The Purpose and Scope of MIS - Management information systems.
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1.1 The Purpose and Scope of MIS Management Information Systems can be defined as 'The combination of human and computer based resources that results in the collection, storage, retrieval, communication and use of data for the purpose of efficient management of operations and for business planning'. Source: Kelly Management Information Systems are primarily concerned with the delivery of information (both internal and external) to organisational members from the shop floor workers to the management. The purpose of MIS is to help the smooth running of the business by providing information on the firms data (such as accounting figures) employees from different levels will then evaluate this information so that decisions can be made to ensure that the business remains competitive and successful. MIS have been created to support the whole range of business's administration and regulatory activities and can be seen in all parts of the world and in all types of industries both public and private sector. In the US, for example, the National Drivers Register has MIS facilities to report on driver licence details, such as all those within a given state whose licence has been revoked or suspended (Danziger, 1991). Similarly, the Environmental Protection Agency is pushing forward in use of MIS to help monitor and control environmental risks. Data Information DECISIONS Flows Flows Figure 1 - How an MIS Works The processing of data into information and communicating that information to the user is the basis of MIS. Form the figure above it is clear to see how this process helps to make decisions. Data is the term for collections of facts and figures; hours worked, part numbers, profit etc. These basic facts are then stored and analysed and generally worked on to produce information in the form required by the user, i.e. the manager. MIS exist in organisations in order to help them achieve objectives, to plan and control their processes and to help deal with uncertainty.
This means that often they can quickly spot problems that arise and can prevent them from becoming damaging. Document Image Processing - This is a form of electronic filing. A document can be passed through a scanner, translated into digital form and stored. Barclays Bank use an optical disk to store their files, they find this system very valuable because of the amount of customer letters that they receive and send out. It is important that they keep all of these letters and so this system is used to do so. An optical disk can store up to 60,000 pages of A4. This also provides greater security, which is important in this industry. Group Collaborative Systems - these include systems such as GroupWare, Intranet and extranet. It involves the company or a department as a whole rather than one individual. GroupWare is software that is used to provide functions for a group. This will usually include schedulers, address books, journals and to do lists. All this information is available instantly from the desktop. However when information is shared it generally is more valuable to the business and is just as accessible for example: E-mail- this is a system in which messages are communicated by electronic means rather than paper based communication. This means that there is considerable time saving, and documents can be attached such as a letter or spreadsheet. This can be very effective for businesses when they need answers quickly or are awaiting a document or spreadsheet, which if posted would take a few days, instead it, can be sent immediately through e-mail. Group scheduling can also be used so that colleagues will know when meetings that they should attend (such as team briefs) are scheduled. Tele-conferencing and Video-conferencing - these systems allow numerous people to be simultaneously connected so that discussion can take place without having to meet. This is important in the Banking industry as often large clients can be based overseas, and the bank will want to keep in constant contact with these so that they can keep their custom.
They continually look for improvements and believe that if they keep their staff motivated by making them feel valued then the objectives are more likey to be met. The lower level management are not as concerned with the daily targets and are looking more towards the monthly targets and ensureing that those objectives are met. The lower level management hold reviews every three weeks to look over each branches performance and sales. To keep up the motivation, prizes are awarded for the highest performing branch (see appendix). The MIS provides the managers with the vital performance related information they need based on monthly sales, profits etc. They need to be able to evaluate the firms posisiton at the end of the month and be able to spot problems before they become major ans threatening to the survival of the business. Higher/top level management. At Barclays there is a three monthly review wihich involves all the top level managers. These managers are concerned with the long term success of the business and so the MIS is successful in providing them with both internal iformation on the profit accounts quarterly and also external information which is vital for planning. In this meeting the managers wil focus more on the end of year sale and profit figures rather than weekly or daily targets they need to ensure the smooth running of the business and Barclays MIS provides them with the correct information so that they can make informed decisions. As discovered, MIS play a huge role in every organisation and is is reasonabl to say that without systems that provide infomratioin, busineses would not be able to function successfully. MIS form the foundations of every organisation and are found in every country. Although there are different types of MIS, they all sstrive to do the same thing provide managers with the information they need to conduct their business. Page 1 Management Information Systems - MIS In Action
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