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By tehreemzubairi May 17, 2014 4179 Words

What Is a Management Information System?

A management information system (MIS) is a set of systems and procedures that gather information from a range of sources, compile it and present it in a readable format. Managers use an MIS to create reports that provide them with a comprehensive overview of all the information they need to make decisions ranging from daily minutiae to top-level strategy. Today's management information systems rely largely on technology to compile and present data, but the concept is older than modern computing technologies.

A management information system gives the business managers the information that they need to make decisions. Early business computers were used for simple operations such as tracking inventory, billing, sales, or payroll data, with little detail or structure. Over time, these computer applications became more complex, hardware storage capacities grew, and technologies improved for connecting previously  isolated applications. As more data was stored and linked, managers sought greater abstraction as well as greater detail with the aim of creating significant management reports from the raw, stored data. Originally, the term "MIS" described applications providing managers with information about sales, inventories, and other data that would help in managing the enterprise.

You Use a Management Information System When You:
Use Facebook or Twitter
Place a call with your cell phone
Make online purchases
Order airline tickets online
Reserve a hotel or car rental online
Plan your vacation online
Make an in-store purchase with your credit card
Use an ATM machine

Types of Management Information ststem(MIS):
MIS is a people-driven integrated man-machine system.It uses computer hardware, software, network communications equipment and other office equipment to collect, transmit,process,storage,maintenance and update theinformation,in order to improve  effectiveness and efficiency on supportingthe corporations to make decision on grass-roots operations,middle-level control and high-level decision-making.

Enterprise Resource Planning System(ERP):
Facilitates the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders Decision Support Systems (DSS): 
DSS are computer program applications used by middle and higher management to compile information from a wide range of sources to support problem solving and decision making.DSS is majorly used for semi-structured and unstructured decision problems.

Executive Information Systems (EIS):
EIS is a reporting tool that provides quick access to summarized reports coming from all company levels and departments such as accounting, human resources and operations.

Marketing Information Systems (MIS): 
MIS are Management Information Systems designed specifically for managing the marketing aspects of the business.

Office Automation Systems (OAS):
OAS support communication and productivity in the enterprise by automating work flow and eliminating bottlenecks. OAS may be implemented at any and all levels of management.

School Information Management Systems (SIMS):
cover school administration,and often including teaching and learning materials.

Customer Relationship Management systems(CRMS):
combine data that relates directly to the customer experience.

Operation Information System:
These systems were introduced after transaction processing systems. An operations information system gathers comprehensive data, organizes it and summarizes it in a form that is useful for managers. Most of these systems access data from a transaction processing system and organize it into a form usable by managers. Managers use operations information systems to obtain sales, inventory, accounting and other performance-related information.

Financcial Management Information System:
The financial management information system provides financial information to all financial managers within an organization including the chief financial officer. The chief financial officer analyses historical and current financial activity, projects future financial needs, and monitors and controls the use of funds over time using the information developed by the MIS department.

Misconceptions about MIS:
Many managers mistakenly believe that, for MIS to be effective, all data from all systems must be combined. The value of MIS is based upon how much it can help managers manage. If this means bringing just the data needed from several systems and ignoring the rest for now, the end result still has worth, which is the ultimate goal of MIS. Management information systems (MIS) create the link between information-gathering and decision-making. Most management information systems provide enormous data processing and reporting power, and most offer more features and components than the average small business owner needs. For a small organization, the right system provides added value and fits the needs of the company.

Common Problems in Management Information Systems
Before you purchase a management information system, you have to be aware of common problems so you can avoid them. Management information systems are powerful tools that can help you make valid decisions and discover trends in the data your company generates. If you specifically address the most common issues when you look for a program that satisfies your needs, you can obtain a system that helps you improve the performance of your company. Goals:

Before you can discuss what kind of system you want with potential suppliers, you have to decide what you want the system to do. Some management information systems only track fundamental company data and display it on screen and in reports. Others have trend-analysis capabilities and can run scenarios to help you with decisions. A common problem is purchasing a system that lacks features you need. Another is that it produces results that are not relevant to your operations. You can avoid these pitfalls by setting clear goals and making sure the purchased system can meet them. Maintenance:

A key problem for management information systems is the provision of the raw data input and the maintenance of up-to-date information. Your company already generates data on sales, revenue, expenses, payments and other fundamental business information. Marketing departments often have additional databases. The right management information system for your company can use this data in either its current form or import it from a standard format. In this way, the data in the system is always the same data as the company working level is using and generating. If the management information system requires extra processing, the data will be less current and less valuable.

Use:
Usability is a major problem for management information systems. A powerful system perfect for the data of your company is wasted if your employees don't use it. Management information systems fail because their user interface is too complicated, it's too hard to get useful results or the results are not in a useful form when the system generates them. Before selecting your system, you have to check for these issues. The reports have to be easy to understand and relevant for your company. Users have to be able to generate the reports they want with a minimum of training and with little effort. Changes:

An important management information system characteristic is the ability to adapt to changes in your company. The available information may change, the reports you want may vary and often the personnel using the system changes. The system you put in place has to allow for revisions in the inputs and outputs, either easily enough through your own IT staff, or at agreed rates by the supplier. There has to be a simple method of adding and deleting user accounts that you can handle internally, because old, active accounts can be a security problem. The Importance of a Good Information Management System:

All companies use information to set strategies and accomplish business objectives.  But how many CEOs and CIOs would say they are satisfied that their companies get maximum value from information?  Not many.  How many have a systematic plan for evolving their information capabilities to the next level?  Fewer still Every business, program or system must address well-defined objectives, which will add value, either directly to the bottom line or toward the achievement of the organization's goals and objectives. Good management information objectives usually fall into one of three categories: Service (effective and efficient)

Profit (or cost-avoidance)
Social (moral, ethical and legal) responsibility
A good management information system will only reap the benefits if the companies gain insight to better align strategies and identify critical relationships and gaps along four key company dimensions – people, process, culture and infrastructure. A good information system provides a framework for companies to evaluate themselves relative to these dimensions. By understanding and improving alignment with these critical dimensions, companies can maximize the value and impact of information as a strategic corporate asset to gain competitive advantage.

1. To control the creation and growth of records
Despite decades of using various non-paper storage media, the amount of paper in our offices continues to escalate. An effective records information system addresses both creation control (limits the generation of records or copies not required to operate the business) and records retention (a system for destroying useless records or retiring inactive records), thus stabilizing the growth of records in all formats.

2. To reduce operating costs
Recordkeeping requires administrative dollars for filing equipment, space in offices, and staffing to maintain an organized filing system (or to search for lost records when there is no organized system). It costs considerably less per linear foot of records to store inactive records in a Data Records Center versus in the office. [Multiply that by 30% to 50% of the records in an office that doesn't have a records management program in place], and there is an opportunity to effect some cost savings in space and equipment, and an opportunity to utilize staff more productively - just by implementing a records management program.

 3. To improve efficiency and productivity
Time spent searching for missing or misfiled records is non-productive. A good records management program (e.g. a document system) can help any organization upgrade its recordkeeping systems so that information retrieval is enhanced, with corresponding improvements in office efficiency and productivity. A well designed and operated filing system with an effective index can facilitate retrieval and deliver information to users as quickly as they need it. Moreover, a well managed information system acting as a corporate asset enables organizations to objectively evaluate their use of information and accurately lay out a roadmap for improvements that optimize business returns.

4. To assimilate new records management technologies
A good records management program provides an organization with the capability to assimilate new technologies and take advantage of their many benefits. Investments in new computer systems whether this is financial, business or otherwise, don't solve filing problems unless current manual recordkeeping or bookkeeping systems are analyzed (and occasionally, overhauled) before automation is applied.

5. To ensure regulatory compliance
In terms of recordkeeping requirements, China is a heavily regulated country. These laws can create major compliance problems for businesses and government agencies since they can be difficult to locate, interpret and apply. The only way an organization can be reasonably sure that it is in full compliance with laws and regulations is by operating a good management information system which takes responsibility for regulatory compliance, while working closely with the local authorities. Failure to comply with laws and regulations could result in severe fines, penalties or other legal consequences.

6. To minimize litigation risks
Business organizations implement management information systems and programs in order to reduce the risks associated with litigation and potential penalties. This can be equally true in Government agencies. For example, a consistently applied records management program can reduce the liabilities associated with document disposal by providing for their systematic, routine disposal in the normal course of business.

7. To safeguard vital information
Every organization, public or private, needs a comprehensive program for protecting its vital records and information from catastrophe or disaster, because every organization is vulnerable to loss. Operated as part of a good management information system, vital records programs preserve the integrity and confidentiality of the most important records and safeguard the vital information assets according to a "Plan" to protect the records.  This is especially the case for financial information whereby ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are being deployed in large companies.

8. To support better management decision making
In today's business environment, the manager that has the relevant data first often wins, either by making the decision ahead of the competition, or by making a better, more informed decision. A good management information system can help ensure that managers and executives have the information they need when they need it. By implementing an enterprise-wide file organization, including indexing and retrieval capability, managers can obtain and assemble pertinent information quickly for current decisions and future business planning purposes.  Likewise, implementing a good ERP system to take account of all the business’ processes both financial and operational will give an organization more advantages than one who was operating a manual based system.

9. To preserve the corporate memory
An organization's files, records and financial data contain its institutional memory, an irreplaceable asset that is often overlooked. Every business day, you create the records, which could become background data for future management decisions and planning.  

10. To foster professionalism in running the business
A business office with files, documents and financial data askew, stacked on top of file cabinets and in boxes everywhere, creates a poor working environment. The perceptions of customers and the public, and "image" and "morale" of the staff, though hard to quantify in cost-benefit terms, may be among the best reasons to establish a good management information system.

Purpose and Fuctions of Management Information System:

The main purpose of a management information system is to make managers' decision-making more efficient and productive. By pooling information from a range of sources into a single database and presenting the information in a logical format, an MIS can provide managers with everything they need to make highly informed decisions and perform in-depth analysis of operational issues.some of the benefit are follows: Companies are able to highlight their strengths and weaknesses due to the presence of revenue reports, employees' performance record etc. The identification of these aspects can help the company 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. Management Information Systems can help a company gain a competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is a firm’s ability to do something better, faster, cheaper, or uniquely, when compared with rival firms in the market.

A Management Information System (MIS) makes relevant information available in a timely fashion. This is a necessary resource in organizations to support management, operations and decision functions. The information is in the form of data that has been processed and made meaningful for the user. The parts of the system must work together in order achieve a common purpose. The MIS may serve as basic a function as data collection or advance to initiating decision-making itself.

Meaningful Information:
Data are unprocessed bits of information. They are less meaningful to decision-makers until they are processed and organized. By placing data in useful contexts, the raw material can be communicated to or accessed by members of management. The information allows management to appraise, reduce uncertainty and explore alternatives. Poor or irrelevant choices can be eliminated. By converting data, such as records of events, objects, and figures from generalized collections into specific contexts, management can be stimulated to take action.

Value of Information:
The product of an MIS is information. The value of information can be measured its by its impact upon decision-making. The normative value of information refers to the initial knowledge that the decision-maker has of the occurrence of some event resulting in management decisions and anticipated payoff. Collecting additional information may change decisions related to the initial event or later events. Altering the initial decision and the anticipated payoff is the revealed value of the information.

Timeliness and Accuracy of Information:
The gap in time between the occurrence of an event and presentation of information related to the event to decision-makers is known as currency of information. A real-time information system delivers such information in a very short amount of time. By comparing the data collected with the actual event, the accuracy of the information can be ascertained. The need for accuracy will vary according to the use to which the information will be put. Accounting functions need great accuracy. Estimating the time staff spent upon a given project could require less precision

Scope of Management Information System in Pakistan

The Government of Pakistan has attached great importance to information technology, as part of its efforts to develop an "information age" in the country. In this regard, an elaborate national IT policy has been formulated. Through a focus on the technological development of information technology, the government aims to increase productivity in the public sector, improve the standards of IT infrastructure in the country. 

Information technology in Pakistan is a growing and rising industry that has a large potential. Matters relating to the IT industry are overseen and regulated by the Ministry of Information Technology of the Government of Pakistan. The IT industry is regarded as a successful sector of Pakistan economically, even in financial crisis. The government of Pakistan has given numerous favors to IT investors in the country since last decade, that resulted in the development of the IT sector. In the years 2003-2005 the country's IT exports saw a rise of about fifty percent and amounted a total of about 48.5 million USD. The World Economic Forum, assessing the development of Information and Communication Technology in the country ranked Pakistan 102nd among 144 countries in the Global Information Technology report of 2012. Recently The Minister invited a delegation of Silicon Valley IT companies to Pakistan for exploring opportunities of expansion in ICT sector.

Management Information System in Banking:
Though the Pakistan’s organizations have achieved significant growth in adopting MIS but its diffusion has met many challenges. As yet the MIS level of Pakistani organizations is lacking behind the world. The factors affecting the proper implementation of IS in the organizations are numerous. These may be of interest not only to academicians but also to managers working in the organizations. companies operating in banking and manufacturing sectors of Pakistan are having well established MIS divisions / departments. In these companies high caliber staff is working but the diffusion of MIS has been very slow because of the various problems. The problems included are: Inadequate tele-communication infrastructure

Management has less awareness about IT systems
Lack of employees corporation
Selection of proper IT system
Lack of adequate trained employees
Lack of proper IT planning

There are obvious changes occurring in the organizational systems of 18 Pakistani companies in the recent years due to MIS. But still there are lots of barriers which have direct impact on successful implementation of MIS in Pakistan. The above discussion has shown that out of eight problems analysed, inadequate telecomm infrastructure, lack of IT planning, lack of trained employees and improper MIS systems are found to be the four top most problems Pakistani organizations are facing. Pakistan must upgrade its MIS besides doing other things. The government is also needed to concentrate more efforts to overcome these problems. But if we see the overall progress of these sectors, they are fastly implementing the new management information system and the future of MIS seems bright in these sectors.

Management Information System of Health
The importance of a health management information system (HMIS) cannot be ignored because health policies and planning in any country mostly depend on the correct and timely information on various health issues. Currently HMIS is generating information and its coverage is encouraging, but at the same time it needs lot of room for strengthening at various levels. The HMIS approach seems more ‘data driven’ than ‘action oriented’; there is duplication and lack of coordination among various vertical health information systems. The factor of time lag also holds true as regards receiving of information and its dissemination is concerned. The GIS is relatively a new concept in health sector in Pakistan and consequently application is limited at present. There is a need for strengthening of the whole system with better coordination among various vertical health information systems, which can practically contribute to better decision-makings as well as save wastage of money, men and machinery. If government pay attention on the management information system of health, this sector will grow at fast pace.

Managrment Information System in Education Sector:
Sophisticated information systems exist in the world to facilitate their educational administrators in decision making and planning. Pakistan also has a reasonable ICT infrastructure, and a few information systems and networks are accessible through this infrastructure. However, no comprehensive and well-integrated information system is available, covering all tiers of education e.g. schools, colleges and universities. Most of the problems within the education enterprise exist due to poor planning and unrealistic decision making by the educational administrator. This problem is also recognized by the educational administrators and they often complain about the non-avail-ability of an effective and efficient information system. No formal method exists, so they use informal methods and perceive them as more reliable and valid. Existing educational information systems (e.g., NEMIS) are not robust and well-planned. The need of an effective national information system is identified, which is a missing link in Pakistan’s overall programs and results in overall degradation of the education system. No comprehensive study has been con-ducted in Pakistan to identify the gaps yet; however, the current study reveals the gaps to some extent. The idea of developing the National Information System for Educational Administrators in Pakistan was strongly supported by the survey and interviewed respondents, along with the objectives and proposed services. Many respondents strongly recommended that such system should be developed and they anticipated that it would boost the education sector in the country. It was stressed that the services of the proposed system should be user-centred and user-friendly. Pakistan’s National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) which collects Education data annually. The system covers public education sector, but to date has not comprehensively covered private sector educational provision. Since some 31% of basic education students attend private schools, it is therefore important that up-to-date information be made available on this sub-sector, to ensure that policy development is based on knowledge of the entire education system not just the public sector alone

Management Information System in Textile Industry:
Textiles Industry plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of Pakistan. But the profitability of this industry is not satisfactory. There is a correlation between profitability and management. Ratio Analysis, Correlation Matrix and Regression Analysis have been used to show Profitability, management position, correlation between them and the impact of management on Profitability respectively. It is observed Management position of the Textiles Industry is not satisfactory. There is lack of adopting new techniques of managements and modern management styles. Textile industry must have to pay attention on their information system, information regarding input, customer, and competitor, internal and external factor. They have to use the new technologies and management information systems.

Conclusion:

During the last few years, technological landscape of Government of Pakistan has been rapidly changing. Accounting and budgeting systems have been computerized on SAP/R3 ERP software and integrated through IT interventions; impressive work has been done in automation of taxes, National ID cards and passports. Banks have embarked upon automating the systems, e-government has been implemented in ministry of IT and is likely to be replicated to all federal government ministries even the centuries old “Latha” – the land record – maintained by patwaries is in the process of automation in the government of Punjab. On the whole, the future of Management Information System in Pakistan is very bright. Our MIS has given Pakistan special courage to compete in today’s world of IT. It has enabled Pakistan to stand amongst the top countries with respect to IT and it is improving day by day. With the same dedication and good planning, it will continue to grow in future. The use of Management Information System is on the right track in our country and its future is also very bright!

References:
http://www.slideshare.net/mutahirbilal47/management-information-system-14943658 http://www.studymode.com/essays/Management-Information-Systems-And-Its-Importance-516634.html : http://www.ehow.com/about_5183440_limitations-management-information-systems.html#ixzz2jv8N5G5U

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Management_information_system
http://www.pmrc.org.pk/hmis.htm
http://www.academia.edu/1188664/The_role_of_educational_information_systems_for_survival_in_information_society_and_the_case_of_Pakistan http://www.ehow.com/list_6814617_functions-management-information-system_.html http://www.business.fau.edu/undergraduate/majors/management-information-systems/index.aspx#.UnjL0_mkxfk http://lecture-notes-forstudents.blogspot.com/2010/03/types-of-management-information-systems.html http://www.journalsbank.com/pjber_1_3.pdf

http://www.bzu.edu.pk/PJSS/vol29no1_2009/PJSSArtical02.pdf
https://www.google.com.pk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&ved=0CFYQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnao.gov.cn%2Fintosai%2Fdocs%2FMeeting%2FPakistan%2520Service%2520Delivery%2520of%2520IT%2520Implementation%2520in%2520the%2520Department%2520of%2520the%2520Auditor%2520General%2520of%2520Pakistan.docx&ei=IRJ5Uu2QNpCp7Ab1-4HwCQ&usg=AFQjCNGaAq_xEBxrbZWyoho8s7eYOOVovw&bvm=bv.55980276,d.bGE http://journal-archieves28.webs.com/991-997.pdf

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