Management information systems (MIS) are complex decision support systems used by companies to enhance and improve their business operations. Historically, an MIS was a management tool to help company management make informed decisions for their business based on information gathered from all business departments. Technology has greatly improved the effectiveness of the MIS.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a form of MIS that is installed in all departments and locations of businesses to enhance the availability of company information. With the globalization of the economic marketplace, companies have sought ways to improve their ability to collect and report financial information to management for effective decision making. ERPs fill this void by allowing companies to use one computer system to effectively record all company information.

Benefits of Networking

Another trend in MIS is the ability for companies to network with other companies for business purposes. Manufacturing firms can shorten their supply chain using electronic data interchange (EDI) to transfer the necessary information for ordering more products. Networking also allows companies to transfer money through several bank accounts, creating a quicker process for paying bills and purchasing materials. An MIS ensures that management has all the pertinent information for these business operations, allowing them to review the effectiveness of their operations.

Data Mining, a Powerful Tool

An important trend in MIS is the ability for companies to use data mining tools to collect information regarding consumer purchases and other economic trends. This allows management to translate this information into goals and directions for future business operations. Most MIS software also has trending or forecasting models that allow companies to project emerging consumer markets for profitable operations. Companies can use their internal figures in the MIS to measure the effectivess of their external data mining techniques.

Educational Programs

As MIS software becomes more prevalent in businesses, many colleges and universities have developed educational programs to train students on these programs. Most degrees are four-year baccalaureate programs that combine general business courses with a mix of computer programming and management classes. This helps students to develop a well-rounded education in the development and implantation of MIS software. Advanced degrees are also offered.

Careers in Database Management and Consulting

Computerized MIS programs have led to a new career in database management and consulting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.