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Management Information System (MIS)

A management information system (MIS) provides information needed to manage organizations efficiently and effectively. Management information systems are distinct from other information systems in that they are used to analyze operational activities in the organization. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. decision support systems, expert systems, and executive information systems. The term "MIS" arose to describe such applications providing managers with information about sales, inventories, and other data that would help in managing the enterprise. The successful MIS supports a business's long range plans, providing reports based upon performance analysis in areas critical to those plans, with feedback loops that allow for titivation of every aspect of the enterprise including recruitment and training regimens. MIS not only indicate how things are going, but why and where performance is failing to meet the plan. These reports include near-real-time performance of cost centers and projects with detail sufficient for individual accountability .

Advantages Of MIS
The following are some of the benefits that can be attained for different types of management information systems.

The company is able to highlight their strength and weaknesses due to the presence of revenue reports, employee performance records etc. The identification of these aspects can help the company to improve their business processes and operations. Giving an overall picture of the company and acting as a communication and planning tool.

The availability of the customer data and feedback can help the company to align their business processes according to the needs of the customers. The effective management of customer data can help the company to perform direct marketing and promotion activities . Information is considered to be an important asset for any company in the modern competitive world. The consumer buying trends and behaviors can be predicted by the analysis of sales and revenue reports from each operating region of the company.

Planning for Information Systems

For a long time relationship between information system functions and corporate strategy was not of much interest to Top Management of firms. Information Systems were thought to be synonymous with corporate data processing and treated as some back-room operation in support of day-to-day mundane tasks (Rockart, 1979). In the 80s and 90s, however, there has been a growing realization of the need to make information systems of strategic importance to an organization. Consequently, strategic information systems planning (SISP) is a critical issue Planning for information systems begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in management. Planning for information systems is the analysis of a corporations information and processes using business information models together with the evaluation of risk, current needs and requirements. The result is an action plan showing the desired course of events necessary to align information use and needs with the strategic direction of the company .

Methodologies of Planning Information Systems

Critical Success Factor Applications

Critical success factors analysis can be considered to be both an impact as well as an alignment methodology. Critical Success Factors (CSF) in the context of SISP are used for interpreting more clearly the objectives, tactics, and operational activities in terms of key information needs of an organization and its managers and strengths and weaknesses of the organizations existing systems. CSFs can exist at a number of levels, i.e., industry, organizational, business unit, or managers. CSFs at a lower level are derived from those at the preceding higher level. The CSF approach introduces information technology into the initial stages of the planning process and helps provide a realistic assessment of the ITs contribution to the organization .

Critical Success Factor Applications

Weaknesses Strengths

although a useful and a very powerful method for analysis by itself is not enough to perform comprehensive SISP CSF analysis provideswidely used technique, CSF concentrating on key information requirements of an it does not define a data unit, or of a or provides organization, a business architecture manager. automated support for analysis. CSFs focus primarily on management control and thus tend to be internally focused and analytical rather than creative . It allows the management to concentrate resources on developing information systems around these requirements.. CSFs partly reflect a particular executives management style. Use of CSFs as an aid in identifying systems, with the associated long lead-times for developing these systems, may lead to giving an executive information that s/he Also, not regard as important .perform and can be carried out with few resources. does CSF analysis is easy to CSFs do not draw attention to the value-added aspect of information systems. While CSF analysis facilitates identification of information systems which meet the key information needs of an organization/business unit, the value derived from these systems is not assessed.

Business System Planning

Business System Planning is a method for analyzing, defining and designing an information architecture of organizations. It was first issued by IBM in 1981, though the initial work on BSP began in the early 1970s. At first, it was for IBM internal use only. Later it was made available to customers and this method became an important tool for many organizations. It is a very complex method dealing with data, processes, strategies, aims and organizational departments which are interconnected. BSP brings new approach to design an information architecture This methodology, developed by IBM, combines top down planning with bottom up implementation. The methodology focuses on business processes which in turn are derived from an organizations business mission, objectives and goals. Business processes are analyzed to determine data needs and, then, data classes. Similar data classes are combined to develop databases. The final BSP plan describes an overall information systems architecture as well as installation schedule of individual systems.

Steps involved in Business Planning systems

Business Planning Systems

Weaknesses Strengths

BSP requires a firm top down business analysis approach and their substantial involvement. As BSP combines a commitment from the top managementwith a bottom up implementation strategy, it represents an integrated methodology. It requires a high degree of IT experience within the BSP planning team. In its top down strategy, BSP is similar to CSF method in that it develops an overall understanding of business plans and supporting IS needs through joint discussions . There is a problem of bridging the gap between top down planning and bottom up implementation & it does not incorporate a software design methodology . The major weakness of BSP is the considerable time and effort required for its successful implementation.