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Free online Course on Fundamentals of Management Information Systems (MIS)



Management Information Systems - Concept


The concept of the MIS has evolved over a period of time comprising many different facets of the organizational functions.  MIS is necessity of all the organizations.  


The initial concept of MIS was to process data from the organization and present it in the form of reports as regular intervals. The system was largely capable of handling the data from collection to processing. It was more impersonal, requiring each individual to pick and choose the processed data and use it for his requirements. This concept was further modified when a distinction was made between data and information.  The information is a product of an analysis of data.  This concept is similar to a raw material and the finished product.  What is needed is information and not a mass of data.  However, the data can be analyzed in a number of ways, producing different shades and specifications of the information as a product.  It was, therefore, demanded that the system concept should be an individual oriented, as each individual may have a different orientation towards the information.  This concept was further modified, that the system should present information in such a form and format that it creates an impact on its user, provoking a decision, an action or an investigation.  It was later realized that even though such an impact was a welcome modification, some sort of selective approach was necessary in the analysis and reporting.  Hence, the concept of exception reporting was imbibed in MIS.


The concept remained valid till and to the extent that the norm for an exception remained true and effective. Since the environment turns competitive and is ever changing, fixation of the norm for an exception becomes a futile exercise at least for the people in the higher echelons of the organization. The concept was then evolved that the system should be capable of handling a need based exception reporting. This need may be either of an individual or a group of people. This called for keeping all data together in such a form that it can be accessed by anybody and can be processed to suit his needs. The concept is that the data is one but it can be viewed by different individuals in different ways.  This gave rise to the concept of Database, and the MIS based on the database proved much more effective.


The concept of MIS gives high regard to the individual and his ability to use the information. An MIS gives information through data analysis.  While analyzing the data, it relies on many academic disciplines.  These include the theories, principles and concepts from the Management Science, Management Accounting, Operations Research, Organization Behavior, Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology and Human Behavior, making the MIS more effective and useful.  These academic disciplines are used in designing the MIS, evolving the decision support tools for modeling and decision-making. 


MIS uses the concept of management control in its design and relies heavily on the fact that the decision maker or the manager is a human being and is a human processor of information.


A management Information System can be evolved for a specific objective if it is evolved after systematic planning and design.  It calls for an analysis of a business, management views and policies, organization culture and the management style.  The information should be generated in this setting and must be useful in managing the business. This is possible only when it is conceptualized as a system with an appropriate design.  The MIS, therefore, relies heavily on the systems theory. The systems theory offers solution to handle the complex situations of the input and output flows. It uses theories of communication which helps to evolve a system design capable of handling data inputs, process, and outputs with the least possible noise or distortion in transmitting the information from a source to a destination. It uses the principles of System Design, viz., an open system or a closed system. An open system of the MIS offers an ability of continuous adjustment or correction in the system in line with the environmental changes in which the MIS operates. Such a design helps to keep the MIS tuned with the business management needs of the organization.


The concept, therefore, is a blend of principles, theories and practices of the Management, Information and System giving rise to single product known as Management Information System (MIS).


The MIS is a product of a multi-disciplinary approach to the business management.  It is a product which needs to be kept under a constant review and modification to meet the corporate needs of the information.


The MIS model of organization changes over a time, as the business passes through several phases of developmental growth cycle. It supports the management of business in each phase by giving the information which is crucial in that phase. Every business has critical success factors in each phase of growth cycle and the MIS model gives more information on the critical success factors for decision making.



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