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One of the readings for this week is actually quite interesting to me, it talks about the concepts of data analytics, business intelligence and technologies that support businesses in the decision making process. As an Information Systems major, I have personally had hands on exposure to those concepts and ideas both in assignments and real world business projects. I personally believe that in this day and age, Information Systems drive the business decision making process and businesses cannot afford to not have one of these supporting their businesses. The problem however is whether or not we are using these information generated by those systems properly/effectively.

In our simulation, the MikesBikes software, the reports that we see, the graphs, these are all examples of information that are generated by Information Systems in a business except that in a business it comes from millions of data tucked away at data stores. Even though technology is so proficient at generating these reports to us users, the way the information is presented and how we users use that information can affect the decisions we make quite dramatically. For example, one of the problems of MikesBikes we have too many different types of reports for different purposes and when you have to do some decent calculations, you have to look through a few of the reports side by side. Even then, if you have a small monitor, you can only look at one report at a time rather than two reports side by side, which is super annoying.

As an IT major, what I did when we first started our weekly rollovers, I created an excel spreadsheet with the sole purpose to automate all potential calculations. Therefore, I just need to enter a single value, and the end result values automatically get calculated. I can even get the spreadsheet to show me when there are problems with the values I enter, for example, if the estimated production units exceed our firm's capacity. This greatly streamlines our team's decision making process because the calculations are not just fast but also accurate. However, I made a mistake in one of formulas and therefore the values are all incorrectly, luckily for us it was a minor part of mikes bikes and did affect our share price. That was an example of how technology, when used incorrectly (In this case, the wrong formula) can affect the decisions we make. We are just so prone to human errors (Garbage in Garbage out).

For my action plan, I think my team and I would continue to rely on the use of analytics to make our decisions but to refine the process, that is, to review reports and information more effectively. We usually base our decisions on one or two reports but in actually fact there are also other ones that could give you additional insights. Hopefully, this would give our firm an edge in MikesBikes.

Davenport, T. H. (2006). Competing on analytics. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 98--107.

3 Comments

  1. Rather like last week, it's not clear what the problem is that you are trying to address here is and hence what is your learning.

    Instead, this is largely descriptive. 

    A good starting point is to think "What did I do last week regarding Mikes Bikes and the course that I would have liked to have done differently/better".

    If you want to focus on the error that crept into your spreadsheet, then focus on it. Why, for example, wasn't it audited? What can you do differently to ensure that such 'bugs' don't creep into your spreadsheets in the future?

  2. In week 4, I said you had interesting personal examples in your journal. It is good that I still see your personal experience in this week's journal. I like the way you put your knowledge and skill from information system course and apply them into management paper. It remains outstanding writing style in your journal. You need to keep it up with it but to focus on defining your problem more clearly, you can look at using more readings to illustrate your facing problems. Overall it is good to see how much better you do at using your real life example. This is a surprisingly interesting journal. Well done Kawai.

  3. Hi Kawai! (smile) 

    To begin with, this is a very interesting journal. Well done and you're still consistent in your writing which is good. 

    In Week 4, I mentioned how your entry was very thought-provoking and how you incorporated the readings to your own experience. Again in this week's reading, I thought that you have done the same and in a more detailed manner (you've mentioned how you use excel to calculate decisions made in production for example) which I thought was brilliant, as you were able to incorporate your other course with what we are currently doing in the simulation, which goes to show the growth in learning. You did mention your problem (regarding a wrong formula/calculation you've made)  which was good, but as Peter and Jude mentioned, I wish that you've gone into depth more with it and related it back to the readings that we had. It's good to see that you have an action plan in mind. 

    Overall, well done and keep up the good work. All the best!