A management information system (MIS) provides information from raw data and helps executive management to determine strategies to implement as an organization. This applied concept is based on decision support systems with modules that interface with other information system technologies. MIS can help with marketing strategies, organizational tasks and provide management reports to increase productivity of employees within an organization.
The difference between a MIS and a regular information system is MIS monitors other information system processes to retrieve data to make corporate and executive decisions while testing “what if” scenarios. An MIS also collects, stores, processes and analyzes data needed for managerial functions. Regular information systems are created to provide transaction processing of a certain process such as, accounting, inventory management, and health and science data experiments. MIS integrates with a regular information system to retrieve strategic data.
Decision support modules are programmed into an MIS system for managerial use. Decision support is used to assess corporate strategies at the executive level. For example, an MIS decision support module is a worldwide report of sales in various regions collected from a retail sales/inventory management system. The sales database or catalog is taken by the decision support module and formatted into various report details, such as sales by state, city, ZIP code and consumer. This information is used by executive management could be used by executive management for the purpose of expansion, sales and marketing. Decision support modules in MIS can also provide scenarios of increased sales and profitability.
MIS supports the managerial theory of management by objectives (MBO). MBO is a concept by which objectives between management, supervisors and employees are sharing time-sensitive information compiled by an MIS. The process involves an agreement to accomplish strategic managerial tasks in a set-time frame based on data compiled and reviewed by executive management. The tasks include project development, management and analysis which can be cataloged and referenced within the MIS. herefore, MIS is also used as a tracking system which monitors project deadlines, time lines and completion.
MIS designs are created for executive management to also adjust organizational strategies based on data compiled through various sources. The “what if” scenario answers questions involving a process or future process and assist in corporate strategy. Those scenarios can only work if the organizational layout created by management has adequate resources in human personnel, materials, goods or logistical capability to support the desired objective. MIS includes those variables in the decision support process.
Large organizations depend on management information systems to review data that impact daily operations. Small businesses have assessment tools but they are more generic and are off-line (reviewing printed exception reports, audit reports). Large organizations with big transactions must have an MIS to analyze information that affects the organization.