IGNOU MTM-4 INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN TOURISM FREE SOLVED ASSIGNMENT
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IGNOU MTM-4 INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN TOURISM FREE SOLVED ASSIGNMENT
Q1. What are the different modes of information generation?
Ans. Modes of Generating Information are as follows:
(1) Authors: An author can be defined as the person who originates or gives existence to any information of that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. In short, an author is the originator or creator of any written work. The author is the person or persons who have created the document and the document bears his or her name. The author may be an individual, an organisation (corporate body), or an unidentified author, i.e. an anonymous document. They are also users of all the information services and discovered word processing, electronic-mail, and database searching. Their prime functions are to create, formulate or relate. The technological impact is less on their fundamentality, but the style and rate of production may change significantly, depending on how the author expects the material to be perceived and used.
(2) Editor(s): Editor is a person having managerial and sometimes policy-making responsibility for the editorial part of a publishing firm or a newspaper, book, or other. Editor is one who is in charge of and determines the final content of a text. The publications are termed as ‘collective works’ (i.e. Conference proceedings) and bears his or her relationship with the work – ‘ed.’ (editor) or ‘responsible for publication’, or ‘comp.’ (compiler) or ‘trans.’ (translator) and so on. Their role is to help accomplish the joint mission of authors and publishers, to produce an information product that users will want.
(3) Primary Publishers: A primary publisher is one who exercises direct editorial control over the published statements. They manage the process of bringing authors’ work into usable form and distributing it to users. Changes in the telecommunications technology have resulted in the repackage of information. That is, users do not need to buy large volumes of directories and indexes, but can have a service which will enable them to find what they want, and only as they want it. Thus, one of the publisher’s roles is to anticipate these changes and react accordingly.
(4) Secondary Publishers/Database Producers: Secondary publishers do not take an active editorial role but still make the defamatory comments available to third parties. These publishers can still be liable for defamatory material communicated to a third party, even in the absence of proof of fault.
(5) Libraries: A library is a collection of one or more drives, possible robotic devices, which can be used to access storage volume. Though varied in nature, they collect, organise and preserve documents, and make them available to users through reproduction of documents, retrospective searches, referral and question-answer services, etc. They also serve as a venue for lectures, exhibitions, and other events. Depending on their nature and the role they play in the information cycle. In tourism, they are used for travel writing, destination information, tour planning, etc.
Q2. Discuss the role of MIS at various Management Levels with suitable examples.
Ans. Top management established the policies, plans and objectives of the company as well as a budget framework under which the various departments will operate. These factors are promulgated and passed down the middle management. They are translated into specific revenue, cost and profit goals particularly if each department works under a cost or profit centre concept. These are reviewed, analysed and modified in accordance with the overall plans and policies until agreement is reached.
Middle management then issues the specific schedules and measurement yardsticks to the operational management.
The operational level has the responsibility of producing goods and services to meet the revenue, profit and other goals, which in turn will enable the organisation achieve its overall plans and objectives.
The hierarchical view of management is important for two reasons: information needs tend to be different at different levels of management and the amount of time devoted to any given function varies considerably with the level as can be seen in Fig. The job content at various management levels is further elaborated in Table.
In the context of MIS, management can perhaps be best defined as a process of
(a)selection of objectives,
(b)judicious allocation of resources,
(c)determining operational plans and schedules,
(d)keeping control of progress, and
(e)evaluation through feedback.
Each of these areas require certain decisions to be made. Thus, we take strategic decisions at the top level, tactical decisions at the middle and operational decisions at the junior level. As can be seen from Table 1, the type of problems and decisions at the junior level are quite deterministic and structured and we can have programmed decisions.
But as we move to higher level, situations become fuzzy, ambiguous and unstructured, and thus we are faced with non-programmed decisions. We find that with the introduction of computers, we have gone about routine EDP type of an activity for the essentially programmed decisions that take place at the operating level. Perhaps with the rapid advances that are taking place in the field of electronics, communication and computers, we might have good progress in the field of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and accordingly devise knowledge based expert systems which would be helpful at the strategic level to cater to non-programmed complex type of decision-making situations.
Q3. What is meant by computer hardware? What are the parts of computer hardware?
Ans. The physical parts of a computer are called hardware. In other words, the units that are visible and units, which can one, touch and feel are known as the computer hardware. Some examples for hardware units or systems devices are following:
The main parts of computer hardware are the storage devices, the input devices, output devices and Central Processing Unit (CPU).
- Central Processing Unit (CPU): Central Processing Unit (CPU) or the processor is also often called the brain of computer. CPU consists of Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and Control Unit (CU). In addition, CPU also has a set of registers, which are temporary storage areas for holding data, and instructions. ALU performs the arithmetic and logic operations on the data that is made available to it. CU is responsible for organising the processing of data and instructions. CU controls and coordinates the activity of the other units of computer. CPU uses the registers to store the data, instructions during processing.
- Main memory: Computer data storage, often called storage or main memory, refers to computer components and recording media that retain digital data used for computing some intervals of time. Computer data storage provides one of the core functions of the modern computer, that of information retention. It is one of the fundamental components of all modern computers, and coupled with a central processing unit (CPU, a processor), implements the basic computer model used since the 1940s.
- Secondary memory: Secondary storage (or external memory) differs from primary storage in that it is not directly accessible by the CPU. The computer usually uses its input/output channels to access secondary storage and transfers the desired data using intermediate area in primary storage. Secondary storage does not lose the data when the device is powered down—it is non-volatile. Per unit, it is typically the owner of a certain file, the access time, the access permissions, and other information.
- Input and output devises: The input or output units of a computer system establish the communication between the system and its users. A large number of input and output units are available in the market. A few of them are as follows:
(1)Punched card is the most ancient (few decades old) input medium. Instruction and data punched on cards are transmitted into a computer through a card reader. A printed card has survived a whole century because of its simplicity. However, it is on its way out now. Punched cards are being replaced by terminals which provide direct data entry.
(2)Terminals have become very popular interactive input and output units. A terminal, when connected to a CPU, sends data and instructions directly into the computer. Terminals can be classified into two types, namely, hard copy terminals and soft copy terminals. A hard copy terminal provides a print out on paper whereas a soft copy terminal provides a visual display on a screen. A soft copy terminal is also known as a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) terminal.
(3)Key-to-tape, key-to-disk and key-to-diskette are stand alone data entry stations. These units usually have a small processor attached to a keyboard and a visual display unit. The processor checks for the accuracy of data at the time of entry. The screen displays what is being entered. These facilities are highly desirable for a data processing centre. Hence, most of the data processing centres are switching over from punched card input to data entry stations.
Q4. Discuss the role of Information Technology in the growth & development of Tourism Industry.
Ans. Reservation systems, distributed multimedia systems, highly mobile working places, electronic markets, and the dominant position of tourism applications in the Internet are noticeable results of this development. Moreover, the tourism industry poses several challenges to the IT field and its methodologies. Information Technology & Tourism aims to contribute to the process of theory building, and hence to the advancement of research and scholarship in this growing field. As an interdisciplinary journal, it can be placed between information technology and tourism research where both fields may influence each other. The growing number of TIS (Tourism Information System) conferences worldwide can reason the need for such a dialogue and scholarship worldwide that each year attracts a very large and growing audience. Information Technology & Tourism focuses on academia as well as industry. It will feature both empirical case studies and technical-theoretical papers looking at tourism from an IT point of view and at IT from a tourism point of view, a treatment quite attractive for researchers in both fields.
Travel Services and Computers: A travel service is a retail business that sells travel related products and services to customers on behalf of suppliers such as airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours, and package holidays that combine several products. In addition to deal with ordinary tourists, most travel agencies have a separate department devoted to make travel arrangements for business travellers and some travel agencies specialise in commercial and business travel only.
The various fields of travel services using computer applications can be summed up as:
(1) Car Rental: A car rental or car hire agency is a company that rents automobiles for short period (generally ranging from a few hours to a few weeks) for a fee. Car rental agencies primarily serve people who have a car that is temporarily out of reach or out of service, for example travellers who are out of town or owners of damaged or destroyed vehicles who are awaiting repair or insurance compensation. Because of the variety of sizes of their vehicles, car rental agencies may also serve the self-moving industry needs, by renting vans or trucks, and in certain markets, other types of vehicles such as motorcycles or scooters may also be offered.
(2) Railways: Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on. Computers can be used by automating railway’s operations such as scheduling, controlling, fault detection, monitoring and improvements among others. Two major characteristics of railways are: first is the geographical dispersed nature of its operation and the second characteristics is the highly dynamic nature of its operations that requires frequent and fast decision-making based on real time information. Thus, passenger reservation can be made from thousands of different locations for the same common product – a seat in a particular train on a specific run, based on the availability of reservations that keeps on changing from moment. This has made railways one of the earliest users of computer technology for booking.
(3) Airlines: A computer reservation system or central reservation system (CRS) is a computerised system used to store and retrieve information and conduct transactions related to air travel. Originally designed and operated by airlines, CRS was later extended for the use of travel agencies. Major CRS operations that book and sell tickets for multiple airlines are known as global distribution systems (GDS). Airlines have divested most of their direct holdings to dedicated GDS companies, who make their systems accessible to consumers through Internet gateways. Modern GDS was typically allowed users to book hotel rooms and rental cars as well as airline tickets. They also provide access to railway reservations and bus reservations in some markets although these are not always integrated with the main system.
Q5. Write Short notes on any two of the following:
- Properties of Data
Ans. Following are the properties of data:
(a)Amenability to use: From the dictionary meaning of data, it is learnt that data are facts used in deciding something. In short, data are meant to be used as a basis for arriving at definitive conclusions. They are not required, if they are not amenable to use. The use may differ with the context. Amenability to use nevertheless remains a characteristic of data.
(b)Clarity: According to the CODATA definition, data are a crystallised presentation. This means data should necessarily display clarity, so essential for communicating the essence of the matter. Without clarity, the meaning desired to be communicated will remain hidden.
(c)Accuracy: Data should be real, complete, and accurate. Accuracy is thus, an essential property of data. Since, data offer a basis for deciding something, they must necessarily be accurate if valid conclusions are to be drawn.
- Hacking and Prevention
Ans. Hackers spend a lot of time looking for means to break into high security systems as it is a challenge and a thrill to them. Many a times rival companies use hackers to attain information which can be of use to them. Many insiders also use hackers to retrieve information or destroy some information so as to hit back at their parent organisation.
Hackers also have a Hacker Bulletin Board. A bulletin board is an electronic computer system wherein one user stores information and messages which other users can retrieve and use. An electronic bulletin board is very easy to be installed. The bulletin board of the Hackers usually have information regarding how to break into different software systems and to break into high computer security systems. The boards are used primarily to spread information which would be useful to other hackers such as user account identification, commonly used passwords and so on. A book, The Hacker’s Handbook, Cornwall, 1985 lists twenty-five most common passwords and suggests the easy ways and techniques for making illegal and successful entries in the different computer security systems. Many hackers also destroy the web-sites on Internet.
Keeping in view the above it becomes very important for us to make proper arrangements to safeguard our information and data. It has been observed that in most of the cases, the hacking is made possible not because of improper security system but due to improper implementation of the security procedure by the concerned personnel. In most of the cases the passwords are very common and easy to decipher. People consider passwords as the most common and easy manner to install computer security. But giving a password is a matter of consideration. Passwords should be introduced keeping in mind a time period and should be changed accordingly. The new passwords should be known to only a few employees. It is very necessary to check up the employee(s) to whom the passwords are known. These are only a few precaution against Hackers.
iii. System Life Cycle
Ans. System Development Life Cycle, or SDLC, is the process used by a systems analyst to develop an information system, including requirements, validation, training, and user ownership through investigation, analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance. SDLC is also known as information system development or application development. An SDLC should result in a high quality system that meets or exceeds customer expectations, within time and cost estimates, works effectively and efficiently in the current and planned Information Technology Infrastructure, and is cheap to maintain and cost-effective to enhance. SDLC is a system approach to problem solving and is made up of several phases, each comprised of multiple steps, which are shown in the figure:
Q6. Write a detailed note on the commonly used application softwares that are being commonly used in the tourism industry.
Ans. The illicit code may get attached or copied to commonly used system files such as COMMAND.COM or executable files such as FORMAT.EXE, DISKCOPY.EXE, etc. Then a part of the virus code may replace the boot sector or partition record by appending itself to these records. This causes the execution of the virus code prior to operating system (DOS). In an executable file, it changes the normal flow of execution such that the appended virus programme is generally executed first and then the required file is executed.
A very commonly used and popular operating system is MS DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System). Other types of operating systems, which are popular today are multi-processing operating systems and real time operating systems. A multi-processing operating system uses multiple CPU’s to process multiple jobs. A real time operating system is a very different type of operating system, because it is used for different type of applications, i.e., real time applications such as airlines reservations, process control, etc.
Most commonly used computers are the PCs (Personal Computers). Managers for their own computing needs use personal computers. Availability of a large number of user-friendly software packages on PCs have made them effective tool to support managerial decision-making. PCs have also encouraged distributed data processing. A super, micro or minicomputer is used for commercial data processing and managerial applications. A large or mainframe computer is necessary for very large data processing and data management applications. A super computer is primarily used for highly scientific and research purposes.
In common usage, “microcomputer” has been largely supplanted by the description “personal computer” or “PC,” which describes that it has been designed to be used by one person at a time. IBM first promoted the term “personal computer” to differentiate themselves from other microcomputers, often called “home computers”, and also IBM’s own mainframes and minicomputers. Unfortunately, for IBM, the microcomputer itself was widely imitated, as well as the term. The component parts were commonly available to manufacturers and the BIOS were reverse engineered through clean room design techniques. IBM PC compatible “clones” became commonplace, and the terms “Personal Computer,” and especially “PC” stuck with the public. Since the advent of microcontrollers (monolithic integrated circuits containing RAM, ROM and CPU all onboard), the term “micro” is more commonly used to refer to that meaning.
Q7. What do you understand by the term LAN? How is it useful in a travel and tourism organization?
Ans. Famous LANs available for micro-computer users include Ethernet, Novell, PC Network, ARC net, and Omninet. They vary in type and number of computers that may be connected, the speed at which data may be transferred, and the type of software used to control the network.
A LAN generally consists of the following:
- Two or more computers.
- Software to control the operation of the computers.
- Peripheral devices such as modems, printers, plotters, etc.
- Coaxial or fibre optic cables are usually used to connect the computers and other devices.
- A plug-in board to handle the data transmissions.
The number of computers in LAN varies from small LANs that connect 2 to 25 computers, to large LANs that may connect more than 10,000 computers. Normally LANs are owned by single organisation. The speed of data transfer ranges from several thousand bit per second to several Mbps.
A few characteristics and uses of LAN are:
- Resource Sharing is perhaps the greatest advantage of local area networks. LAN allows a large number of intelligent devices to share resources, such as storage devices, program files and even data files. Whereas on a traditional network each machine will be directly wired into a switching device, on a LAN a single physical medium is usually shared.
- Area Covered by the LANs are normally restricted to moderate size, such as an office building a factory, or a campus. The limiting factors are usually the overall length of the cable used and any interdevice restrictions imposed. In practice, the distances involved range from a few meters to a few kilometers.
- Low Cost per Connection is also an important characteristic of LANs. Many applications for LANs involve low-cost microprocessor systems, so that the connection of these systems to a LAN should also be inexpensive. Local Area Networks are becoming more cost-effective as technology expands and new items, like fan-out units and networks interface units, become prevalent.
- High Channel Speed is another quality of LANs. Most LANs transfer data at rates between 1-10 million bits per second. This is especially beneficial for applications with high resolution, movable colour graphics and for bulk data transfer between mainframe computers.
Q8. What is meant by computer Virus? What are the characteristics of a Computer virus?
Ans. The term computer virus is derived from and is in some sense analogous to a biological virus. The word virus itself is Latin for poison. Simplistically, biological viral infections are spread by the virus (a small shell containing genetic material) injecting its contents into a far larger organism’s cell. The cell then is infected and converted into a biological factory producing replicants of the virus.
It is a software code that can infect other computer programmes by altering them to include a copy of itself. It is not a biological virus. Though non-living and artificially created, the computer virus still has certain analogies to its biological counterparts.
The main characteristics of computer virus are as follows:
(1) Making Replicas: A virus can copy itself into another place, file or another disk. Typically, if a disk carrying a virus is put into a computer, the virus can get loaded into the machine through Random Access Memory (RAM) and copies itself onto every other disk that is used thereafter. The virus can also propagate a copy of itself through the telephone lines or via network connections. Sometimes a mutated version of the virus may be copied which may be difficult to recognise.
(2) Autonomous in Nature: A virus may run without being explicitly called by the user of the computer. This is possible because the virus may change the starting up procedure on computer such that the code of the virus is executed prior to execution of the code of operating system. Thus, it has a degree of autonomy.
(3) Malicious Activity: A virus can cause lot of damage to the computer system in terms of software and data:
- it may cause loss of data,
- it may overwrite some of the important files with unrecognised characters,
- it may modify programmes or software making them unusable,
- it may scramble your database or Word Processor file resulting in incorrect information,
- it may not allow the system to start at all,
- some special effects on screen like falling of characters or bouncing balls may be produced, and
- it may display messages or graphics on the screen such as Happy Birthday, Give me a Cookie, your PC is stoned, etc.
It is usually believed that viruses cannot damage the hardware. However, there could be situations when it can damage the moving parts. A virus can produce a sequence of sector Read/ Write instruction that can be thrust on one’s terminal causing a hard disk motor and IC can work for very long duration with a lot of head movement. Similarly, in the case of monitor it may result in rapid changes in frequency oscillations or by creating a high intensity beam (if proper protective hardware had not been used). The beam may destroy the phosphorous coating on the screen.
Q9. Critically analyse the impact of computerisation on the society.
Ans. Since the introduction of computers, it was told how computers are going to enhance the quality of our lives. The quicker, efficient working of computers is supposed to change the society and bring better life-style, innovations and changes our way. For example, the information and communication channels have opened up the world, electronic banking system, searching travel information on the internet, etc. have indeed changed many traditional aspects of our life and in all these we have the computer to play a role. Here we study the effects of computerisation on three spectres – Employment opportunities and work pattern, lifestyles and politics.
Computers and Living Styles
One of the major changes that can arise is that people need not spend as much time as they spend now in waiting for information. This will release good number of hours for other purposes. Of course this additional time can be used for production or as leisure time depending on social interventions.
Much better public service at the railway station, airport, banks, hospitals, tourist services, etc., can release a lot of tensions and frustrations of the average member of the society in developing countries. People can reduce a lot of their local as well as long distance travel when the potentialities of both computers and modern communication are combined. This adds to convenience as well as saving of time. Again this time can be used for productive purposes or leisure.
Shopping can be done from home. Tickets for a show can be booked through computers. Sale of shares can be done through computers. Books in libraries can be reserved through computers. For the professional who is hard pressed for time these facilities are extremely valuable.
Employment Opportunities and Work Pattern
One of the most hotly debated and sensitive issues arising out of computerisation is its impact on employment. In developing countries, particularly, there is a widespread fear that the computer will drastically reduce employment potential or result in retrenchment of currently employed people. The trade unions particularly project this aspect of computerisation especially in relation to white-collar workers such as clerks, accountants, etc. It is a fact that the computer is a potential threat to ones means of livelihood.
Computers and Politics
Computer helps in making all sorts of political analysis and gathering other information needed by the politicians and media. We can summarise the effect of computers on the politics in the following manner:
- Data processing in census, elections, etc., have helped a great deal in making these operations related to political activities more data-based, quick and efficient.
- The computer and communication technology has made election result processing and its communication more effective.
- Even though still under debate the use of computerised voting machines in some constituencies has made the election process less amenable to muscle power interventions.
- When the opportunity for processing information through computers is not equally distributed and also when the awareness of the potentialities of its use is also low some politicians can twist information for various parochial ends.
- Trade union leaders are opposing the use of computerised information technology, especially in organisations, which provide employment to a large number of white-collar employees.
- Total dependency on computerised data in elections and political life will do away with the role of emotions and human values.
Q10. Write short notes on any two of the following:
- Legal dimensions of Computerisation
Ans. The legal dimensions of computerisation: Apart from the contractual obligations arising from the sale/purchase of computers and software, many other legal consequences that follow when a user uses a computer.
Copyright: Copyright is the form of legal protection, which software people can resort for protection of their products. Copyrights can be claimed for data as well as programmes. The former is concerned with the use of information, which is copyrighted and stored in retrieval systems. The latter relates to protection of programmes, which are marketed to the general public using computers.
Patents: A Patent is an exclusive right or rights granted by a government to an inventor for a limited time period in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention.
Business Method Patents: These are species of patents regarding a claim on, and public disclosure of, a new method(s) of operating any aspect of an economic enterprise. Examples include e-commerce, banking, insurance, tax compliance and other methods of doing business.
Software Patents: There is no generally accepted or universally accepted definition of software patent. The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure defines “software patent as a patent on any performance of a computer realised by means of a computer programme.”
- Information Economics
Ans. Information economics is a theory in microeconomics that has developed simply because of the unique nature of information. While nearly everything in the world has become a commodity, including information, it is not all treated the same. Information economics take those unique properties of information and applies them to a more acceptable economic theory.
In the normal economy, the buying and selling of goods means others can no longer use those goods, at least not in the same condition. If a person buys a shirt, others are naturally deprived of using that shirt. This theory of deprivation is central to most economic theories. That simply does not exist in information economics. One person consuming information does not prevent another person from consuming that information. All can share equally in the consumption, according to the information economics theory. While it may be true that buying a book deprives other people of purchasing it, this does not prevent the information from being consumed.
In normal economic theory, items for trade are usually valued based on their scarcity, as well as their demand. If products become scarcer or demand is increased while supply stays the same, the value increases. However, with information economics, that is not the case. Information is not scarce and is becoming even less scarce all the time. Again, a normal economic theory would not make since in this case.
Information economics therefore indicates the monetary value of information must be presented in such a way as to create an opportunity for trade if that is the end desire of the supplier. Otherwise, those seeking the information will go to sources where the information is free. This is achieved by bundling the information in such a way as to make it more useful, thus giving the consumer an advantage over others without the bundled information.
iii. Critical Success Factor
Ans. An identification of the CSFs for an organisation helps the information analyst to focus the information systems on critical issues of business. In a sense, CSFs are those factors, which the management of the organisation must focus on and manage effectively.
To control these factors effectively, a manager must be able to make these factors measurable and define performance standards for each measure. These performance measures are known as key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The manager then needs information on actual performance so that he can compare the actual with the standard or budgeted or planned performance to know where he needs to focus his attention to take corrective action.
It is therefore obvious that MIS systems must provide information on actual performance so that the manger can monitor the performance with respect to the various CSFs and KPIs and get a better control over these factors.
The steps to take in applying the CSF/KPI method is as follows:
- Understand the business and business process.
- Identify what is critical for the success of this business or business process (CSFs).
- Identify appropriate measures for each of the CSFs (called KPIs).
- Define Standard of Performance for each KPI.
- Identify which information systems should provide information on actual performance against each CSF/KPI.
- Check if the system can provide this information—where it is possible implement the required information flow from the system to the MIS.