Intro to Information Systems
Take a glance at the covers of BusinessWeek or Fortune magazine. What do you notice? That’s right—one-third of the cover stories are directly related to technology. Listen to the news or try filtering out the most popular tweets. Which keywords are you most likely to stumble upon? Big data, machine learning, and business analytics. Today, information systems (IS) are an integral part of all business activities and careers. As future managers, you will not be able to ignore the important roles that technology, tech industries, and information systems will have in every aspect of your business. Your organization will be investing in technology to play the game and compete with others in the same space, but is this enough? If every startup and even your everyday mom and pop stores have an information system installed, what is your competitive advantage? How are you different? This course provides you with an understanding of the crucial role that information and technology play in supporting the strategic management of businesses to achieve long-term profits.
The lectured part of this course discusses mini-cases and stories of firms that have been successful in their attempts to leverage IS for competitive advantages. You will also learn about those who have failed, and together we will explore the reasons behind their failures. Did they rely solely on technology that was easily copied while forgetting about developing assets that create sustainable, competitive advantages? Why is it a winner-takes-all, winner-takes-most market? How can you create a monopolistic effect and have it last for a long period of time?
The mini-cases are very relatable, which makes the material interesting and enjoyable. We will discuss firms like Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Google, and Kodak, among other very popular firms. Not only will you be surprised by the outstanding facts that helped shape the success or failure of these firms but in some instances, you will have a different perspective of the firm and its operations that will change your way of thinking forever. As important as these examples are, the focus is not on them, per se, but on the lessons and concepts behind them. I hope you learn a way of thinking about this as I teach you core concepts that stay applicable even as industries and technologies change. You are in the most relentlessly advanced business environment ever, and I want you to gain this managerial utility belt to be able to say, “Hey, I know what’s happening in this situation, and I think I know what we need to do here.”
Having this knowledge along with a wide range of technical terminology will give you a competitive advantage over the other candidate competing with you in the interview process. You have one chance to make a good first impression and be considered for the next level during an interview. Being able to throw down key terms and back them up with current, supporting evidence is key to letting the interviewer know that you have a solid understanding of what it takes to be on the winning side. No matter what your major or academic background is, you need the right verbiage to talk the talk. The terminology in this class will help you do this. Consider this course as your training ground, and take advantage of everything you learn to prepare for a career.
As you will learn in this course, data collection is key to organizational success. However, unless you turn it into information for meaningful insights, its value is questionable. Through the lab portion of this course, you will gain valuable hands-on experience with Microsoft Office applications, especially Microsoft Excel. This course assumes you have never used Excel and is designed to take you from zero to hero. By the end of the semester, you will be ready sit for the introductory and expert levels of the Microsoft Office Specialist certification. Excel wizardry is not only going to help you with a number of future courses but it will also help you with your current job and/or land your first job if you are on the market. In Chapter 1 of this course, you will learn how recruiters are always on the lookout for hot keywords in your resume. If they see that you are proficient in Excel, they are more likely to give you a closer look; employers will see you as an asset who can perform tasks efficiently. In a related vein, communicating and delivering the right message is key. The art of presenting is crucial for you to pitch an idea and deliver content. You will learn how to illustrate the story behind your data and present your findings to your audience using PowerPoint. Last but not least, you will gain hands-on experience managing databases. You will explore how to connect tables using relationships and create queries using Microsoft Access.
The two interrelated parts of the course will allow you to obtain valuable information technology knowledge and skills for effective decision making. No matter what your major is, you need this information to thrive and make sound data-driven decisions.
The vast benefits of this course can be reaped way before you sit for an interview. At the end of this semester, you will have the option of earning two MS Excel badges that demonstrate your expertise, certified by Pearson. The badges are entirely optional and are a bonus; completing them is not factored into your grade. This is a wonderful opportunity and an instant addition to your resume! Instead of just claiming familiarity with Excel, this badge provides verified evidence that you have demonstrated specific skills and competencies using Microsoft Office Excel in a real project. Your digital badge can be shared with future employers and on social media—via LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter—or using online portfolios and resumes, leading to real opportunities in connecting with potential employers. This badge will also allow you to view labor market insights and access the discounted MOS certification options. After the semester ends, I will unlock further trainings so you can earn two more badges: MS PowerPoint and MS Access badges.
Lastly, I want you to take advantage of the course extras: the mobile application and the Instagram account. Nora’s Corner is a mobile application created for this class. It instantly connects students with course material and news about assignments and exam deadlines and conveys information about deadlines and course updates. It also sends you reminders about assignments and exams. Emphasizing interactivity, its Just Ask Nora feature allows users to ask specific questions and receive advice on course-related queries. Our Instagram account, Excel.Ninja, posts tips and tricks to use in Excel. Keeping up with technology and all its updates is semi-impossible. As the author of the book assigned for this course says, “It is like drinking from a fire hose.” Having updates and hacks at your fingertips is key to keeping you in the know of what is happening and the things you need to be familiar with to stay in the loop about the most recent advancements.
Several students in earlier semesters have described this course as “life changing.” Stressing on this point, I want you to know that your learning is my highest priority. I will be there to ensure that you get the most out of this course and that you leave with a much deeper understanding of all the topics discussed. I do not consider it my job to deliver the content and educate you; rather, it is a passion that I enjoy doing. However, I want you to be fully invested in the course and work hard so that my support is radical. Make sure you reach out for help and that you take advantage of every teaching moment.
I am looking forward to a great and life-changing semester. Best of luck!
OIM210's Teaching Assistants
Teaching assistants (TAs) play a huge role in OIM 210. They have a serious responsibility in the Operations and Information Management Department and Isenberg as a whole. Their teaching complements the work of the instructor, and their knowledge, dedication, and compassion largely influence the learning experience of OIM 210 students. Other than executing weekly lab sessions, TAs run open labs where they answer student questions. They also grade assignments, proctor exams, check on students’ performance, contribute to the course blog, and assist in creating exam questions.
The TA position is one of the most sought after student jobs in Isenberg. Only top notch students are considered for the position and priority is given to those who are well-spoken, knowledgeable and have an affinity for the course and major. Candidates go through a rigorous interview process before they are offered the position. Afterwards, they are periodically evaluated for contract renewal.
The course's current TAs are Excel wizards and incredible teachers. They are charismatic, knowledgeable, and helpful members that make a huge impact on students' learning experience in OIM 210. You can meet them by meeting their mini bios below:
Interested in becoming part of the dream team? Fill out the TA application by clicking on the above link.
Make sure to go over the TA Manual to learn more about the responsibilities of this job.