To stay ahead in competition, information is the most important asset of an organization. However raw information is nothing more than tons of data that makes little sense. It is important to organize available data so that it can be used to make operational, tactical, and strategic decisions that benefit the organization. This is where Management Information Systems (MIS) come in. Management Information Systems are computer applications consisting of procedures, processes, and routines that provide suitably detailed reports in an accurate, consistent, and timely manner. MIS has become a handy assistant in decision making.
Design and Application
Data gathering is the first step to build efficient Management Information Systems. Therefore, computerized systems are installed to continuously gather relevant data, both from inside and outside an organization. This data is then processed, integrated, and stored in a centralized database (or data warehouse) and can be accessed by authorized members of organization.
Management Information Systems can collate unmanageable volumes of data into coherent reports that would otherwise be impossible to interpret. These organized reports and statements can be studied to identify emerging patterns and understand current trends. Management Information Systems can assist management in decision making by allowing managers to create hypothetical scenarios and simulate answers to their ‘what if’ questions. This enables managers to see the broader picture and evaluate cause-effect relations of their strategies.
Types of Management Information Systems
Based on its application Management Information Systems can be classified as follows
Basic Management information systems (MIS) continuously gather and update data extracted from organization’s transaction processing systems or from internet that is relevant to the organization and process it to produce summarized reports at pre-defined intervals. Reports are classified according to the authorization of managers at different levels.
Decision support systems (DSS) find most application in middle management by compiling information from a wide range of sources to support problem solving and decision making.
Executive information systems (EIS) is a used by top level management of large scale companies. It collates data from all departments of an organization such as IT, HR and finance and produces summarized reports that reflect state of entire organization.
Marketing information systems are designed specifically for managing the marketing aspects of the business.
Office automation systems (OAS) automate the work flow that reduces waiting time and manual dependencies. It facilitates communication and increases productivity of the enterprise by doing away with most of log jams. OAS finds its application at all levels of management.
Advantages of Management Information Systems
Why should you deploy a management information system and how can it help you and your organization? Listed below are some major benefits of using a management information system
Management Information Systems can be used to produce flawless reports of any type like sales report, marketing report and financial statements in a format that best represents company’s performance and position in market. These reports not only help company to overcome its own shortcomings and design a far sighted plan but also advertise a company by bringing company’s strength and achievements to light.
MIS not only processes data but also provides the dual advantage of storing data. It acts as a warehouse of large customer data and feedback that can help the company to direct marketing and promotion activities.