So What is an Information Systems Professional?

What are information systems? information systems record information. They have been utilised since before computers with early examples such as filing and libraries. Even a pen and a paper, when used together become an information system used to store information. Today, information systems are often computer based and consist of hardware, software, processes, data and finally the people – me and you that interact with these systems. These systems are important in an organisation as they help to communicate more efficiently, assist decision making and help manage business activities.

In lecture 1 we learned that information systems are not just about information, they also involve processing business transactions and provide management information. I think this is useful to know when thinking about careers in IS as I may need to apply information systems in these ways. It was explained that IS also relies on different infrastructure like computers and point of sale terminals which can be used to store, track and process information.

I aim to achieve my goal of becoming an information systems professional. This means I will be using information systems in my day to day life and applying it to achieve objectives. An IS professional understands, creates, manipulates, manages or solves problems of information systems. Underneath the umbrella of Information systems professional there are many different jobs. Some examples are: data analysts, database administrators, IT consultants, multimedia programmers, network engineers and systems analysts.

I watched ‘an interview with a data analyst’ where a data analyst explains some of the skills necessary in her work. I thought this profession was a challenging use of information systems as IS skills are applied to new problems constantly. The data analyst made use of programming languages and databases to manipulate and help interpret data. I think this profession could be summed up as finding an accurate meaning in data. This is important because by doing so more informed decisions can be made, helping a company achieve their goals.

The role of a data analyst is described in the video as helping other members of the company make decisions and prioritise work using collected data. One example is using data to help the marketing team work out if their marketing strategy is working. This might be done using key performance indicators – if profit, revenue or sales have risen more than normal since employing a new marketing strategy then it’s likely it is effective. By doing tasks like this data analysts work alongside other members of the company, allowing them to measure their progress towards goals and prioritise objectives.

Watching the video, I learned that it’s important for data analysts to know basic maths and statistics – as these are skills that are often used. Technical languages are important to know such as SQL or a similar language which is used to ‘communicate with a database’ which can mean retrieving data or updating data on a data base.  Also, knowing a language like python or R is needed to do further analysis and modelling. This knowledge is helpful as it gives me an idea of what kind of skills are necessary for an information systems professional. I thought this was an interesting job because it combines multiple areas of knowledge – IS and maths – and constantly presents new ways to apply this.

I found the role of a data analyst particularly interesting because I enjoy statistics and finding meaning from data. This type of information systems professional will often use maths skills to interpret and present data which I think could be very enjoyable when applied to a business context. It’s possible to find solutions to problems present in a company’s environment and track progress or objectively measure a company’s progress and success in several areas.

Another IS profession that caught my interest is that of a multimedia programmer who use a combination of technical IS skills and creative skills to produce works such as websites or computer programmes. I thought this was an interesting example because the title is very broad and encompasses the production of many different creative works such as animation video or photography. This is because IS job titles aren’t standardised and can mean vastly different responsibilities even with similar or identical titles.

A multimedia programmer’s role is that of a software engineer – they can be responsible for creating websites, apps or animated films as well as other works. They are involved in all aspects of a project and choose an appropriate programming language for each one that carries out what is required. Cross platform considerations are important to a multimedia programmer – such as in seminar 5 where we were taught to test websites on our phones. Multimedia programmers in the same way test creations such as websites on several different devices. This testing ensures that their websites or other creations are consistent across all platforms they can be accessed on.

When working multimedia programmers co-operate with other specialists to achieve the goals of their project. Some might focus on the creation of audio for a project while others might concentrate on producing images and animations. In these projects, it is important to collaborate so that the result is consistent. Testing throughout the process is also done to ensure problems are dealt with efficiently and the final project is complete in the most timely manner.

A multimedia programmer’s is important to a company because they can produce websites, videos, animation or audio that helps represent the company. Also, they can provide creative software for clients paying for solutions they need someone with the skills to provide.

Data analysts require a skillset that focuses on analysing and interpreting data – long lists of figures while in the same broad umbrella multimedia programmer’s skills focus on creating new animations, video or audio amongst other things. Database administrator’s skillsets are focused around problem solving and communication. There is a such a broad spectrum of things to be learnt by becoming an information systems professional and I hope to learn plenty of new things during my time studying business information technology.

Multimedia Programmer Job Description | AllAboutCareers. 2017. Multimedia Programmer Job Description | AllAboutCareers. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.allaboutcareers.com/careers/job-profile/multimedia-programmer. [Accessed 25 July 2017].

Prospects. 2017. What can I do with an information systems degree? | Prospects.ac.uk. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/information-systems. [Accessed 25 July 2017].

 

YouTube. 2017. Interview with a Data Analyst – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNnFA5hxI2Q. [Accessed 25 July 2017].