Define MIS. What are the characteristics of MIS

MIS is an Information system which helps in providing the management of an organization with information which is used by management for decision making. A management information system (MIS) is a subset of the overall internal controls of a business covering the application of people, documents, technologies, and procedures by management accountants to solving business problems such as costing a product, service or a business-wide strategy. Management information systems are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organization. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems. An ‘MIS’ is a planned system of the collecting, processing, storing and disseminating data in the form of information needed to carry out the functions of management. According to Philip Kotler “A marketing information system consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers.” The terms MIS and information system are often confused. Information systems include systems that are not intended for decision making. The area of study called MIS is sometimes referred to, in a restrictive sense, as information technology management. That area of study should not be confused with computer science. IT service management is a practitioner-focused discipline. MIS has also some differences with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as ERP incorporates elements that are not necessarily focused on decision support. MIS has a major impact on the functions of any organization. The organization derives benefits from the systems in the following form:

  1. a) Speedy access to information,
  2. b) Interpretation of data,
  3. c) Quick decisions,
  4. d) Speedy actions,
  5. e) Increased productivity and thereby increases in the profit
  6. f) Reduced transaction cost.

MIS characteristics: In any organization managers will have varieties of tasks to manage. MIS is mainly designed to take care of the needs of the managers in the organization.

  • Organizations will have different departments like marketing, production, sales, inventory, maintenance etc. Each of these departments function individually and also in relationship with other departments. Information is available in abundance. MIS aids in integrating the information generated by various departments of the organization.
  • MIS helps in identifying a proper mechanism of storage of data. The data is maintained in such a way that the unnecessary duplication of data is avoided.
  • MIS also helps in establishing mechanism to eliminate redundancies in data.
  • MIS as a system can be broken down into sub systems. Each such sub system may be programmed. This results in easy access of data, accuracy of data and information. It helps in maintaining the consistency of data.

Function of MIS: The main function of MIS is to help the managers and the executives in the organization in decision-making.

  • Large quantities of data like customers’ information, competitors’ information, personnel records, sales data, accounting data etc is collected from internal sources.
  • Company records and external sources like annual reports and publications.
  • The collected data is organized in the form of a database.
  • The data from the database is processed and analyzed by using different tools and techniques.
  • The results of the analysis are properly presented to the managers to help them in decision-making.

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