AstraZeneca’s Strategic Information Management

An extensive research has been by conducted to present the following outcome from of my study regarding “Strategic Information Management”. To compliment my study I did the research on AstraZeneca, a bio pharmaceutical Business company. Which gave me closer view and clear idea of my topic of study and I have related my report on that.

Understanding the impact of management information on decision making

Assessment Criteria

Identify the features of data and information

As we know that data is the collection of facts and figures. There is a several sources that are used to obtain the data but all the data that we get is not relevant. The relevant data to the management becomes information. The management needs information to make decisions. Information is needed in every type of decision making, from every day business decisions to the large and most important decisions.

Data can be qualitative or quantitative of a collection of both. Such qualitative and quantitative data is attributed to a variable or different set of variables. Data is obtained on the bases of different variables depending on the nature of the data. Data is collected in a large form and then information and knowledge are filtered from the data to support in decision making.

Qualitative Data:

The qualitative data can be in forms of characters, graphs, pictures etc. The qualitative data determines the qualitative information from the source. It is descriptive and not all of such data is concrete. Qualitative data categorizes the items. It defines the items according to their specifications. It is also used to differentiate between the items as most of the items are not differentiated when collection their quantitative data.

Quantitative Data:

Quantitative data is also referred numerical data. Quantitative data is the data that determines the quantity from the source. It is often in forms of numbers and values. It is used to differentiate the date on the value or the quantity of the items. It is used for the measurement of the exact and approximate values.

Example:

AstraZeneca conducts market research and divides the information in two different groups qualitative data and quantitative data. In qualitative Data it has got consumer demographics, cultural norms, likes, dislikes, personalities where as in Quantitative data it has sales, average spent by consumers, cost of product etc.

Information:

Information is the part of the data is useful for decision making. Information is extracted from the data. Data is always in a larger amount and not all data is used by the managers to make decisions. So they filter the most important form of data which becomes information for them.

Determining the criteria to be applied when selecting data and information to support decision-making.

It is very important to have a suitable and sufficient data and information to support any type of decision making. Easy and every day decision making requires less amount of data and information where as complex and difficult making requires more amount of data and information. There are several standards used to determine the importance of specific data and information for the managers to make decision.

i. The nature of data and information should be relevant to the decision that is going to be made. It should not be irrelevant data and information that is distracting from the main idea. The data should be related to the decision in a way that it supports the decision in and the information builds up the bases required for the decision making process.

ii. The data and information should not be biased to a point. It should be a multi dimensional data that shows different angles to support the decision making.

iii. The data and information should be complete. It should be sufficient enough so that the manager gets complete information that would be required to make the decision. That data should collect more amount of factual information with proper expression of numerical values.

iv. The data and information that we perceive from different sources around us supports the decision

making process. Before making a decision an individual or set of individuals set a goal which they aim to achieve as a result of their decision. So the data should be goal focused. It should reflect the goal that we need to achieve as a result of the decision.

v. It is very important that data and information are collected from multiple sources. That the data collected from those sources should be compared and the best possible information should be filtered to suit the decision making. Different sources of the data could reveal essential information that could be used for the decision making process.

Evaluating the impact of a management information system to an organisation.

Every business organization needs information to support its all business activities and decision making. The system that enables the organizations to access the information to manage the organization is called Management information system. A management information system (MIS) is a system that provides information needed to manage organizations effectively . MIS in any organization is used to manage the flow of information and the uses of that information. The effective the flow of information is the smoother the business will be. Management information system is also used to the evaluate and manage all other forms of information systems that are used by the organization. Such as the decision support system or expert system. In other Management information system is the master systems that controls all other management and information systems with in the organization. Since the discovery of MIS, organizations have benefited from it a lot as it has increase the efficiency and effectiveness. It has also made the complex decision making process a lot easier and time saving.

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If management information system is utilized in an effective manner, it can make business operations more efficient and it would reduce the risk of wrong decision making. Information empowers people and correct and effective form of information benefits the organization by empowering the employees that would improve their performance and performance of the organization as a whole. There are high chances of rise in productivity if the management information system is implemented effectively.

According to a business cycle the outcomes of a successful MIS are planned to be obtained for a five year business plan. It provides managers with relevant information regarding all the business aspects. It also assists them in the decision making. It also acts as a performance indicator and tells the managers how the business has performed. It can also be used to improve the performance of the business where it can be improved.

2.1 Determining the legal responsibilities in sourcing, sharing and storing information

Legal responsibility is the responsibility that lies on the organization in accordance with the law as it has to follow certain legal procedures in business activities. Every organization has got a legal responsibility regarding sourcing, sharing and storing information and it has to follow it to avoid any legal action against that organization.

Confidentiality.

The confidentiality disallows the organizations to disclose the information of any individual, group of individuals or business to be disclosed to any other individual, group of individuals or a business without a proper approval. The confidentiality also restricts the organizations to disclose the information of individuals to the unauthorised employees of those organizations.

Integrity

The integrity puts a responsibility on the organizations in which they cannot change, customise or personalize any information that is provided to them. The organizations are legally bound to keep the information to them. Integrity can be violated if the message has been changed. It is organizations’ responsibility to keep all the information to them as it has been provided to them.

Availability

The availability of the information enables the information to be available when is required. That means the information should be accessible to authorised people when they need it thus it should also be protected at the same time. The information should only be available for the use of the authorized people and any unauthorized person or business should be denied access.

Authenticity

It is also one of the legal responsibility of the business organizations to make sure that any information that they provide is not fake or forged. The data should also be authentically validated in its true form and actual state.

Non-repudiation

Non-repudiation is a legal responsibility on the organization that they have to fulfil their legal requirements. I also ensures that sender and receiver can not deny that the information has been sent or received respectively.

Example

AstraZeneca has got a confidential information which it collects in its surveys and researches and it protects the data as a legal obligation.

2.2 When should information be offered and access allowed.

Access control

It is a responsibility of the organizations to control the access of the individuals, group of individuals and businesses to the information. Organizations are supposed to restrict the access of unauthorised entities or any individual that has not been identified as an authentic person to access the information. Organizations are responsible to control the disclosure of the information only to the parties that have the right to access the information.

Identification

It is important for organizations to identify the individuals correctly before granting them access to the specific information. There are several different processes used by the organizations to the identify they individual intending to the access the information. So organizations should allow the access when the identification of an individual satisfies them for the authenticity of the individual to qualify to access the information.

Authentication

Authentication is a process that establishes weather an individual, a group of individuals or a business has the right to access the information or not. When an individual is identified it is then evaluated on the basis of authenticity that if the individual qualifies for the access to the information or not. Organizations verify the authenticity on three different ways: identity of an individual, possession of the individual or the specific knowledge of the individual. These are the ways in which information can be evaluation from individuals.

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Cryptography

Cryptography is used by the organization to make the information unusable to unauthorized people. It is modern and technologically advanced process. That restricts the access of information to the people who are not authorized to use it. Organizations should allow access to individuals that they want to and restrict the access of everyone else.

Example

There is certain information in the management information system of AstraZeneca which is only allowed to certain people on prove of identification.

2.3 Evaluating the formats in which information can be offered.

The data format in which the organization offers the information must be a format of the organization is fully aware of. It should be a format that is the most suitable format to disclose the data in a from where the distortion can be minimized. The formats used to offer the information should be the formats that are widely accepted and which are in a standardized form and if there are no standardized format for the information that we need to offer then formats should be used that are defined by open consortia. If the document is modified the format should also be modified according to that document.

Print

The data in print format can be offered by books, journals, news papers, paper documents, cards etc. print format is the most conventional and safe to protect.

Audio

The information on audio format is very widely used. It used mainly in informal method. The audio format can be very effective in specific situations. Telephones and mobile phone are coming used to offer data. Radios are also part of audio format. Most of the people prefer Audio with Video.

Video

Video format is one of the most expensive formats to offer information but it is easy to access by masses. Video format is in easy reach of many and preferred by most. It is considered more effective than audio. It is more interactive than print but it has a shorter life than and less concreteness than print format.

Computer/Internet

Computers and Internet are the most common and most efficient means to offer information the individuals. It is cheap and efficient. There are security risks involved in it. It is easy to access and can be access by multiple users at the same time. It saves time and money but some times it can be hard for those people who don’t know how to use computers or for the people don not have the access to the computer and internet.

Example:

AstraZeneca provides information to customers by brochures, Radio ads, TV ads and internet website.

LO3: Use information to inform and support strategic decision-making

Assessment Criteria

3.1 Analyze information to identify patterns and trends

Information that is extracted from the date is used into the business to make decision. That information helps to build perceptions. Information is used to specify different patterns and trends. Different patterns and trends can be expressed by graphs, diagrams or charts.

Example

AstraZeneca uses pie charts, bar graphs and other graphic and it tells the different patterns of cusumer and market trends. Which helps the management to make decisions. AstraZeneca uses the information to identify the development of new products and new sales opportunities.

Evaluating a range of decision making tools and techniques available to support a strategic decision

There are several tools and techniques that are used by the managers to support a strategic decision making. Organizations use these tools according to their needs and according the magnitude of the decision that has to be made.

Decision Trees

To draw a decision tree the management has to identify all the available options. So the list of the available option would be considered and then out of each of the decision should be stated. The similar options are merged to form two main options. The decision is often represented by the nodes. Decision nodes, chance nodes and end nodes.

The Pareto Analysis

The is a technique used to identify the option from all the available options that would get the best possible out of all. Most commonly the options that have chances to result in 80% positive outcome by 20% work are selected from the options available. This is also commonly know as the 80/20 rule.

Pros and Cons

In this technique the manager has to state all the advantages and disadvantages of all the decisions and then the manager has to identify the most effective decision in which advantages outnumber all the disadvantages.

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PMI

In this technique there is an addition to the advantages and disadvantages category that is “interesting”. That adds up the available options of the decisions.

Six thinking Hats

This is one of the most effect techniques of decision making. It is combined with the parallel thinking. It requires a group of individuals which think in a combined and prolonged way to reach to the decision making.

Determining the sources available to assist in analyzing data information

Different organizations use different sources to analyze the data information available to them to support them in decision making process.

Accuracy

The accuracy of the data should be evaluated to analyze it. The more accurate it is the effective it will be. If it is not accurate it will not be effective to use.

Ease to use

The data information has to be easy to use for its users. If it is too difficult to be understood then it cannot be utilized in a best possible manner. It should be user friendly and system friendly.

Comparisons

The data information should be compared with other data available to the business. Comparison of data will give a clear view for the analysis. As it will later be easier to select the more most appropriate data information for the management information system.

LO4: Monitoring and review management information

Assessment Criteria

4.1 Identifying methods of evaluating management information within an organization

There are different methods involved in evaluating the management information within an organization. The management information is evaluated to know weather the information would be relevant and useful for the organization or not.

Identifying sources

The sources should be identified from which the information has been derived. So that the concreteness of the information can be confirmed later. It is more likely for information to be reliable if the source is reliable.

Relevance

The information has to be relevant to be used in the management information system. So that it can be used into the organization to make decisions. The relevance of the information can be determined by the objectives that need to be achieved through it.

Access

There should be an easy access of the information for the authorised users of the information. Access to any unauthorized person should be denied to that information.

Objectives

The information should be evaluated against the organizational objectives. The information should complement the objectives and can be used to achieve objectives.

4.2 Discussing process for analyzing impact of information on strategic decision made

There is a very strong impact of information on strategic decisions made. This impact is analyzed by the out come of the strategic decisions made and the contribution of the information on them. The information’s role in achieve the objective and the assistance by the information to make strategic business decisions is crucial part to analyze its impact.

Information is used to get the essential bases to make a decision. Information is made into work when it is used as knowledge.

Example

With effective Management information system and successful application of Decision support system AstraZeneca has been able to benefit a lot. They use their information to effectively to make successful strategic decisions.

4.3 Determining methods of developing information capture to inform and support strategic decision making

Information can be collected in different methods which is then used to support strategic decision making.

Surveys

Different organizations conduct different surveys to collect information. These surveys are based on different questionnaire which are specifically designed to get a definite information about anything. Surveys can be targeted or sometimes they are conducted on random people

Research

Large organizations have got specific devoted research department to conduct researches but small and medium sized organizations form groups of individuals to which conduct researches when they have to get any information to make a strategic decision or when they have to develop a new product.

Outsourcing

Many business organization try to outsource the information. They get the information from other business firms which collect information and provide it to other businesses.

Example

A has got a devoted research and development department which has been specifically designed to conduct surveys and conduct research to develop new products or to improve previous ones.

Summery

Information is very vital for any business operations. So it is important for the organizations to develop effective management information systems. The information from the management information systems should be used to make effective strategic decisions and to make effective strategic decisions the information has to be the best possible information available. It is also important for the organizations to

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