A managementinformation system comprises computer-based processing and/or manual proceduresthat provide useful, complete, and timely information. This information mustsupport management decision making in a rapidly changing business environment.The MIS system must supply managers with accurate, quick and completeinformation. Good decision making requires quality data and timely information;an MIS is specifically designed to provide information on a timely basis.

Despite thepositives associated with the role of MIS in decision making process, there area few challenges that are believed to limit the efficacy of MIS. These include:• The dynamic nature of MIS makes it difficult for some organizations to keepup with the principles, strategies, propositions or even ideas. • Differentsituations call for different decisions to be made. This poses challenges toMIS theorists since some MIS tend to not be adaptable • Theinstitutionalization, programming, monitoring and evaluating MIS requires a lotof expertise—something which numerous organizations lack. • The running of MISprograms tends to be relatively costly for some organization— especially smallones who are not well-endowed financially.

• MIS is more of a science-orientedfield while business is art-oriented. Consequently, finding a middle groundwhere the two can be linked is quite challenging to some people. • Most organizationsdo not a well-defined decision making system. So even with the right MIS tools,very little can be achieved in terms of improving decision-making. Based onthese limitations—plus other underlying issues that arise from the maindiscussion, the following recommendations are suggested: • There should be anincreased monitoring of MIS so as to avoid falling victims of unobserved MISwhich has dire ramifications. • Managers and business owners should find a wayof tailoring information in a way that it fits various decision makingprocesses in variant businesses. • The management should encourage theeffectuation of a mutually interdependent and balanced MIS where workers andautomated systems are handled with due respect. • Business entities should finda way inculcating teachings about new MIS in order to reduce the trend ofbusinesses being left behind on new inceptions.

• A well-defined decisionmaking system should be fledged in businesses so as to provide a viable workingenvironment for MIS. A good place to start here would be the inception of acentralized place where all decisions in businesses are channeled through •Business managers must ensure that they employ (or alternatively outsource)professional personnel who are able to ardently run both MIS and the decisionmaking process.MIS providereports to various managers among the middle and low level managers of theorganization. Especially, for middle level managers management informationsystem provides theorganizational performance reports, which in turn helppredicting the future performance of the organization 10. According to Nath& Badgujar 13 management information system provides several benefits tothe business organization: to come out with appropriate responses to a businesssituation; the means of effective and efficient coordination between differentdepartments at all the levels of the organization; access to relevant data anddocuments; use of less labor; improvement in organizational and departmentaltechniques; management of day-to day activities.

Management information systemprovides a valuable time-saving benefit to the employees. Employees do not haveto collect data manually for filing and analysis. Instead, that information canbe entered quickly and easily into a computer program.

Access to theinformation needed is faster. According to Babu & Sekhar 9 the Primarypurpose of management information system is to help an organization achieve itsgoals by providing managers with insight into the regular operations of theorganization so that they can control, organize, and plan more effectively. Inaddition management information system provide the right information to theright person in the right format at the right time.MIS is aninformation system that provides information in the form of standardizedreports and displays for the managers. MIS is a broad class of informationsystems designed to provide information needed for effective decision making.

Data and information created from an accounting information system and thereports generated thereon are used to provide accurate, timely and relevantinformation needed for effective decision making by managers. Managementinformation systems provide information to support management decision making,with the following goals: · Pre-specified and preplanned reporting to managers. · Interactive and ad-hoc support fordecision making. · Critical information for top management. MIS is of vitalimportance to any organization, because: · It emphasizes on the management decision making, notonly processing of data generated by business operations. · It emphasizes on the systemsframework that should be used for organizing information systems applications.Managementinformation system can thus be analyzed as follows: Management Managementcovers the planning, control, and administration of the operations of aconcern. The top management handles planning; the middle managementconcentrates on controlling; and the lower management is concerned with actualadministration.

Information Information, in MIS, means the processed data thathelps the management in planning, controlling and operations. Data means allthe facts arising out of the operations of the concern. Data is processed i.

e. recorded,summarized, compared and finally presented to the management in the form of MISreport. System Data is processed into information with the help of a system. Asystem is made up of inputs, processing, output and feedback or control. ThusMIS means a system for processing data in order to give proper information tothe management for performing its functions. Definition Management InformationSystem or ‘MIS’ is a planned system of collecting, storing, and disseminatingdata in the form of information needed to carry out the functions ofmanagement. Objectives of MIS The goals of an MIS are to implement theorganizational structure and dynamics of the enterprise for the purpose ofmanaging the organization in a better way and capturing the potential of theinformation system for competitive advantage.

Following are the basicobjectives of an MIS: · Capturing Data: Capturing contextual data, or operationalinformation that will contribute in decision making from various internal andexternal sources of organization. 6. MIS ? Introduction Management InformationSystem 12 · Processing Data: The captured data is processed intoinformation needed for planning, organizing, coordinating, directing andcontrolling functionalities at strategic, tactical and operational level.Processing data means: o making calculations with the data o sorting data oclassifying data and o summarizing data · Information Storage: Information or processed dataneed to be stored for future use. · Information Retrieval: The system should be able toretrieve this information from the storage as and when required by varioususers. · Information Propagation: Informationor the finished product of the MIS should be circulated to its usersperiodically using the organizational network.

Characteristics of MIS Followingare the characteristics of an MIS: · It should be based on a long-term planning. · It should provide a holistic view ofthe dynamics and the structure of the organization. · It should work as a complete andcomprehensive system covering all interconnecting sub-systems within theorganization. · It should be planned in a top-down way, as the decisionmakers or the management should actively take part and provide clear directionat the development stage of the MIS. · It should be based on need of strategic, operationaland tactical information of managers of an organization.

· It should also take care ofexceptional situations by reporting such situations. · It should be able to make forecastsand estimates, and generate advanced information, thus providing a competitiveadvantage. Decision makers can take actions on the basis of such predictions. · It should create linkage between allsub-systems within the organization, so that the decision makers can take theright decision based on an integrated view.

· It should allow easy flow of information throughvarious sub-systems, thus avoiding redundancy and duplicity of data. It shouldsimplify the operations with as much practicability as possible. · Although the MIS is an integrated,complete system, it should be made in such a flexible way that it could beeasily split into smaller sub-systems as and when required. · A central database is the backboneof a well-built MIS. Management Information System 13 Characteristics ofComputerized MIS Following are the characteristics of a well-designedcomputerized MIS: · It should be able to process data accurately and with highspeed, using various techniques like operations research, simulation,heuristics, etc.

· It should be able to collect, organize, manipulate, andupdate large amount of raw data of both related and unrelated nature, comingfrom various internal and external sources at different periods of time. · It should provide real timeinformation on ongoing events without any delay. · It should support various outputformats and follow latest rules and regulations in practice. · It should provide organized andrelevant information for all levels of management: strategic, operational, andtactical. · It should aim at extreme flexibility in data storage andretrieval.



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