Business Information Systems: Design an App for That
Raymond Frost, Ohio University
Jacqueline Pike, Duquesne University
Lauren Kenyo, Ohio University
Sarah Pels, Ohio University
Copyright Year: 2011
ISBN 13: 9781453311578
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
Conditions of Use
The book takes a practical approach to teach students the fundamentals of business information systems and illustrates the SDLC approach to analyzing/planning/designing/building and deploying an information systems (an iPhone app). The practical... read more
The book takes a practical approach to teach students the fundamentals of business information systems and illustrates the SDLC approach to analyzing/planning/designing/building and deploying an information systems (an iPhone app). The practical approach is good for getting the attention of students, who may be deciding on whether to choose information systems as their major. The text does a great job in the analysis and design aspects - presenting and using concepts of BPR (business process re-engineering) and UI/UX design thinking approaches to create practical assignments for analysis/design of an app. However, where it falls short is by not introducing the data collection and requirements collection/analysis methodology. Also no mention of project management and validation/verification and testing approaches for the iPhone app that they build.
The book provides an summarized description of the concepts and methodology that the student will use to do the project phases in analysis/design/build of the iPhone app. The methodologies provided and described are by no means exhaustive, but perhaps the chosen approach is a popular one. This type of coverage of the topics supports the adoption of this book for an introductory level course, as it is makes it easy to apply to the practical problem. For a more advanced course for higher division IS majors, the instructor would need to present the other alternative methodologies. Some of the hyperlinks need to be rechecked to ensure they still work.
The concept of the app - a mobile application that works on a smartphone (e.g.. the iPhone) is here to stay. Businesses and organizations are designing and building apps to support their various stakeholders - users, managers, customers, employees, .. This trend will continue into the future and therefore, the primary "medium" used this book to illustrate and "teach" the topics covered in this book - analyze/design/build an iPhone app - will not go away. So this book will remain relevant. and updates can be done easily keeping the same iPhone model.
The language of the book is very easy to rad and follow. The sections are presented in a logical sequence and the technical jargons are kept to a minimum and explained very well and succinctly. This supports the notion of adopting the book for an introductory course for IS majors to teach them the concepts of designing/building apps to support business problems
The sections and the style and way in which each chapter is presented is very consistent. Each chapter begins with an introduction to outline the chapter and then the theory is introduced and then exercises are provided to allow the student to apply the theory
The chapters in the text book do have modularity, so individual chapters can be adopted along with another text book. The chapters are sufficiently independent of each other so that they can be taught in any order and in any combination. The actual app project can also be used to supplement an existing course or different MIS textbook.
The book is well-organized. It is a good sequence of chapters and topics that is presented in a logical fashion. And it allows the student to comprehend the flow of a app design/development project. Each chapter has "learning objectives", "Key takeaways" and "questions and exercises".
It will be good to have a table of contents that is navigable (I refer to the PDF file - which is lacking this). Otherwise the book is fairly easy to navigate and read.
No problems with grammar in the book.
There is no cultural bias or problems in this text book. There is nothing that would offend students of different backgrounds
The book is a very useful body of work, It can be used as a supplement to another book that has more comprehensive coverage of the theory. This book can be used to assign the term project. It goes good for a "Introduction to problem Solving " curse for IS majors. The concepts in the book assay to follow and apply to project. So it can be a Project manual as well.
This book does a good job of integrating a variety of “intro to MIS” concepts such as Business Process Modeling, SDLC, Porter’s 5 forces, SWOT Analysis, three generic strategies, business intelligence and so on in a project in which the students... read more
This book does a good job of integrating a variety of “intro to MIS” concepts such as Business Process Modeling, SDLC, Porter’s 5 forces, SWOT Analysis, three generic strategies, business intelligence and so on in a project in which the students will design, “build,” market and sell an app. The students will then track sales of the app and make adjustments as necessary. While this book could be used as the sole text for an introductory college-level course in MIS, the lack of a table of contents, index, glossary, and instructor edition hold it back. Also, in this day of major publishers offering online companion sites to accompany a printed text or eBook, does make this book less attractive as a standalone option. That said, I think it would make an ideal companion text as the app project is quite good, and with a really savvy instructor to help “fill-in-the-blanks,” this book could well serve as a sole text. It would just take a good deal of prep on the part of the instructor.
I had no issues with the accuracy of the text other than a few out-of-date hyperlinks and some missing words here and there. But this is true of many texts from major publishers as well. As always, the instructor should verify the validity of hyperlinks, articles and references in any text at the start of each term and supplement relevant links when necessary. This book is probably no better or worse in this respect than the typical textbook from major publishers.
So long as the iPhone remains a relevant platform, I think this book will remain as a viable option. Not sure if or how often a text like this is updated, but it does after all, rely pretty heavily on Apple’s iOS platform. At this point the book will likely remain relevant for at least the next few years and honestly, that's about all one can expect with any tech-related resource.
The book is very well written and easily understandable to anyone who’s first language is English. It is well-suited for early college-level or late high school level students. One thing I very much like is the book’s brevity. There are rarely, if ever, long-winded explanations when a simple one will suffice. Again, this relates back to having an IS-savvy instructor to expound on concepts or answer questions in class when necessary.
Probably one of the strongest points of this text is its consistency in both content and organization. First, the authors never seem to contradict themselves nor deviate from traditional MIS, design or industry standards and best practices. Additionally, virtually every chapter (after the into chapters) begins with a check-in as to “where we are” in relation to the SDLC. Very nicely done in my opinion.
This text does not lend itself well to jumping around in the chapters and a linear approach would likely be best. Some chapters could be skipped or supplemented with other/additional material based on the background and experience of the instructor. One thing I do like is that the actual app project could be used to supplement an existing course or textbook.
The book is well-organized and material is largely presented in the order I would expect. Again, the book is best approached by starting at the beginning and progressing through the chapters in the order in which they are presented. Certain chapters could be skipped without really interrupting the overall flow of the project-based approach.
While the book’s organization is commendable, one irksome thing to me is how in many instances a heading will appear at the bottom of one page with the associated content appearing on the next page. Also, there are many references to pictures and illustrations which are simply missing. This is annoying and could be quite confusing for students. Also, some of the pictures, many of which are screen shots, are distorted or grainy.
I noted few if any grammatical errors and in fact feel like it’s better in this respect than many texts I’ve used from the major publishers. Very well written.
I found no culturally offensive, politically incorrect or insensitive issues with this text.
I want to thank the authors for what I think is a very useful and usable textbook! For the experienced MIS instructor or one with a solid IS background I think this could suffice as a low- or no-cost option for the students. I would like to try and work it into my classes on a trial basis to replace the project I currently use. It may take a bit of alignment on my part and a bit of jumping between our existing text and this one, but the end result may well be worth a little inconvenience.
This book contains a project that integrates Excel, Access and PowerPoint skills into the Mobile App creation process. It seems to focus on creating a business case for the app being developed and communicating with stake holders, instead of... read more
This book contains a project that integrates Excel, Access and PowerPoint skills into the Mobile App creation process. It seems to focus on creating a business case for the app being developed and communicating with stake holders, instead of actually programming an app. I actually like this approach, and it looks to be relevant for a new course I’m looking to teach. I appreciate the appendix sections of the book. Even without formal training, a student could use this to obtain the Excel, Access, and PowerPoint skills needed to complete the main project.
Overall, the book is very accurate. However, I did find that several hyperlinks used in the projects are already out of date. I can see this being an ongoing problem since this is a project-based style of book. That said, the information surrounding the project seems like it will better stand the test of time.
As long as iPhone remains the dominant platform for application development, the book will remain relevant. I can see updates needing to be made frequently, be with relative ease.
I found this book to be very clear, and well written for entry-level business information students.
Very consistent in it's use of terms.
Other than the appendixes at the end, the book indicates that is should be followed linearly. Divisibility was not the intent.
This book does a good job walking the student through the flow of application development.
I was immediately impressed by the book's layout and interface.
No errors were noted during my reading.
The book is not culturally insensitive or offensive.
Thank you for all the work that went into making such a high-quality book! I hope to use it soon!
The text book is suitably comprehensive. Each section commences with clear learning objectives. At the end of each section there is a summary of key takeaways which is also supplemented with questions and exercises to ensure that they learning... read more
The text book is suitably comprehensive. Each section commences with clear learning objectives. At the end of each section there is a summary of key takeaways which is also supplemented with questions and exercises to ensure that they learning objectives have been met by the reader. I would have liked if the book contained a glossary and an index. The index would allow for easy navigation and location of topics while the glossary would explain the multitude of topics covered in the book. A possible solution would be to include a glossary which would also serve as an index.
While the chapters are presented clearly and error free, to substantiate the arguments posited I would have liked to have seen more intext referencing of theoretical/academic sources. I feel this would be important to engage students with the supplementary material which shaped the authors opinions and framing of the concepts. For instance, take the following example from section 1.2 and the following quote: “Information systems are designed using the systems development life cycle (SDLC)”. While this is accurate, there is no supporting reference which means that the student must take the authors claim at face value.
The SDLC information systems development methodology, business intelligence and mobile app development and databases are traditional stalwarts in companies as consequently will be in use for many years to come. I would have liked to have seen a greater juxtaposition of android v apple mobile app development (e.g. costs, pros and cons). I would have also liked to have seen more contemporary software development concepts referred to such as DevOps, Design Thinking etc. While chapter 8 is relevant, the advent of cloud computing development such as Bluemix means that the cost of developing an app is quite minimal and may negate the need for companies to require a loan. I think this book would be great for planning a mobile app use case, however another book would be required to demonstrate the actual development of the app (e.g. coding, developing platform, testing). Finally, the book makes a lot of use of intext hyperlinks for citing examples and arguments. Some of these links may come obsolete in a few years. It would be important to for any lecturer considering adopting this book to review these links or suggest better ones.
I found the book easy to read. The authors avoid using too much technical jargon and are on point with all of their descriptions. However, once again I would like to have seen the inclusion of a glossary as I am lecturing first years and this terminology would be brand new to them. I also found chapters 15 – 18 to be very basic and rudimentary.
The book flowed freely from one chapter to the next. Each subsequent chapter built on the previous chapter’s learning objectives. I could see how my students would enjoy using this book as there is a clear and logical stricture. I was familiar with all the terminology and frameworks used such as Porter’s Five Forces. However, as mentioned earlier I would have like to have seen the inclusion of a glossary and labelling of the frameworks.
If I adopted this book for my class, I could easily use the chapters for various learning objectives. For example, chapter 1 is a fantastic primer for my first years to highlight what potential MIS careers are on offer. Furthermore, I would use chapter 9 (e.g. SWOT analysis) for the assignment component of my class to demonstrate to the students how they could identify gaps in the market for their project.
As stated previously, there book is structured perfectly for students who are lay people who have not come into contact with these concepts before. Additionally, the arguments and descriptions of the concepts are concise and easy to comprehend. I have read other books which cover the same materials and would not use them due the vagueness and complexity with which the authors describe these concepts.
I would have liked to have seen all the visuals used in the book both labelled (e.g. figure 1.2, table 1.4 etc.) and referenced in text (e.g. please refer to figure 1.3) This would improve navigation from text to visuals and vice versa and assist with backward and forward snowballing of literary sources when conducting supplementary research.
The book is grammatically correct, and I found no obvious errors.
The book is culturally neutral and uses content which is applicable to all.
I was really impressed with this book and I am seriously considering adopting specific sections for my modules next semester
The book was very thorough and covered MIS topics in a thoughtful and precise manner. The book did not have a glossary, or index, but that did not concern me in the least. read more
The book was very thorough and covered MIS topics in a thoughtful and precise manner. The book did not have a glossary, or index, but that did not concern me in the least.
The material was presented accurately and objectively.
The book focuses on the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) which has been recognized in business for years and will continue to be an important blue print for the process of meeting business requirements.
The book was clear, concise, and easy to follow.
The book flows from one chapter to the next, reinforcing previous concepts before introducing new ones.
The book can easily be broken up into different modules. For instance, I used Chapter 12 to lecture on the best practices when developing power point presentations.
As stated previously, old concepts were reviewed at the beginning of the chapter, and then the new concepts were covered making the book easy to follow.
I saw no noticeable issues.
I found no grammar errors.
I did not notice any problems.
This book is ideal for an MIS major.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Information Systems in Your Life: Types of Systems and Careers
- Chapter 2: Information Systems to Enhance Business: Business Process Redesign
- Chapter 3: Professionalism in Deliverables: Principles of Graphic Design
- Chapter 4: User Centered Design: Design an iPhone App
- Chapter 5: Planning Usable Websites: Design a Website to Market the App
- Chapter 6: Build, Buy, or Reuse Solutions: Develop a Website to Market the App
- Chapter 7: Knowledge with Information Systems: Forecast Revenues and Expenses for the App
- Chapter 8: Decision Support: Determine Feasibility of a Business Loan for the App
- Chapter 9: Industry Analysis: Smartphone Apps
- Chapter 10: Business Intelligence: Analysis of App Sales Data
- Chapter 11: Writing the Business Case: Design a Report for the App
- Chapter 12: Presenting the Business Case: Design a Presentation for the App
- Chapter 13: Establishing Credentials: Networking and Placement
- Chapter 14: Microsoft PowerPoint Techniques
- Chapter 15: Cloud Computing Techniques
- Chapter 16: Microsoft Excel Techniques
- Chapter 17: Microsoft Access Techniques
- Chapter 18: Microsoft Word Techniques
About the Book
We set out to design an introductory course governed by four themes:
- Give students a good idea of what a career in MIS looks like by doing MIS.
- Enhance the professionalism of deliverables by teaching design and usability concepts.
- Promote creativity by assigning projects that demand it.
- Teach students about cloud computing by having them do cloud computing.
Students in an introductory Management Information Systems (MIS) course often ask what a career in MIS looks like. Lacking a clear vision, they make their own assumptions. Often they assume the career involves programming with little human interaction. That MIS is a technical field could not be further from the truth. MIS job descriptions typically require candidates to be able to collaborate, communicate, analyze needs and gather requirements. They also list the need for excellent written and communication skills. In other words, MIS workers are constantly interacting with other people both inside and outside the organization. They are coming up with creative solutions to business problems.
This course is designed to help students get a feel for what a career in MIS would be like. Our students report that they learn more about information systems from their internships than from their IS courses. Consequently, we designed a course that looks very much like an internship—an introduction to the field followed by a substantial project.
Chapter 1 begins by introducing the information systems landscape. Here we discuss all the usual suspects: the information systems triangle, the systems development life cycle, transaction systems (ERP, SCM, CRM), collaboration systems, and business intelligence systems. Other aspects of the landscape such as usability, outsourcing, database concepts and so forth are introduced throughout chapter in Chapter 2 where they fit in naturally with the flow of the project.
Chapter 2 is the substantial project which runs over a number of chapters. Over the course of the semester, students plan, build, and develop a proposal for an iPhone application. They develop a very realistic mockup. They also build a website to help market and support the app. Students are engaged because the project is fun and feels real. However, they are simultaneously learning business concepts and MIS skills. Prior to the existence of this course, we were only able to give such an interesting project at the senior level. Now, even as freshmen, students have a real experience of MIS in operation.
A by product of creating an engaging course is increased enrollment in the MIS major. Even students who have never heard of MIS become excited about the major and either switch majors or add it as a double major or minor.
Many other books have students study tools and then do a case. By contrast, most of this book is a case. Much like the real world, we introduce tools when needed, and only to the extent needed, to get at each part of the case.
About the Contributors
Raymond D. Frost is a Professor of Management Information Systems department at Ohio University. He is also the Director of Studies for College of Business students in the Honors Tutorial College (HTC). Frost joined the College of Business in 1999. His primary research areas are instructional pedagogy, information design, and database design. He was named 2010 Computer Educator of the Year by the International Association for Computer Information Systems. He has also received multiple teaching awards at both the College and University level and holds the title of O’Bleness Teaching Chair. Frost earned a doctorate in business administration and an M.S. in computer science at the University of Miami (Florida), and received his B.A. in philosophy at Swarthmore College. He lives in Athens, Ohio with his wife, Tere, and two boys, Raymond and Luke.
Jacqueline C. Pike is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems Management in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University. She earned her B.B.A. from the Honors Tutorial College and College of Business at Ohio University and her Ph.D. from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include behavior in public online communities and social computing environments, the utilization of public online communities by organizations, human-computer interaction, and the visual display of information in a systems context.
Lauren N. Kenyo is an instructor in the Management Information Systems at Ohio University. After graduating from Ohio University’s College of Business she went on to graduate from Ohio’s Masters of Business Administration Program. In 2004 Kenyo came back to join the faculty as in instructor in the Management Information Systems department. Kenyo currently resides in Streetsboro, Ohio with her husband, Eugene, and daughter, Katelyn.
Sarah E. Pels is an Honors Tutorial College student in the College of Business at Ohio University. Her research interests include creating diagrams to aid in software instruction.