Defining an MIS
Adamantios defines a management information system (MIS) as “a database of information programmed and organized in a specified way such that it can produce timely reports on operations for different departments in an organization” (12). This computerized database of vital data must be accessible and capable of delivering special reports. Nowduri goes further to define an MIS as “the analysis of the interrelation of organizations, technologies, and people” (202). The database should, therefore, be business-focused to solve problems and promote organizational effectiveness. The databases must also be carefully managed to support strategic problem-solving and effective decision-making processes.
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Management Information Systems (MIS) can be subdivided into different categories or types. This is the case because different departments and organizational units require the continued use of information technology (Adamantios 23). That being the case, information technology (IT) management focuses on various functions that can result in effective business performance. The four common types of MIS are presented below.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
These are complex MISs used to facilitate every business function “related to different partners and external stakeholders” (Adamantios 22).
Management Reporting Systems
These are systems used to monitor various managerial processes and functions. A subgroup of this database is the human resource management system (HRMS). This system is used to monitor the personnel aspects of an organization (Adamantios 21).
Decision Support Systems (DSS)
These are computerized systems used by managers to acquire and integrate knowledge. The newly acquired knowledge is used to analyze information, functions, and processes (Skyrius, Kazakeviciene, and Bujauskas 32). Managers can use the information to make better decisions and solve problems.
Executive Information Systems (EIS)
These are strategic-level IT systems used by managers to monitor the business environments affecting their companies (Skyrius et al. 35). The systems make it easier for managers to identify every emerging trend and offer evidence-based action plans.
Decision Support System (DSS)
A decision support system (DSS) is “a powerful computerized information system used to support various decision-making processes and activities in an organization” (Nowduri 203). The system plays a vital role in promoting planning, management, manufacturing, and decision-making (Nowduri 204). To produce quality results, such DSSs must be characterized by both human and computer attributes. The use of effective DSSs makes it easier for institutions and business organizations to streamline their processes.
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Difference Between MIS and IS
Many people “use the terms information systems and management information systems interchangeably” (Nowduri 204). However, these terms are very different in terms of operation and application. A management information system (MIS) is “a powerful process of managing information systems to promote effective and timely decision-making” (Adamantios 84). On the other hand, information systems (ISs) are “carefully-designed systems used to collect, store, communicate, and organize information” (Adamantios 29). They are characterized by interconnected hardware, human resources, and software applications. A good example is a computer information system (CIS). Human beings and computers are required to interpret information promptly (Skyrius et al. 35).
Difference Between MIS and Data Processing
For MIS systems to function effectively, several resources should be put in place. For example, the system should be able to use newly-collected or stored data. The data can be collected and stored using a powerful information system. The data is then analyzed and interpreted by the MIS system. The individuals managing the system should be able to process, analyze, and use the targeted information in a professional manner (Adamantios 64). By so doing, the information will be used to make the most desirable decisions. This fact explains why an MIS differs significantly from data processing.
An MIS is therefore a powerful system that manages information in an attempt to promote strategic decision-making processes. Data processing, on the other hand, is a computerized data operation aimed at transforming and classifying information (Skyrius et al. 36). The process is characterized by the acquisition, transformation, classification, and use of information. The gathered data is processed to produce meaningful insights or ideas that can be used to make meaningful decisions. This definition, therefore, indicates that data processing is a function of a management information system.
Role of MIS in Business Organizations
Management Information Systems (MISs) play a significant role in different business organizations. To begin with, an MIS gathers and interprets information that can be used to manage various business functions. The managers in an organization can use the major MIS-subtypes to achieve the best results (Singh and Kaur 3). For example, managers can use DSSs to make positive decisions that can add value to the organization. Various MIS functions can be implemented in different units to produce the best results. For instance, the human resource department can use effective management information systems to monitor the contributions and issues affecting different employees.
An MIS integrates three major resources that dictate the performance of every business organization. These resources include technology, information, and human beings (Adamantios 39). The system can be used to analyze various organizational activities and processes. The system makes it easier for managers to make evidence-based decisions and monitor information promptly. The system is also effective whenever identifying the major gaps affecting performance.
Singh and Kaur argue that business organizations can select the most appropriate MIS depending on the targeted goals (6). Each department, business process, or function has the potential to benefit from the continued use of an MIS. The important thing is to ensure the system is by the firm’s resources and the targeted business goals. Computer experts argue that organizations using effective management information systems will find it easier to realize their business goals.
Example of a Management Information System
Management information systems (MIS) can be customized depending on the size of the targeted organization. A good example is an MIS aimed at monitoring and improving the business processes in an organization. The system will be characterized by computer systems capable of gathering information from different sources. For example, the computer systems can collect information from the research & development (R&D) team, customers, and suppliers (Adamantios 73). The gathered information will then be processed and interpreted by the relevant professionals.
The interpreted information will then be used by the management to design appropriate business processes that can add value to the firm. As well, the managers will examine the effectiveness of different functions. The gathered information will offer evidence-based suggestions that can result in better business practices (Adamantios 102). Inputs from different stakeholders should also be embraced by the managers. This knowledge and practice will result in better decisions that can improve the level of business performance. This example shows clearly how business organizations can use customized MISs to promote the best processes.
Adamantios, Koumpis. Management Information Systems for Enterprise Applications. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2012. Print.
Nowduri, Srinivas. “Management Information Systems Research for Small and Medium Enterprises: A Sustainability Perspective.” International Journal of Software Engineering and its Applications 8.8 (2014): 201-208. Print.
Singh, Kulbir, and Baljeet Kaur. “Role of Management Information System in Business: Opportunities and Challenges.” Gian Jyoti e-Journal 1.2 (2012): 1-10. Print.
Skyrius, Rimvydas, Gelyte Kazakeviciene and Vytautas Bujauskas. “From Management Information Systems to Business Intelligence: The Development of Management Information Need.” International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Multimedia 2.3 (2012): 31-37. Print.