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Q1. Define the term Management Information System. Also describe its various features.?

Ans: Management information systems (MIS) are the most common form of management
support systems. They provide managerial end users with information products that support
much of their day-to-day decision-making needs. Management information systems provide a
variety of reports and displays to management. The contents of these information products are
specified in advance by managers so that they contain information that managers need.
Management information systems retrieve information about internal operations from database
that have been updated by transaction processing systems. They also obtain data about the
business environment from external source.

Management Information Systems (MIS) is the term given to the discipline focused on
the integration of computer systems with the aims and objectives on an organisation. The
development and management of information technology tools assists executives and the general
workforce in performing any tasks related to the processing of information. MIS and business
systems are especially useful in the collation of business data and the production of reports to be
used as tools for decision making

Management Information Systems (MIS), are information systems, typically computer


based, that are used within an organization. WordNet described an information system as a
system consisting of the network of all communication channels used within an organization. ...
components that collect, manipulate, and disseminate data or information... people,
communications systems such as telephone lines, and the data itself. The activities involved
include inputing data, processing of data into information, storage of data and information, and
the production of outputs such as management reports...
Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems.
(MIS) A computer system, usually based on a {mainframe} or {minicomputer}, designed to
provide management personnel with up-to-date information on an organisation's performance,
e.g. inventory and sales. These systems output information in a form that is useable by managers
at all levels of the organisation: strategic, tactical, and operational.

The term system in MIS implies order, arrangement and purpose. The information can be
used for various purposes,
-strategic planning
-delivering increased productivity
-reducing service cycles
-reducing product development cycles
-reducing marketing life cycles
-increasing the understanding of customers' needs
-facilitating business and process re-engineering.

Information products provided to managers include displays and reports that can be
furnished (1) on demand, (2) periodically, according to a predetermined schedule.
(i) DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS

Decision support systems (DSS) are a natural progression from information reporting
systems and transaction processing systems. Decision support systems are interactive, computer-
based information systems that use decision models and specialized database to assist the
decision making process of managerial end users.

(ii) EXECUTIVE INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Executive information systems (EIS) are management information systems tailored to the
strategic information needs of top management. Top executives get the information they need
from many sources, including letters, memos, periodicals, and reports produced manually as
well as by computer systems. Other sources of executive information are meetings, telephone
calls, and social activities. Thus, much of a top executive’s information comes from non-
computer services. Computer generated information ahs not played a primary role in meeting
many top executives’ information needs.

An information system is a system that accepts data resources as input and processes
them into information products as output.

An information system depends on the resources of people (end users and IS specialists),
hardware (machines and media), software (programs and procedures), data (data and
knowledge basis), and networks (communications media and network support) to perform input,
processing, output, storage, and control activities that convert data resources into information
products.

This information system model highlights the relationships among the components and
activities of information systems. It provides a framework that emphasizes four major concepts
that can be applied to all types of information systems:

• People, hardware, software, data, and networks are the five basic resources of
information systems.

• People resources include end users and IS specialists, hardware resources consist of
machines and media, software resources include both programs and procedures, data
resources can include data and knowledge bases, and network resources include
communications media and networks.

• Data resources are transformed by information processing activities into a variety of


information products for end users.

• Information processing consists of input, processing, output, storage, and control


activities.
Q2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Management Information System? Describe
them.

Ans: MIS provides several advantages to the organization:

• Ability to link and enable employees: Electronic communication increases the overall
amount of communication within a firm. The most important aspect is that people from
the various units of a corporation can interact with each other and thus horizontal
communication is promoted. All the obvious advantages of quicker information
availability is the outcome of this function of IT but it must also be remembered that too
much electronic communication leads to increased alienation of employees due to
increased impersonality.

• Increases boundary spanning: An individual can access any information in any part of
the organization with the aid of the appropriate technology. This eliminates the need for
the repetition of information and thus promotes non-redundancy. If information provided
is adequate, one can deal with factors like business risk and uncertainties effectively.

• Ability to store and retrieve information at any instance: means that the organization
does not have to rely solely on the fallibility of human error, which is subject to error and
erosion. Information can be stored, retrieved and communicated far more easily and
effectively. The information support improves the lack of knowledge, enriches
experience and improves analytical ability leading to better business judgment. It helps
managers to act decisively.

• Helps in forecasting and long term planning: A disciplined IS creates a structured


database and knowledge base for all people in the organization. The information
available in such a form that it can be used either straight away or using blending and
analysis thereby saving manager’s valuable time.

Disadvantage of MIS:

• However, IT can often lead to information overload, meaning that managers have to sift
through an insurmountable amount of stored data and thus hindering timely decision-
making. This problem is not as serious as first thought, though. Information overload is
not an IT problem but more of a documentation problem. Furthermore, management
tends to adapt to IT problems once it gets used to the idea of the new technologies.
Inaccurate reporting can lead to flawed decision-making and planning. MIS typically
extracts data from many different financial and transaction systems running on various
computer platforms, which can often lead to inaccurate and inconsistent reports unless
appropriate control procedures are in place. Even if the information is accurate, the
predefined reports generated by MIS may not always anticipate the information needs of
individual managers at all times; or the correct information is not available when needed,
or is simply hard to access. Because of these deficiencies in MIS, managers are
increasingly turning to interactive decision support systems to obtain the information they
need for planning and control.

Q3. Why is MIS looked upon as strategic need for management today? Explain.

Ans: In all but the smallest organizations management rarely observe operations directly. They
attempt to make decisions, prepare plans and control activities by using information which they
obtain from formal sources - for example, the organization’s MIS - and also by informal means
such as face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, through social contacts and so on.
A management information system is generally thought of as an integrated, user-machine system
providing information to support operations, management and decision-making functions in an
organization. As a matter of fact, an MIS is a special-purpose system useful for management in
an organization. MIS is an accessible and rapid conveyor belt for appropriate high quality
information from its generation to its users. The heart of an effective MIS, therefore, is a
carefully conceived, designed and executed database. Its level corresponds to adaptive decisions.
The characteristics of MIS in practice include:
• an information focus, designed for managers in an organization;
• structured information flow;
• an integration of data processing jobs by business function, such as production of MIS,
personnel MIS and so on; and
• inquiry and report generation, usually with a database.
The MIS era has eventually contributed a new level of needed management information. The
increasing interest in MIS had led to much activity in developing techniques and software for
data management. However, it should be noted that the new thrust in MIS is on the uses to which
the information is put and not how it is processed. The emphasis is on managing the information
as a resource, which is important, and not on the intermediate processing stage. Managements
are faced with an accelerating rate of change and an ever more complex environment.
Managers need relevant information, which is information that increases their knowledge and
reduces their uncertainty. Thus it is usable by the manager for its intended purpose. Without
relevant information, no manager can function effectively. A worthwhile extension to the well-
known adage that “management get things done through people,” would be that management get
things done through people, by using relevant information retrieved from MIS. It is not an
exaggeration to state that MIS is the lifeblood of management. Let us look at what management
information systems can do to management in two different settings - in an organization and in a
library.
The efficient performance of an organization is dependent very much on the internal
performance of the organization’s resources. To illustrate the use of a management information
system in monitoring the performance of resources, the following examples from the human
resource aspect of a management information system will suffice. An organization’s output
performance is directly related to the motivation and performance of its human resources. A high
staff turnover rate which is monitored by the management information system and identified as
occurring in a particular department or in a particular category of staff can indicate poor
performance on the part of the employer. Also, a high turnover rate of clerical staff may indicate
that management practices do not assist in providing for career progression, personal
development or training opportunities. Through the identification of poor human resource
management, corrective measures may be taken which will in turn improve the organization’s
output performance.
In a library setting, MIS is the cement that binds together the various elements of a library’s
organization with one another and with the library’s objective of serving its clientele. It provides
data necessary for the daily operations of a library as well as for the information, validation and
implementation of models. Ideally, it provides information about the effectiveness of library
services and operations; about the population of users and the population of non-users; about the
library-user interaction and about other relevant factors. Thus, the role of MIS in the library is
not too different from what it is in any other organization. It specifically helps in the provision of
information that will enable libary management to have an overview of their performance and to
set in motion, when necessary, machinery for improved and efficient services to users.

Q4. Distinguish between a behavioral and technical approach to information systems.

Ans:
Abehavioralapproachtoinformationsystemsfocusesonquestionssuchasstrategicbusinessintegration
,behavioralproblemsofsystemsutilization,systemdesignandimplementation,socialandorganization
alimpactsofinformationsystems,politicalimpactsofinformationsystems,andindividualresponsestoi
nformationsystems.Solutionstoproblemscreatedbyinformationtechnologyareprimarilychangesinat
titudes,management,organizationalpolicy,andbehavior.

Atechnicalapproachtoinformationsystemsemphasizesmathematically-
basedmodelstostudyinformationsystemsandthephysicaltechnologyandformalcapabilitiesofinform
ationsystems.Studentsshouldknowthedifferencesbetweencomputerscience(theoriesofcomputabilit
y,computationmethods,anddatastorageandaccessmethods),managementscience(developmentofm
odelsfordecisionmakingandmanagerialpractice),andoperationsresearch(mathematicaltechniquesf
oroptimizingorganizationalparameterssuchastransportation,inventorycontrolandtransactioncosts).

Q5. What are the major differences in the type of information needed for each level of
management? Describe in detail.