MIS - Management Information System

Question : What is MIS? Describe objectives and characteristics of MIS. What are the Sub-systems of MIS?


A System is a combination of various elements or components that are organized for a common purpose. The elements or components are interconnected or interdependent to form a system as a whole. For example: Computer System a combination of hardware, software, user, and data.

Information System is an organized system consisting of network of hardware, software, infrastructure, and trained personnel that store, compute, distribute, and communicate the information required  by all or some part of an organization.

MIS - Management Information System
Management information system (MIS) refers to the processing of information through computers and other intelligent devices to manage and support managerial decisions within an organization.

Definitions of MIS
MIS - Management Information System can be defined as "a system providing management with accurate and timely information necessary to facilitate the decision-making process and enable the organizations planning, control, and operational functions to be carried out effectively".
  • The MIS is defined as a system which provides information support for decision making in the organization.
  • The MIS is defined as an integrated system of man and machine for providing the information to support the operations, the management and the decision making function in the organization.
  • The MIS is defined as a system based on the database of the organization evolved for the purpose of providing information to the people in the organization.
  • The MIS is defined as a Computer based Information System.

Though there are a number of definitions, all of them converge on one single point, i.e., the MIS is
a system to support the decision making function in the organization.

Objectives of MIS
  1. Data Capturing : MIS capture data from various internal and external sources of organization. Data capturing may be manual or through computer terminals.
  2. Processing of Data : The captured data is processed to convert into required information. Processing of data is done by such activities as calculating, sorting, classifying, and summarizing.
  3. Storage of Information : MIS stores the processed or unprocessed data for future use. If any information is not immediately required, it is saved as an organization record, for later use.
  4. Retrieval of Information : MIS retrieves information from its stores as and when required by various users.
  5. Dissemination of Information : Information, which is a finished product of MIS, is disseminated to the users in the organization. It is periodic or online through computer terminal. 

Characteristics of MIS
  1. Systems Approach : The information system follows a systems approach. Systems approach means taking a comprehensive view or a complete look at the interlocking sub-systems that operate within an organization.
  2. Management Oriented : Management oriented characteristic of MIS implies that the management actively directs the system development efforts. For planning of MIS, top-down approach should be followed. Top down approach suggests that the system development starts from the determination of management’s needs and overall business objective. To ensure that the implementation of system’s polices meet the specification of the system, continued review and participation of the manager is necessary. 
  3. Need Based : MIS design should be as per the information needs of managers at different levels.
  4. Exception Based : MIS should be developed on the exception based also, which means that in an abnormal situation, there should be immediate reporting about the exceptional situation to the decision –makers at the required level.
  5. Future Oriented : MIS should not merely provide past of historical information; rather it should provide information, on the basis of future projections on the actions to be initiated.
  6. Integrated : Integration is significant because of its ability to produce more meaningful information. Integration means taking a comprehensive view or looking at the complete picture of the interlocking subsystems that operate within the company.
  7. Common Data Flow : Common data flow includes avoiding duplication, combining similar functions and simplifying operations wherever possible. The development of common data flow is an economically sound and logical concept, but it must be viewed from a practical angle.
  8. Long Term Planning : MIS is developed over relatively long periods. A heavy element of planning should be involved.
  9. Sub System Concept : The MIS should be viewed as a single entity, but it must be broken down into digestible sub-systems which are more meaningful.
  10. Central database : In the MIS there should be common data base for whole system.

Subsystems of MIS

Transaction Processing System
Management Reporting System
Decision Support System
Office Information System
Business Expert System

Click here for detailed Subsystems of MIS

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