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What is an Automated Information System?

By Ken Black
Updated May 16, 2024
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An automated information system is simply a system by which information is processed for collection and distribution through a series of automated processes. The system often requires very little human interaction other than setup and maintenance. It is often used to access information and send it out to individuals. Those using these types of systems include governments, libraries, and private businesses.

The use of an automated information system, also known as an automated information management system, can be of great benefit both to government institutions and private companies. The process of quickly disseminating information through an automated system can save many hours of tedious labor, thus providing a cost savings for the entity needing to get that information distributed. This type of system can do everything from reminding people when a bill is due to warning about a potentially serious situation.

One example of an automated information system many in the United States are familiar with is the Amber Alert system. This system is a nationwide network that is automated to alert individuals of a possible abducted child. The system can be fine tuned so that information is sent out to a limited geographic area where the child is likely to be. Within minutes, it can be displayed or broadcasted on traffic signs, television and radio, e-mails, phone calls, and even text messaged to cell phones. Using individuals to distribute this information would not only be very costly, but also waste valuable time, allowing a possible perpetrator to escape with the child.

An automated library information system is one that is especially helpful for those looking for specific library materials. Often, the entire card catalog of a library is available both in the library itself, using the library's network, and online. As soon as books are scanned in, they will immediately be shown as being available, with no further work needed to be done by the librarian. The online capabilities of this type of automated information system are especially convenient for the library user. There is no need to go to the library, only to be disappointed if the desired materials are not available, as it can be checked directly from home.

In private business, an automated information system could also be very important, especially when it comes to sales and customer satisfaction. For example, those who conduct mass marketing campaigns by telephone may use these systems to keep track of clients. Some such systems will not only dial the number, but may provide the entire sales pitch. In other cases, the ringing phone will be directly routed to a live marketer. This type of system can also keep track of employee hours and payroll.

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Discussion Comments

By Viranty — On Feb 20, 2014
@RoyalSpyder - I have a similar method at my school too. At my high school, if there is suspicious activity nearby, a mass text message will be sent to everyone's phone, those who are in the system. In fact, how did they handle school and campus dangers many years ago? Were you basically on your own? From what my mom told me, anyone was allowed on campus and during anytime of the day. That's highly unsafe. Thank goodness all that has changed.
By RoyalSpyder — On Feb 19, 2014
The discussion in this article reminds me of a similar method used at my college. On my campus, whenever there is an alert of an incident that happened nearby, a mass email is sent to all the students. This is a very efficient way of doing things. After all, can you imagine how long it would take for them to send an email to every single student and faculty member on campus? I don't even want to think about it.
By Chmander — On Feb 19, 2014

Years ago, when technology was less advanced, how were automated information systems handled? For example, when Dennis "BTK Killer" Rader was on a rampage in the early 90's, how was the situation handled? Was there some sort of Alert System or not? I'm not saying that technology was "primitive" back then, but it's definitely something to think about. You see, that's the thing about the advancements of this day and age. It's become much less dependent on us, and more dependent on itself.

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