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Data flow diagrams represent the logical flow of data within the system.

DFD do not explain how the processes convert the input data into output. They do not explain how the processing takes place. DFD uses few symbols like circles and rectangles connected by arrows to represent data flows. DFD can easily illustrate relationships among data, flows, external entities stores. DFD can also be drawn in increasing levels of detail, starting with a summary high level view and proceeding o more detailed lower level views. Rounded rectangles represent processes that transform flow of data or work to be done. Rectangle represents external agents- the boundary of the system. It is source or destination of data. The open-ended boxes represent data stores, sometimes called files or databases. These data stores correspond to all instances of a single entity in a data model. Arrow represents data flows, inputs and outputs to end from the processes. A number of guideline should be used in DFD • Choose meaningful names for the symbols on the diagram. • Number the processes consistently. The numbers do not imply the sequence. • Avoid over complex DFD.

3.• Make sure the diagrams are balanced Data Dictionary The data dictionary is used to create and store definitions of data. location. a problem solver and a decision-maker. It can also have software to update itself and to produce reports on its contents and to answer some of the queries. The nature and the variety of information in precise terms. such as entities. Reluctance of decision-makers to spell out the information for the political and the . attributes and relationships. 2. The difficulty to determine a correct and complete set of information is on account of the factors given below: 1. format for storage and other characteristics. The data dictionary also stores some of the description of data structures. The capability constraint of the human being as an information processor. Determining the Information Requirement The sole purpose of the MIS is to produce such information which will reduce uncertainty risk in a given situation. The data dictionary can be used to retrieve the definition of data that has already been used in an application.

methods are evolved based on the uncertainty scale. They are:  Asking or interviewing  Determining from the existing system  Analysing the critical success factors  Experimentation and modelling. Putting the questions is an art and it should be used properly to seek information. For example. In spite of these difficulties. "Which are the raw materials used for making a product?"But an open question is put. There are four methods of determining the information requirements. If the uncertainty is low. Asking or Interviewing In this method a designer of the MIS puts questions or converses with the user of the information and determines the information requirements. When the user has to select one answer from a finite set of answers a closed question should be asked.behavioural reasons. The ability of the decision-makers to specify the information. starting from the low to the high level of uncertainty. when the user has no precise knowledge but has an ability . seeking information requirement or needs is easy as against a very high level of uncertainty. 4.

In all these methods. the answers may not be immediate but can be obtained by surveying the domain knowledge of the user. handbooks. The fund of knowledge is available from the textbooks. and has been designed out of experience gives straightaway the requirement of information. "Which are the raw materials which can be used in a product?" In open questions. Determining from the Existing System In a number of cases the existing system. In any situations. a brain storming session is performed to cover all possible answers to the questions. which has been evolved after a number of years. An experienced designer is able to analyse critically the answers given to the ques¬tions and determine the correct information requirement.todetermine all answers to select one out of them? For example. systems from other companies can give additional information requirements. group consensus can be sought to get the most feasible set of answers. When multiple users or several decision-makers in similar functions or positions are involved. the system designer has to test the validity of all the answers independently. The experts or experienced users are asked to give their best answers— this approach is called the Delphi method. When several users are involved. research studies which can .

the accounts payables. ninety per cent of the information requirement is common and the balance ten per cent may be typical to the organization or the business. have a well determined.determine the information requirement. theory and textbooks. information requirement. systems such as the accounts receivables. the inventory control. the principles. the manager determines the information needs and the designer of the MIS can always fall back on the prescribed law books. The managers in the operations and the middle management use the existing systems as a reference for determining the information requirements. This method is adopted when the rules and decision methods are outside the purview of the decisionmaker. They are determined or imposed by external sources such as the Government. the Authority. etc. manuals. the information required to manage shares of the company are determined through the rules and regulations laid down by the Company Law Board. etc to confirm the information needs. For example. In all such functions. . the pay roll. etc. the financial accounting. The manager of the shares department has very little additional information need. hand books. which needs to be determined separately. Irrespective of the type of organization and business.. For example.

the management of the technology becomes the critical function. Test marketing of a product is an approach of .Analyzing the Critical Success Factors Every business organization performs successfully on efficient management of certain critical success factors. The information requirements of such organization largely relate to these critical factors. In a consumer industry. Other factors are important and play a support role in the functioning of the organization. If the method is finalised. the management of service becomes a critical factor. the designer and the user of the information resort to this method for determining the information requirement. The experimentation would decide the methodology for handling the complex situation. Experimentation and Modelling When there is total uncertainty. Many times a function is singularly critical to the successful functioning of a business organization. marketing and service becomes the critical function. the information needs are determined as they have been evolved through the experimentation. Or in a service organization. For example. in a high technology business. The analysis of these functions or factors will determine the information requirements.

or organizations). groups. MIS . Sometimes models are used for deciding the initial information needs and they are modified during the implementation stage. Management information systems are distinct from other information systems. Characteristics of MIS: MIS is mainly designed to take care of the needs of the managers in the organization. . MIS helps in identifying a proper mechanism of storage of data. It is possible to understand the various phases of development in MIS based on the type of system required in any organization. people (individuals.development and documentation). Management information systems are typically computer systems used for managing five primary components: hardware. The role and significance of MIS in business and its classification is explained. The information requirements determined through such methods undergo a qualitative change as the users get the benefit of learning and experience and the needs may undergo a change or get replaced completely. MIS also helps in establishing mechanism to eliminate redundancies in data. MIS aids in integrating the information generated by various departments of the (information for decision making). software. MIS as a system can be broken down into sub systems.the experimentation to decide the correct marketing strategy.A computerized information-processing system designed to support the activities of company or organizational management.. procedures (design. in that they [2] are used to analyze and facilitate strategic and operational activities.

production. Budgeting of MIS extremely difficult. It helps in maintaining the consistency of data. sales. 2. accounting data etc is collected from internal sources like the company records and external sources like annual reports and publications. Information is available in abundance. maintenance etc. 3. 5. · The results of the analysis is properly presented to the managers to help them in decision making. Function of MIS The main function of MIS is to help the managers and the executives in the organization in decision making. accuracy of data and information. sales data. Disadvantages of MIS 1. Effectiveness decreases due to frequent changes in top management 6. Highly sensitive requires constant monitoring. competitor’s information. · MIS also helps in establishing mechanism to eliminate redundancies in data. The data is maintained in such a way that the unnecessary duplication of data is avoided. MIS aids in integrating the information generated by various departments of the organization. Lack of flexibility to update it. · The collected data is organized in the form of a database. · The data from the database is processed and analysed by using different tools and techniques. Each of these departments function individually and also in relationship with other departments. This results in easy access of data. · Large quantities of data like customer’s information. MIS characteristics · In any organization managers will have varieties of tasks to manage. · MIS helps in identifying a proper mechanism of storage of data. and personnel records. attitude of worker etc. Each such sub system may be programmed. inventory. 4.MIS is an Information system which helps in providing the management of an organization with information which is used by management for decision making. . · Organizations will have different departments like marketing. MIS is mainly designed to take care of the needs of the managers in the organization. Quality of outputs governed by quality of inputs. · MIS as a system can be broken down into sub systems.takes into account only qualitative factors and ignores non-qualitative factors like morale of worker.