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Management Information System Essay

2757 words - 12 pages

A Management Information System (MIS) converts data from INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL SOURCES into information in an APPROPRIATE FORM to managers at DIFFERENT LEVELS in an organisation to enable them to make effective DECISIONS or to MONITOR/CONTROL the performance of their employees.Information comes from internal and external sources. Internal information includes data from transaction processing. External information includes market research, intelligence gathering about the activities of competitors, information about social trends, economic factors, government legislation, and so on. This information can be obtained by "interpersonal networking", the media or by industrial espionage. In some ...view middle of the document...

They can be used by anyone who needs to:PlanOrganiseMake decisionsForecastControlCo-ordinateStrategic Information - Senior managers need to make long-term planning decisions.e.g. An Ice cream company wants to save costs by closing one of its six factories. A strategic decision is required about which one to close. To make this decision, senior managers need internal information (e.g. the labour costs of each factory) and external information (e.g. the present site value of each factory).Tactical Information - Middle managers often require tactical information.e.g. A factory manager in an ice cream company might need to decide whether or not to run an extra shift during the summer months. He could use data modelling to see whether or not this would be profitable.Operational Information - Operations managers are usually responsible for the production side of an organisation.e.g. an automated re-ordering system can be used for stock control purposes.Example of a shoe shop: A shop manager (operational) might need a daily list of all shoes sold. The Regional Manager (tactical) might want a weekly or monthly report showing sales figures in each region. The Marketing Manager (strategic) of the company might want to forecast sales trends over the next few years.Exception Reports are commonly used. For example, the Head of Sixth Form might want to see a list of under-performing students. She could get a list of all students who scored less than 30% in their exams.Decision Support Systems help decision-making but they do not themselves make decisions. For example, spreadsheets with "what if" capabilities can be used to model and test out different scenarios.Expert Systems (also called Knowledge-based systems) are used to emulate human reasoning. They are usually limited to a specific area of expertise.EIS (Executive Information Systems) are used by executives who can view graphs and charts. They can click on "hotspots" and get much more detailed information. They can click through several layers to pin-point exactly the information they want. This prevents "information overload". It is crucial that the manager gets only the information he needs. It is important that the system is very easy to use.Desirable characteristics of a MISA MIS should be flexible enough to allow different users to accessdata in different ways.It should be capable of supporting users with a range of skills andknowledge.It should be quick and easy to use.It should protect the user against "information overload".The Information Systems Life CycleIn the early days of computers, the people who used the computers were those who were interested in them i.e. computer enthusiasts who saw programming as a creative art. Too often, they didn't spend enough time talking to the people for whom they were building the systems. From the field of engineering came the idea of a life cycle of specification, design, testing, etc. This is where the term "software engineering" comes from.Web sites are a...

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