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Business Information Systems
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Business Information Systems (BI)

Professors:  W. N. Bokanic, C. A. Watts; Associate Professors:  M. D. Treleven, M. P. Lynn, R. T. Grenci (Chair), B. Z. Hull;   Instructor:  R. D. Blamer
                      
This major is designed for students who wish to begin their careers in the broadly defined area of business information systems.  This area includes responsibilities such as:

  • Risk Consulting
  • Process Analysis
  • Operations Planning
  • Project Management
  • Technology Auditing
  • Technical/User Support
  • Enterprise Applications
  • Client-Based Engagements
  • Web/E-commerce Solutions
  • System Analysis and Design

In today’s Internet-enabled business environment, increased competition, globalization, customer expectations, and technology advancement have combined to produce a powerful effect on the process of delivering goods and services to the marketplace.  Increasingly, businesses see themselves as a collection of processes supported and driven by information systems and technologies.  In order to succeed in this dynamic and integrated environment, systems analysts and consultants must be able to understand business decisions as well as technology decisions.

The objective of the Business Information Systems (BIS) faculty is to develop students’ managerial, analytical, and technical skills, enabling them to become successful business systems analysts and consultants, and tomorrow’s leaders in their chosen fields.  BIS majors will be ideally suited to capitalize on this integrated approach to business.  They will be active learners knowledgeable about current technology and capable of high performance with the goals of supporting tasks related to:

  • Developing technology-related business solutions for users and clients.
  • Modeling and analyzing data for better functional decision-making.
  • Enhancing business processes and performance using technology.
  • Managing the integrated flow of materials and information.

The majority of BIS majors are likely to enter the business world as analysts or change agents.  They will be able to interact with technology in significant ways to solve organizational problems. Listed below are some examples of the context-specific jobs in which the technology management role might be filled by a BIS major:

  • Interacting with clients/users as a risk consultant or technology auditor.
  • Analyzing or managing technical operations for a manufacturer.
  • Providing technical support for a large-scale retailer and/or distributor.
  • Implementing or managing technology that supports banking operations.
  • Developing web/e-commerce solutions for small/medium-sized businesses.

As listed above, BIS majors are also likely to be employed in staff support or consulting jobs.  Companies are increasingly out-sourcing many of their needs, including technology-related projects, to consulting agencies.  Perhaps more than any other organization, systems consulting firms look for employees who understand not only the application and management of information technologies, but also the business processes and operations that are supported by those technologies.

 Requirements

Major in Business Information Systems:  A total of 61-67 credit hours as described below.

Business Core: 39-42 credit hours, including MN 461 and recommending AC 202.

Major Courses:  22-25 credit hours.  BI 341, BI 352, BI 371, BI 383; and at least 10 credit hours of elective course work as indicated below.

For a Systems Analysis emphasis, required courses include CS 128/128L, and two of the following:  BI 407, BI 451, BI 498 (with department approval), CS 228, CS 230, AC 341, or AC 431.

For a Business Analysis emphasis, required courses include any four of the following:  BI 381, BI 382, BI 406, BI 407, BI 451, BI 498 (with department approval), CS 128/128L, LG 328, LG 440, MK 308, MK 310, MK 402, MK 470, MN 463, or MN 480.

107. SPREADSHEET APPLICATIONS 1 cr.  (1st five weeks of term) Overview of spreadsheet analysis, with students learning and/or reinforcing spreadsheet software skills.
108. DATABASE APPLICATIONS 1 cr.  (2nd five weeks of term) Overview of database applications, with students learning and/or reinforcing database skills.
109. COMMUNICATIONS APPLICATIONS 1 cr.  (last 5 weeks of term) Overview of communications-related software applications, with students learning and/or reinforcing, e.g., presentation graphics software skills, advanced word processing features, web authoring.
200. MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS 3 cr.  Prerequisite:  BI 106 or BI 108 or competency waiver for Database Applications.  Introduction to management information systems, decision support systems, and the systems development process.  Special emphasis on information resource management and the strategic use of information systems in organizations.  Group projects provide practical experience, complementing the conceptual approach.
326. OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT 3 cr.  Prerequisite:  EC 205 or EC 208L or MT 122 or MT 228.  Planning, organizing, and controlling the process of transforming raw materials into finished products.  Application of qualitative and quantitative methods and evaluation techniques to such areas as quality management, just-in-time environments, material requirements planning, inventory management, scheduling, facility planning, plant layout, and job and process design.
341. FUNDAMENTALS OF DATA BASE DESIGN 3 cr.  Prerequisite/corequisite:  BI 200 or BI 300.  Practical approach to designing business databases.  Topics include normalization, design methodology, data modeling, interface design, structured query language, and database management/administration.  Software utilized includes a relational database management system and other software tools.
352. ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE WITH SAP 3 cr.  Prerequisite:  BI 200 or BI 300.  Introduction to enterprise software using the SAP system.  Develops basic familiarity with the SAP system from user, administrative, and technical perspectives.  Topics include user skills, business processes, modules, queries, reports, configuration, security, and administration.
371. MANAGEMENT SCIENCE 3 cr.  Prerequisite:  EC 205 or EC 208L or MT 122 or MT 228.  Application of mathematical optimization to decision making.  Uses MS-Excel and several add-ins as tools to find optimal solutions to a wide variety of business problems.  Topics include linear programming, network models, non-linear programming, goal programming, and simulation.
381. MATERIALS AND INVENTORY MANAGEMENT 3 cr.  Prerequisite:  BI 326.  Purchasing, sourcing, price analysis, and inventory models in deterministic and probabilistic situations, material requirements planning, just-in-time system, material handling and transportation, and material management information system.
382. QUALITY MANAGEMENT 3 cr. Prerequisite:  BI 326.  Managerial and statistical aspects of quality from a total systems point of view.  Key issues of quality management, including quality planning, quality costing, quality improvement, vendor and customer relations, measurement, process control, and acceptance sampling.
383. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 3 cr.  Prerequisites:  BI 200 or BI 300; prerequisite or corequisite:  BI 326.  Principles and methods useful for planning and controlling a project, including development of a project plan, budgeting, resource planning and scheduling, and project monitoring and control.  Study of selected computerized packages, including Microsoft Project, with examples of different types of projects from manufacturing and service industries.
406. SEMINAR IN PRODUCTION/OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT 3 cr.  Prerequisite:  BI 326.  Study of contemporary issues in operations management not covered in depth in other departmental courses.  Specific topic, method of presentation, and student requirements will be designated by the seminar leader.
407. SEMINAR IN INFORMATION SYSTEMS 3 cr. Prerequisite:  BI 200.  Study of contemporary issues in management information systems not covered in depth in other departmental courses.  Specific topic, method of presentation, and student requirements will be designated by the seminar leader.
451. SYSTEMS ANALYSIS AND DESIGN 3 cr.  Prerequisites:  BI 200.  Development of information systems in organizations, including the systems development life cycle and prototyping strategies.  Focus on the analysis and design activities of the systems development process; introduction to system implementation and maintenance issues.  Group projects provide practical experience, complementing the conceptual approach.
498. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr.  Prerequisites:  3.0 average in Business Information Systems, consent of chair and faculty member.  Designed for the student who wants to undertake a research project supervised by a faculty member.  Student selects an aspect of management, establishes goals, develops a plan of study, and seeks out a full-time faculty member of the department willing to act as advisor. Plan of study must be approved by the chair and filed with the dean’s office. Consult the chair for the departmental guidelines established for such study.

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