Management information systems
Management Information Systems can be defined as ‘The combination of human and computer based resources that results in the collection, storage, retrieval, communication and use of data for the purpose of efficient management of operations and for business planning’. Source: Kelly
Management Information Systems are primarily concerned with the delivery of information (both internal and external) to organisational members from the shop floor workers to the management. The purpose of MIS is to help the smooth running of the business by providing information on the firms data (such as accounting figures) employees from different levels will then evaluate this information so that decisions can be made to ensure that the business remains competitive and successful.
MIS have been created to support the whole range of business’s administration and regulatory activities and can be seen in all parts of the world and in all types of industries both public and private sector. In the US, for example, the National Drivers Register has MIS facilities to report on driver licence details, such as all those within a given state whose licence has been revoked or suspended (Danziger, 1991). Similarly, the Environmental Protection Agency is pushing forward in use of MIS to help monitor and control environmental risks.
The processing of data into information and communicating that information to the user is the basis of MIS. Form the figure above it is clear to see how this process helps to make decisions. Data is the term for collections of facts and figures; hours worked, part numbers, profit etc. These basic facts are then stored and analysed and generally worked on to produce information in the form required by the user, i.e. the manager. MIS exist in organisations in order to help them achieve objectives, to plan and control their processes and to help deal with uncertainty. It is therefore important that the information that is produced is correct.
There are different types of information such as Strategic information which is usually used to set goals for the organisations and objectives. By doing this it also looks at whether the current objectives are being met. This would usually include financial data such as profitability. – Tactical Information which looks at the resources of the business and how they should and are being utilised this will include productivity reports. Operational Information which is concerned that operations are planned and conducted correctly. This is likely to include reports on employee hours and absenteeism, output per employee etc.