What is meant by a management information system (MIS). Describe the factors responsible for good or a poor MIS.
Management Information Systems (MIS) is the study of people, technology, and organizations.
If you enjoy technology like iPhones, iPods, and Facebook, you have what it takes to major in information systems. All you need is an interest in technology and the desire to use technology to improve people´s lives. Many people think that MIS is all programming. However, programming is just a small part of our curriculum and there are many, many jobs in MIS where you do not program.
Everyone who works in business, from someone who pays the bills to the person who hires and fires, uses information systems. For example, a supermarket could use a computer database to keep track of which products sell best. And a music store could use a database to sell CDs over the Internet.
Information isn’t worth much if it doesn’t serve a purpose. MIS students learn how businesses use information to improve the company’s operations. Students also learn how to manage various information systems so that they best serve the needs of managers, staff and customers. MIS students learn how to create systems for finding and storing data and they learn about computer databases, networks, computer security, and lots more.
Everyone in today’s world wants quick access to information – as it is said that time waits for no one and as the time passes, it leaves a heavy load of changes behind. With the changing time, a lot of changes have come in the society – from barbarian to the agrarian society, further to the industrial society and from the industrial society to the service sector. All this accompanied with itself, a lot of changes in the thinking of the people.
Now we all are living in an era which demands everyone to think globally and act locally (Glocalisation), as the various business operations with time are becoming more and more complex in working.
The increase in the business complexities along with the management complexities has been observed due to the following reasons –
- Revolution in the technological world.
- Developments and the amount of working taking place in the research and development department.
- Good availability of information.
- Changes in the product and the product life cycle.
- Onset of computers, which is accompanied with the information feedback system.
- Decision making and management science technologies.
As an answer to all these complexities, it has become very necessary to depend on the strategic planning process. But in the decision making process, one thing which acts as an invaluable source, is the availability of information. Information, in management language is referred to as a resource because it is scarce in nature; it has a cost with alternative uses. Information is such a resource, which unlike other resources can be used again and again –also, it is not tangible in nature.
Definition of MIS
Management information system can be defined as the system that provides information to the right person, at the right place, at the right time, in the right form and also at the right cost.
According to Davis and Olson, “MIS is an integrated user machine system for providing information to the various support operations, management and decision making functions in an organization. This system also utilizes the computer hardware and software, manual procedures/models for the analysis, planning, control and decision making and database.
Factors contributing to success of MIS: If MIS is to be success, then it should have all the features listed below:
1) MIS is integrated into the management function. It sets clear objectives to ensure that MIS focuses on the major issues of the business. Also adequate development resources are provided and human & organizational barriers to progress are removed.
2) An appropriate information processing technology required to meet the data processing and analysis needs of the users of MIS is selected.
3) MIS is oriented, defined and designed in terms of the user´s requirements and its operational viability is ensured.
4) MIS is kept under continuous surveillance, sot that its open system is modified according to the changing information needs
5) MIS focuses on results and goals, and highlights the factors and reasons for non achievements.
6) MIS is not allowed to end up into and information generation mill avoiding the noise in the information and the communication system.
7) MIS recognizes that a manager is a human being and therefore, the systems must consider all the human behavioral aspects in the process of management.
8) MIS is easy to operate and therefore, the design of MIS has such good features which make up a user friendly design.
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9) MIS recognizes that the information needs become obsolete and new needs emerge. The MIS design, therefore, has a potential capability to quickly meet newer and newer needs of information.
10) MIS concentrates on developing the information support to manage critical success factors. It concentrates on the mission critical applications serving the needs of the top management.
Factors contributing to failures: Many times, MIS is a failure. The common factors which are responsible for this are as follows:
1) MIS is conceived as a data processing and not as an information system. 2) MIS does not provide that information which in needed by managers but it tends to provide the information generally the function calls for. MIS then becomes an impersonal function. 3) Understanding the complexity in the business systems and not recognizing it in the MIS design leads to problems in the successful implementation. 4) Adequate attention is not given to the quality control aspects of the inputs, the process and the outputs leading to insufficient checks and controls in MIS. 5) MIS is developed without streamlining the transaction processing systems in the organizations. 6) Lack of training and appreciation that the users of the information and the generators of the data are different, and they have to play an important role in the MIS. 7) MIS does not meet certain critical and key factors of its users, such as a response to the query on the database, an inability to get the processing done in a particular manner, lack of user friendly system and the dependence on the system personnel. 8) A belief that the computerized MIS can solve all the management problems of planning and control of the business. 9) Lack of administrative discipline in following the standardized systems and procedures, wrong coding and deviating from the system specifications result in incomplete and incorrect information. 10) MIS does not give perfect information to all users in the organization. Any attempt toward such a goal will be unsuccessful because every user has a human ingenuity, bias and certain assumptions not known to the designer. MIS cannot make up these by providing perfect information.
A waiter takes an order at a table, and then enters it online via one of the six terminals located in the restaurant dining room. The order is routed to a printer in the appropriate preparation area: the cold item printer if it is a salad, the hot-item printer if it is a hot sandwich or the bar printer if it is a drink.
A customer’s meal check-listing (bill) the items ordered and the respective prices are automatically generated. This ordering system eliminates the old three-carbon-copy guest check system as well as any problems caused by a waiter’s handwriting. When the kitchen runs out of a food item, the cooks send out an ‘out of stock’ message, which will be displayed on the dining room terminals when waiters try to order that item. This gives the waiters faster feedback, enabling them to give better service to the customers.
Other system features aid management in the planning and control of their restaurant business. The system provides up-to-the-minute information on the food items ordered and breaks out percentages showing sales of each item versus total sales. This helps management plan menus according to customers’ tastes. The system also compares the weekly sales totals versus food costs, allowing planning for tighter cost controls.
In addition, whenever an order is voided, the reasons for the void are keyed in. This may help later in management decisions, especially if the voids consistently related to food or service. Acceptance of the system by the users is exceptionally high since the waiters and waitresses were involved in the selection and design process. All potential users were asked to give their impressions and ideas about the various systems available before one was chosen.
Q1. In the light of the system, describe the decisions to be made in the area of strategic planning, managerial control and operational control?
A management information system (MIS) is an organized combination of people, hardware, communication networks and data sources that collects, transforms and distributes information in an organization. An MIS helps decision making by providing timely, relevant and accurate information to managers. The physical components of an MIS include hardware, software, database, personnel and procedures.
Management information is an important input for efficient performance of various managerial functions at different organization levels. The information system facilitates decision making. Management functions include planning, controlling and decision making. Decision making is the core of management and aims at selecting the best alternative to achieve an objective. The decisions may be strategic, tactical or technical. Strategic decisions are characterized by uncertainty. They are future oriented and relate directly to planning activity. Tactical decisions cover both planning and controlling. Technical decisions pertain to implementation of specific tasks through appropriate technology. Sales region analysis, cost analysis, annual budgeting, and relocation analysis are examples of decision-support systems and management information systems.
There are 3 areas in the organization. They are strategic, managerial and operational control.
Strategic decisions are characterized by uncertainty. The decisions to be made in the area of strategic planning are future oriented and relate directly to planning activity. Here basically planning for future that is budgets, target markets, policies, objectives etc. is done. This is basically a top level where up-to-the minute information on the food items ordered and breaks out percentages showing sales of each item versus total sales is provided. The top level where strategic planning is done compares the weekly sales totals versus food costs, allowing planning for tighter cost controls. Executive support systems function at the strategic level, support unstructured decision making, and use advanced graphics and communications. Examples of executive support systems include sales trend forecasting, operating plan development, budget forecasting, profit planning, and manpower planning.
The decisions to be made in the area of managerial control are largely dependent upon the information available to the decision makers. It is basically a middle level where planning of menus is done and whenever an order is voided, the reasons for the void are keyed in which later helps in management decisions, especially if the voids are related to food or service. The managerial control that is middle level also gets customer feedback and is responsible for customer satisfaction.
The decisions to be made in the area of operational control pertain to implementation of specific tasks through appropriate technology. This is basically a lower level where the waiter takes the order and enters it online via one of the six terminals located in the restaurant dining room and the order is routed to a printer in the appropriate preparation area. The item’s ordered list and the respective prices are automatically generated. The cooks send ‘out of stock’ message when the kitchen runs out of a food item, which is basically displayed on the dining room terminals when waiter tries to order that item. This basically gives the waiters faster feedback, enabling them to give better service to the customers. Transaction processing systems function at the operational level of the organization. Examples of transaction processing systems include order tracking, order processing, machine control, plant scheduling, compensation, and securities trading.
The information required to make such decision must be such that it highlights the trouble spots and shows the interconnections with the other functions. It must summarize all information relating to the span of control of the manager. The information required to make these decisions can be strategic, tactical or operational information.
Advantages of an online computer system:
- Eliminates carbon copies
- Waiters’ handwriting issues
- Out-of-stock message
- Faster feedback, helps waiters to service the customers
Advantages to management:
- Sales figures and percentages item-wise
- Helps in planning the menu
- Cost accounting details
Q2. What would make the system a more complete MIS rather than just doing transaction processing?
If the management provides sufficient incentive for efficiency and results to their customers, it would make the system a more complete MIS and so the MIS should support this culture by providing such information which will aid the promotion of efficiency in the management services and operational system. It is also necessary to study the keys to successful Executive Information System (EIS) development and operation. Decision support systems would also make the system a complete MIS as it constitutes a class of computer-based information systems including knowledge-based systems that support decision-making activities. DSSs serve the management level of the organization and help to take decisions, which may be rapidly changing and not easily specified in advance.
Improving personal efficiency, expediting problem solving (speed up the progress of problems solving in an organization), facilitating interpersonal communication, promoting learning and training, increasing organizational control, generating new evidence in support of a decision, creating a competitive advantage over competition, encouraging exploration and discovery on the part of the decision maker, revealing new approaches to thinking about the problem space and helping automate the managerial processes would make the system a complete MIS rather than just doing transaction processing.
Q3. Explain the probable effects that making the system more formal would have on the customers and the management.
The management system should be an open system and MIS should be so designed that it highlights the critical business, operational, technological and environmental changes to the concerned level in the management, so that the action can be taken to correct the situation. To make the system a success, knowledge will have to be formalized so that machines worldwide have a shared and common understanding of the information provided. The systems developed will have to be able to handle enormous amounts of information very fast.
An organization operates in an ever-increasing competitive, global environment. Operating in a global environment requires an organization to focus on the efficient execution of its processes, customer service, and speed to market. To accomplish these goals, the organization must exchange valuable information across different functions, levels, and business units. By making the system more formal, the organization can more efficiently exchange information among its functional areas, business units, suppliers, and customers.
As the transactions are taking place every day, the system stores all the data which can be used later on when the hotel is in need of some financial help from financial institutes or banks. As the inventory is always entered into the system, any frauds can be easily taken care of and if anything goes missing then it can be detected through the system.
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The types of data transmission modes are
- "Half duplex,Duplex,Singlex"
- "Half duplex,Duplex,Simplex"
- "Half duplex,Duplex,HalfSinglex"
- "Singlex,duplex,half triplex"
The basic architecture of computer was developed by
- John Von Neumann
- Charles Babbag
- Blaise Pascal
- Garden Moore
Another term for Main Memory is
- Hard Disk
- Floppy Disk
The real business and competitive value of information technology lies in
- The software application that are used by many companies.
- The capabilities of software and the value of the information a business acquires and used.
- "The infrastructure of hardware, networks, and other it facilities that are commonly used by many companies."
- The capabilities of the hardware and the speed at which it processes information.
DNS in internet technology stands for
- Data Name System
- Dynamic Name System
- Domain Name System
- Distributed Name System
"When collection of various computers seems a single coherent system to its client, then it is called"
- computer network
- distributed system
- both (a) and (b)
- none of the mentioned
Internet access by transmitting digital data over the wires of a local telephone network is provided by
- leased line
- digital subscriber line
- digital signal line
- none of the mentioned
What can be defined as most recent and perhaps the most comprehensive technique for solving computer problems.
- System Analysis
- System Data
- System Procedure
- System Record
The step-by-step instructions that solve a problem are called as?
- An algorithm
- A list
- A plan
- A sequential structure
Which of the following is not a characteristic of structured system development?
- partitioning of systems into manageable levels of detail
- specification of the interfaces between modules
- "the use of graphical tools, such as data-flow diagrams, to model system"
- All of the above are characteristics
Which functional role does IT not play in SCM?
- Performance measurement and reporting
- Collaboration and coordination
- Decision support for supply chain planning
- Supply chain restructuring
"When the management decides to implement a new system and totally remove the old one, which of the following approach should be adopted?"
- Big bang or cold turkey approach
- Parallel approach
- Phased approach
- Pilot approach
Which one of the following is not a benefit of an ERP system?
- Information integration
- Better customer satisfaction
- Use of latest technology
- Program management
Which of the following statements is the most accurate?
- The degree to which information needs to be summarized increases as one moves up through the management levels
- Low-level managers made unstructured decisions
- Upper managers make unstructured decisions
- Middle managers make unstructured decisions
"As opposed to detailed transaction information, the management information system (MIS) responds to the need for?"
- electronic data processing
- managerial information
- accounting application
- utility billing information