What Is Management Information System?

It is combination of three words i.e. Management, Information and System. To understand the concept MIS, we try to understand these three words.

Management: Various scholars have described ‘Management’ in various ways. But Koontz’s definition is widely considered, “Management is the art of getting things done through and with the efforts of other people.” However, a manager gets things done by performing basic managerial functions. These functions are: Planning, Organising, Staffing, Directing and Controlling.

System: The word ‘System’ is a set of elements that are inter-related and interdependent to achieve a common goal.

MIS: Definition: After discussing three components of MIS, now we shall try to understand its definition. While discussing the components: Management, Information and System, it has been cleared that decision making is an important part of managerial functions. For taking adequate decisions, Management Information (MI) is necessary as it works as a vital input.

A system which consists of people, machines, procedures, databases and data models as its components is known as Management Information System. This system collects data from external and internal sources of an organization, analyses it and supplies management information to managers and helps them in making decisions. MIS follows the system approach in which output is greater than the sum total of input.

According to G.B. Davis, “MIS is a man or machine that provide information to support management in decision making process.”

Information Technology and MIS:-

Information Technology (IT) is sometimes called as a technological side of an information system, which includes hardware, software, networks and other devices. In other words, IT is a sub-system of an information system.

Nature and Scope of MIS:-

MIS is neither a pure science nor an art; it is recognized as a combination of both. It has been much analysed on the issue whether MIS is management-oriented or computer-oriented. Applications in MIS are found in computers and because of this MIS may be described as Computer-Based MIS (CBMIS).

MIS Functions:-

1) Data is collected from various internal and external sources. Collected data may be manual or computerized.

2) Then data is processed.

3) Information is stored for future use.

4) Stored information is retrieved by users when required.

Characteristics of MIS:-

1) The information system follows the system’s approach to study the system and its performance in the light of purpose for which it has been developed.

2) MIS is management oriented.

3) MIS is designed according to the information needs of managers at different levels i.e. strategic planning level, management control level and operational control level.

4) MIS is future oriented.

5) Integration is essential for MIS because of its ability to produce meaningful information.

6) In MIS, common data flows provide an opportunity to avoid data redundancy, joining similar functions, data storage and retrieval process, wherever possible. The constitution of common data flows is economically and logically sound concept.

7) Long Term Planning is involved for developing MIS.

8) MIS is a sub system concept.

9) MIS is computerized.

10) MIS is user friendly.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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