Management Concepts


Computers at the heart of information systems are capable of processing data very quickly. Although the computer is able to access data from backing storage at very high speeds this is one of the slowest aspects of data processing. The processor is able to carry out millions of calculations per second and some processors are optimised for speed of calculations.


For most practical purposes computers store and process numbers to a high degree of accuracy, but the accuracy also depends on the software written and, of course, on human accuracy.  Much financial software is accurate to 3 decimal places rounded to 2.  Once the accuracy of a calculation has been verified the software and hardware combined will perform the calculation correctly every time.


The number of transactions handled by an Information System in a period of time is referred to as the volume or number of transactions. A commercial data system often has to handle millions of transactions every week.  For example, take a bank with 5 million customers.  If each customer makes an average of 2 transactions (cash withdrawals or deposits, cheques written, direct debits or standing orders), then the system has dealt with 10 million transactions.  The average for a bank of that size is probably far higher so as you can see the volume of data is huge.  This has big implications for the size of backing storage, processing power and output capabilities of the system.


The efficiency of an Information System is really a combination of the speed, accuracy and volume of the data processed.  It could be measured as the number of accurate transactions carried out per minute. In relation to human processing, it is substantially more efficient to carry out processing on an information system. Information systems are capable of running without interruption 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Download and complete Worksheet 7.




Intermediate II Home
Database | Using Information | Internet | NAB/Coursework| Revision
Log into Glow | School Website | Contact Us