A web-based, enterprise-wide, integrated information system as the source of high quality information for decision-making processes in the Department of Education in South Africa

Baxter, Claude Brian (2004-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Education Management Information System (EMIS) is the business unit that is responsible for information management and business reporting in the Department of Education. EMIS finds it difficult to provide high quality information to the Department of Education internally and its stakeholders externally and attributes the reduction of the quality of its education information to factors such as the organisational nature of the South African education system, the lack of information management standards and practices, the low level of information technology skills in EMIS, the existence of a multitude of disparate information systems in the Department of Education and Provincial Education Departments, and the apparent discontinuity in the flow of information from education institution level to the national department and back. Most research in information management confirmed the state of EMIS as being typical of most large organisations whose functioning depends on the quality of their information. The factors that influence information quality in EMIS had been identified as accuracy, timeliness, consistency and relevance of the information. A “quick-fix” to the information problem is not possible but research in information systems management indicates that there are trends in the electronic business arena that may provide an acceptable solution to most of the problems encountered by EMIS. This report investigates the nature of EMIS problems in terms of information management and investigates possible solutions to the problems. The investigation is done within the framework of acknowledged information systems planning process and aligned to the process model of information management. An exposition is given on the theory pertaining to information management, information systems and information systems management to give insight into the particular fields of study and their interdependencies. A section on business intelligence is included since business reporting is the primary function of EMIS. Investigations into information systems development indicate an exponential growth in electronic technology development specifically the Internet and the Web. The information systems plan provides the framework or set of guidelines to determine the information systems solution that will be able to solve their problems. The research report included four stages of the information systems plan framework. The first stage pertains to the identification of minimum information required from the education sector and supporting sectors to provide high quality education information for decision-making and planning. The second stage determines and benchmarks the state of EMIS in terms of information management processes. The third stage investigates the trends in electronic business and specifically electronic information systems applications. Current best practices indicate that a possible solution to information management problems in large organisations is the application of a web-based, electronic, enterprise-wide, integrated information system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: EMIS as ‘n besigheidseenheid in die nasionale Onderwysdepartement is verantwoordelik vir inligtingsbestuur en verslaggewing. EMIS vind dit moeilik om hoë kwaliteit inligting intern aan die onderwysdepartement en ekstern aan sy rolspelers te verskaf. en skryf die verlaging in die kwaliteit van inligting toe aan faktore soos die organisasiestruktuur van die Suid Afrikaanse onderwysstelsel, die gebrek aan standaarde vir inligtingsbestuur en -praktyke, die lae vlak van inligtingstegnologiekennis van die personeel in EMIS, die bestaan van ‘n magdom van ongelyksoortige inligtingstelsels in die nasionale onderwysdepartement en provinsiale onderwysdepartemente en die sigbare diskontinuïteit in die vloei van inligting vanaf die onderwysinrigtings na die nasionale onderwysdepartement en terug. Die meeste navorsing in inligtingsbestuur bevestig dat die toestand waarin EMIS verkeer tipies is van die meeste groot organisasies wie se funksionering van die kwaliteit van hulle inligting afhang. Die faktore wat ‘n rol speel in die kwaliteit van inligting in EMIS word geïdentifiseer as akkuraatheid, tydigheid, uniformiteit en geldigheid. ‘n Vinnige oplossing vir die inligtingsprobleem is nie moontlik nie maar navorsing in inligtingstelselsbestuur dui aan dat daar tendense in die rigting van elektroniese besigheidarena is wat aanvaarbare oplossings bied vir die meeste van EMIS se probleme. Hierdie verslag ondersoek die aard van EMIS se probleme in terme van inligtingsbestuur en ondersoek moontlike oplossings vir die probleme. Die ondersoek word gedoen binne die raamwerk van ‘n aanvaarde inligtingstelsel-beplanningsproses wat opgestel is om binne die prosesmodel vir inligtingsbestuur te val. ‘n Uiteensetting van die teorie ten opsigte van inligtingsbestuur, inligtingstelsels en inligtingstelselbestuur word gegee ten einde insig oor die betrokke studieterreine en hul interafhanklikheid te gee. ‘n Afdeling oor besigheidsintelligensie word ingesluit aangesien besigheidsverslaggewing die primêre funksie van EMIS is. ‘n Ondersoek na inligtingstelselontwikkeling dui op ‘n eksponensiële groei in die ontwikkeling van die elektroniese tegnologiebedryf en spesifiek die Internet en Web. Die inligtingstelselsplan voorsien die raamwerk of riglyne waarbinne die inligtingstelseloplossing gesoek kan word. Die navorsingsverslag sluit vier fases van die raamwerk van die inligtingstelselsplan in. Die eerste fase het te make met die identifisering van die minimum inligting wat nodig is vir besluitneming en beplanning. Die tweede fase stel die toestand van EMIS ten opsigte van inligtingsbestuur vas. Die derde fase ondersoek die neigings in elektroniese besigheidstransaksies en toepassings. Huidige beste praktyke dui aan dat ‘n moontlike oplossing vir die inligtingsbestuurprobleme van groot organisasies die toepassing van ‘n web-gebaseerde, elektroniese, geïntegreerde inligtingstelsel, wat al die komponente van die onderneming insluit, is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/16474
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