What is an Automated Information System?

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 generally requires very little human interaction beyond configuration and maintenance. It is generally used to access information and send it to individuals. Those who use these types of systems include governments, libraries and private companies.

In most libraries, old card catalogs have been replaced by computer systems.

The use of an automated information system, also known as an automated information management system, can be of great benefit to both government institutions and private companies. The process of quickly disseminating information through an automated system can save many hours of tedious work, providing cost savings for the entity that needs to distribute this information. This type of system can do everything from reminding people when an account is expired to alerting them to a potentially serious situation.

Library card catalogs are often available online.

An example of an automated information system that many in the United States are familiar with is the Amber Alert system. This system is an automated national network to alert individuals to a possible kidnapped child. The system can be adjusted so that the information is sent to a limited geographic area where the child is likely to be. In minutes, it can be displayed or broadcast on traffic signals, television and radio, emails, phone calls and even text messages to cell phones. Using individuals to distribute this information would not only be very expensive, but would also waste valuable time, allowing a would-be criminal to get away with the child.

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An automated library information system is especially useful for those looking for specific library materials. Often, a library’s entire card catalog is available either in the library itself, using the library’s network, or online. Once the books are digitized, they are immediately shown as available, without the need for further work by the librarian. The online resources 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 materials you want are not available as they can be checked directly from home.

In private companies, an automated information system can also be very important, especially when it comes to sales and customer satisfaction. For example, those who conduct bulk marketing campaigns over the phone can use these systems to track customers. Some of these systems will not just dial the number but can provide the entire sales pitch. In other cases, the ringing phone will be forwarded directly to a live merchant. This type of system can also track employee hours and payroll.

The Dewey Decimal system – now largely replaced by automated electronic cataloging systems – uses a number category for different subjects, such as 000 for computer science.

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