In the IT department, there are no specific customers, as the services in this department are not meant for sale. The department is what we can call a support department as the services of this department are meant to make the activities of the organization run smoothly by enhancing communication between various departments, that is, to enable free inflow and outflow of information within and without the organization.
IT-based information is important to the division as every decision made in the department needs to be well informed, so quality decisions can be made in the organization. To the organization as a whole, the information is vital, since it helps the departmental managers to make decisions which are correct and that are consistent throughout all of the departments (in that there is no way, for instance, for a manager in the personnel department to give information that is contradicting with information from another manager or any employee from the other departments in the organization).
Accurately and effectively using information technology helps in improving the quality of decisions made in the business as a whole. It also helps to improve the speed at which the information is acquired and transferred, as the individuals would not have need to go and inquire to different departments in order to get the required information (Aziana, 2008).
This research is being conducted for a variety of reasons, with the specific purpose of creating a stronger and more effective IT department. As previously stated, every university’s IT department is an essential method of communication and data storage/ processing. As technology evolves and improves, it is important that any weak areas or areas in need of change are addressed sufficiently.
Data/ Information management
“Data management” is a wide field of study, but fundamentally it refers to the process by which data is managed as a valuable resource to the entity or the organization.
Data management comprises modeling data, data movement, data warehousing, data mining, and data administration. In data modeling, one creates a structure for the information that he or she has collected and organizes the data in a manner that can be kept efficiently and can be accessed easily when he/she needs to pull the information for reports analysis.
The data must be named correctly and the relationship between it and other data clearly defined. The data must also be classified accordingly; for instance, videos, audio files, and word documents must be kept separately.
“Data warehousing” refers to the safekeeping of data so that it is possible to access it and make use of it effectively. By this we mean that the time spent in looking for the data should be as minimal as possible. There is a great variability in the categories of data that are collected and kept by different organizations, but the common thing is that the organizations use the data in a similar way, that is, to improve the quality of the output of the decision making process.
Data warehousing is usually an activity that is carried by the organization as a whole, but in large by organizations like the one we are studying; it is usually done by a single department, that is, the IT department (Bedward & stredwick 2004). “Data movement” on the other hand refers to the capability to transfer data from one place to another. For example, data has to be moved from its source to the database and then to the final user or to the administrators. This process however takes some kind of logistical insight. The data needs to be well compatible to one another, and it also needs to be classified for easy access in the entire organization.
Moving the data efficiently is a bit expensive, as it requires the use of some resources, which will cost the organization money to acquire. The reason for this is that the data needs to be secure while it is being moved to avoid instances where the data can get lost on the way or the information get leaked. The systems designed to ensure this security are very expensive to acquire (Knowledge Horizon n.d).
“Database administration” is the other important of data component management. The database administrators are normally given the mandate to recover and ensure security, availability development, and testing support of the data. Recoverability involves installing a back up system to assist in getting back the information, which is lost accidentally. The loss of the data may be due to unexpected interruption, like a power black out or system break down due to mechanical reasons.
Availability of data refers to making sure that at any time the data is needed, it is accessible without any delays. The administrator is also concerned with developing and testing the database. This is to make sure that the weak areas of the systems are identified and rectified in time to minimize any delays that could be caused by such weaknesses (Chyalo, 2007).
Data mining is another equally important component of data management. It involves sifting through huge amounts of data to show the relationships, trends, and patterns in the data. It is usually used in analysis of data identification to find certain trends to make accurate forecasts about the future.
After evaluating the data that is being used in this organization it was found that the data was efficient, accurate, sufficient, true, and most current and secure. This can be attributed to the fact that the IT department is composed of qualified individuals, and it is under the direct direction of the top management to avoid any underperformance. This is because the organization knows very well what the impact of such inefficiency would be on the organization (Roensch, 2008).
The Existing System
“Data-processing systems” are frequently called “information systems” to stress their practicality. However, the expressions are roughly identical, doing analogous conversions; these types of systems characteristically manipulate raw data into information, and likewise information systems typically take uncooked data as input to generate information and this information is known as output. Data can be viewed as a raw material, which is later transformed into information, that is, for a company that wants to fabricate born vita, similarly data is the unprocessed material for information.
Data that has to go through a definite process could be transformed first into information, and it is known as a process. In order for the data to be processed by a computer, it needs first to be transformed into a machine- readable layout. Once the information is in digital layout, various measures can also be applied on the figures to get helpful information.
The data goes all the way through various processes for; they include data entry, coding data translation, data transformation, data summarization, and data mining (Chamungu, 2009).
The information systems used to process information and send it to the customers include the computer system, which is a collection of hardware, and software designed to be used for the purpose of processing, storing, transferring and retrieving information.
“Hardware” is the solid parts of a computer system and includes the mouse, keyboard, monitor, and processor among others. “Software” is those programs that enable the hardware to work properly. They include the operating system, and application. Other hardware includes fiber-optic cables used to transfer information through systems such as the Internet. Due to the skill of the database to store vast data amounts, it is the policy of the organization to make the information storage for as long as the databanks can hold them.
The reason why the information is stored for a long time is because there are some cases where the organization is taken to court by a student who used to be in the institution, and if the information about the student is not available, then the institution will not be able to defend itself in the court.
However, information cannot be left to stay in the database forever; it must be transferred somewhere else to create room for more information. This is done every five years, which is considered enough for a student taking a degree course to have left the institution. The data is then stored in external storage devices where it is able to be accessed any time a need arises. These storage devices are then stored at a place where they cannot be destroyed by either changes in weather or any other harmful substances. This storing of information to the external devices is what we can call “putting it to archives.”
For the purpose of security of information, only certified personnel are allowed to access the file. This is done through the use of passwords, which are given to the workers in control of running the database. The personnel are not supposed to give the password to unauthorized people. Also, measures are taken to make sure that unwanted data like a virus (which might be harmful to the data and to the system) do not find their way into the system. This is done through the use of strong anti-virus programs, which are being updated regularly to make sure that they do not become obsolete and ineffective. The security procedures are in conformity with the requirements of the law, in that it requires that personal information about any person must not be left or stored in a way that any person could simply access it. By ensuring safety of the information, the organization is in compliance with the law (English, 2004).
“IT based IS” is the information system that makes the use of a computer system to enter, process, retrieve, store, and transfer information. It is different from other types of information systems, in that they make use of the computer to serve the purpose of communicating, and thus they are fast, accurate, and reliable in doing their work. The other difference is that the information in the IT based system is usually in softcopy form, while that in other types of information systems is normally in hardcopy format.
In terms of information that travels through our department, the aforementioned personal data must be analyzed. The current system for storing the data is fairly efficient, for it can be located quickly and with relative ease. It is usually valid without any variation in the fields unless altered by someone else in the department. It is updated regularly and saved with each changed or through log in/ out. The accuracy of the information is thorough; its security is assured through use of passwords.
The current system is in need of digitization, which will help with the speed of recalling, storing, and sending information; it will also help with size of storage information.
Meeting for suggesting recommendations
I have decided to organize and lead a meeting, and I am inviting all colleagues to discuss the findings and the necessary changes at MID
Managing information meeting agenda and feedback
MANAGING INFORMATION MEETING
Venue : The University conference center.
I have the honor to invite you to the first managing information meeting at Dubai University. Please find the below agenda for this meeting. Lunch will be given.
- Quality of handling information
- Analyze and discuss necessary changes
- Discuss other suggestions
- Implementation plan and time scale
- Feedback of meeting
Jasim O M
To know if my presentation was effective and efficient, I gave the participants a
meeting feedback questionnaire to fill in just before finishing the meeting. After reviewing the feedback from the participants, there were two questions in which I failed:
- Ending the meeting on time
- Usage of handouts
Improvements for next meeting
- Try to keep the discussions on track and only discuss important issues related to the subject.
- Copies from the power point presentation to be handed out at the meeting.
Ending a meeting with lunch was a very good idea. The participants could continue
discussions and sharing ideas even once the meeting was finished.
Implementation and Cost
The following implementation plan and my recommendations of changes were sent to my manager for review and feedback
|Proposed changes||Time Scale||Monitoring and evaluation||Cost|
|New Digital System |
|6 months to 1 year||3 month after installment we will evaluate the current situation, compare the result||10 million Dirhams|
|New Digital System |
|1 – 2 years||Before installing phase 2 there will be a total evaluation of phase 1||10 million Dirhams|
Based on the information included within the above study, it is highly recommended that the data traffic system be digitized in the near future (within the projected next couple of years). While the cost may make some balk, it will be well worth the expense, given the amount of time and convenience that will result from the digitized system.
Finally, in particular the management that gives information about the consumers and the suppliers in any organization is crucial for the success of the organization. This is so because it enables the organization to plan, execute, and control its operations in an efficient manner, and this will improve the relationship of the organization with its clients and vendors for the mutual benefits of all the concerned parties. This report will enable the reader to understand the various parts of information management and the advantages of computerizing any business to the owner as well as to the suppliers and clients.
Avilani, J 2006,Managing information in business context, 2nd Ed, Access printing press, London.
Aziana, K 2008, Information management in business, Alliance group of companies, New York.
Azul, T 2009, keeping your information safely, 3rd Ed, Jumbo printing press, Sydney. Bedward, Diana & Stredwick, John 2004, Managing Information: core management, Elsevier, London.
Brin, David 1998, EVERYONE IS LIVING IN A FISHBOWL, Archives.
Chamungu, P. 2009, Database management. Makerere university press, Kampala.
Chyalo, M. 2007, You and the security of your information.4th Ed, Kampala university press, Kampala.
English, Gary 2004, Managing Information and Human Performance, Human Resource Development Press, Naples.
Knowledge Horizon, “Cambridge International examination in Management, Professional Level,” University of Cambridge.
Roensch, John 2008, Video Conferencing Outsourcing, “Outsourcing and measuring key functions is the best way to assure high performance,” Web.
Meeting feedback questionnarie