Management Information Systems (MIS) – Types, Features, Functions

Management Information Systems (MIS) – Types, Features, Functions

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Rashmi
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Nov 28, 2023 12:50 IST

Before making a business decision, an organization’s top and middle management must analyze the available data and predict the possible scenarios. Management information systems allow executives to run what-if scenarios to see how a given decision affects some critical business metrics. Learn all about MIS and why it is an essential tool for organizations to make informed business decisions.

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What is Management Information System?

Management information systems (MIS) are an organized method of collecting information from various sources, compiling it, and presenting it in a readable format. It helps business leaders and managers make strategic management decisions

Today’s management information systems rely heavily on technology to compile and present data.

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Types of MIS

  Type of MIS Description 
1 Process Control Gather data to create reports based on the performance of systems and processes.
2 Management Reporting System Generate reports for the company’s operations.
3 Inventory Control Allow tracking of the current inventory state within a department or the company.
4 Decision Support Systems Gather information from internal and external resources and help team management make efficient business decisions.
5 Expert Systems Use Artificial Intelligence to simulate the judgment and behaviour of a person or organization with expertise and experience in a specific field.
6 Executive Information System Report company data to top management directly in an easy-to-read format. 
7 Transaction Systems Automate business processes and collect data on a company’s daily transactional activities.
8 Accounting & Finance Systems Track a company’s assets and investments and processes financial and accounting-related operations.
9 Sales & Marketing Systems Facilitate tracking of a company’s sales and marketing efficiency. 
10 HR Systems Allows control of organizational information circulating within the company and oversees tasks like recruitment and daily administration, ensuring all employees comply with company standards.
11 School Information Management Systems Help educational institutions manage daily activities like attendance, payroll, and employee schedules.
12 Local Databases Offer information about the residents of a given locality.

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Functions of MIS

The primary function of MIS is to report on business operations to support decision-making and ensure that the organization is managed more efficiently. This will help the company reach its full potential and thus gain a competitive advantage. Listed below are some of the crucial functions of MIS.

Provide Easy Access to the Information 

MIS allows teams convenient access to marketing, financial or operational information. MIS reports strategically storing large amounts of information about the business in a central location that managers can easily access over a network.

Data Collection

Data from the company’s day-to-day operations are collected and combined with data from outside sources. This allows a healthy and functional relationship between distributors, points of sale, and any other supply chain member. 

Performance Tracking

As production and sales numbers are recorded and stored in a central database, MIS plays a crucial role in keeping track of the performance of the employees. This information helps detect issues early and make the right decisions quickly using the latest information.

Foster Collaboration in the Workplace

In any large company, many situations require the involvement of multiple people or departments in decision-making. 

MIS is an effective communication channel for the teams to collaborate and ensure that the decision-making group can access all the data required for effective decision-making, even if they are working from different locations.

Company Projections 

These management information systems come with trend analysis features that will allow you to project how a business will perform in its current configuration and how it will be affected once you have implemented the changes you are considering. 

Even the ones without the trend analysis function will still offer sufficient information to carry out the analysis accurately using external tools.

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Track the Implementation of Decisions 

MIS systems help to project expectations for a particular decision. If they decide to go with the changes, it will be necessary to continue monitoring performance to see if the teams are on track to achieve the desired results. 

Improve Company Reporting

One of the reasons why large companies prefer management information systems is the effectiveness of the reporting functions. Management can make timely decisions since MIS reports contain information in an easy-to-understand format. 

The fact that the system is accessible to people from different parts of the organization makes it an effective communication and reporting tool. The results can be shared among colleagues with all the necessary supplementary data. 

It is also possible to create short executive summaries that explain the entire situation for company executives to review in situations that require their approval.

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Features of MIS

MIS have several vital features, including:

  • Data integration: MIS integrates data from various departments and functions, giving decision-makers a comprehensive view of the organization’s data.
  • Data storage: MIS stores vast data in databases, making it accessible and retrievable when needed.
  • Data processing: MIS processes data to generate meaningful information. It can perform calculations, comparisons, and other data transformations to produce reports and insights.
  • User-friendly interface: MIS systems typically have user-friendly interfaces that allow non-technical users to access and interact with data easily.
  • Customization: MIS systems can be customized to meet an organization’s needs. Users can define the type of information they want to access and how it is presented.
  • Real-time information: Many MIS systems offer real-time or near-real-time data updates, ensuring decision-makers can access the most current information to make timely decisions.
  • Report generation: MIS generates various reports, including standard reports, ad-hoc reports, and exception reports. These reports help managers monitor performance and make informed decisions.
  • Security: Access to sensitive information is restricted, and measures are in place to protect data from unauthorized access or breaches.
  • Accessibility: MIS can be accessed remotely, allowing decision-makers to retrieve information from various locations.
  • Integration with other systems: MIS systems can integrate with other software and systems of the organization, such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, Human capital management (HCM) systems, etc.
  • Mobile compatibility: Many modern MIS systems are compatible with mobile devices, allowing users to access critical information on the go.
  • Data analytics: Advanced MIS systems may incorporate data analytics and business intelligence tools to provide deeper insights and support predictive analytics.

Components of MIS

There are five major components of a Management Information System.

People: People prepare and analyze MIS to achieve organizational goals.

Data: Day-to-day business transactions of an organization.

Hardware: Input and output devices like keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, etc., help in data input and display information.

Software and Business Processes: MIS depends on software and business processes such as MS Office, Banking Software, ERP systems, CRM systems, etc.

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Characteristics of MIS

The general characteristics of an MIS are:

  • Use a variety of internal data sources.
  • Provide reports on the routine operations of an organization.
  • Allow users to develop custom reports, such as detailed reports.
  • Provide a variety of different reports, both scheduled and on demand.
  • Must be accurate and avoid including estimates or probable expenses.
  • Provide reports in various formats, including hard copies and electronic copies.
  • The information must be relevant for making a strategic decision.

Typically, an MIS is organized along the functional areas of an organization. So, the finance department will have a financial MIS, the HR department will have a human resources MIS, etc. 

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Benefits of MIS

  • Allows company management access to a single database to manage all transactions and planning processes.
  • It saves time and increases work effectiveness considerably.
  • Ensures improved data analysis and decision-making.
  • Maintains an accurate record of the system’s inputs and outputs and tracks employee performance.
  • Critically analyze a company’s and its employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • The CEOs or executives can take greater company financial and operational control.

Limitations of MIS

Even though MIS has many benefits, it also has its limitations, which are discussed below:

  • While MIS may solve some acute problems, it is not a solution to all problems of an organization.
  • Involves maintenance and employee training costs.
  • It cannot meet everyone's particular demands.
  • If misdesigned, MIS does not serve the management and is irrelevant.
  • The MIS is only good if the primary data is updated.
  • Most information provided by the MIS is in quantitive form. Hence, it ignores qualitative information like the behaviour of an employee.

Conclusion

MIS helps managers make effective decisions to support ongoing operations. An MIS produces several reports, including schedule, on-demand, exception, and detailed reports. The reports contain vital indicators so a manager can take corrective action when necessary.

FAQs

What career opportunities are available in MIS?

Careers in MIS include roles such as Systems Analyst, Database Administrator, IT Project Manager, Business Intelligence Analyst, IT Consultant, Data Analyst, and IT Manager.

What skills are important for a career in MIS?

Important skills for an MIS career include technical proficiency in programming, database management, data analysis, system design, problem-solving, communication, project management, and business acumen.

What are the potential career advancement opportunities in MIS?

With experience and expertise, MIS professionals can advance to managerial or leadership positions such as IT Manager, Chief Information Officer (CIO), or IT Director. They can also specialize in data analytics, cybersecurity, or project management.

What industries can MIS professionals work in?

MIS professionals can work in various industries, such as finance, healthcare, technology, retail, consulting, government, and manufacturing. Almost every industry requires effective management of information systems.

About the Author
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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio

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