What is Management Information System (MIS)?

July 17, 2018 Author: munishmishra04_3od47tgp
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Information system managers typically move up to such a position from other areas of information technology. The Management Information System (MIS) is a concept of the last decade or two. It has been understood and described in a number ways. It is also known as the Information System, the Information and Decision System, the Computer- based information System. MIS is the use of information technology, people, and business processes to record, store and process data to produce information that decision makers can use to make day to day decisions. Management Information Systems (MIS), referred to as Information Management and Systems, is the discipline covering the application of people, technologies, and procedures collectively called information systems, to solving business problems.

Basic Overview of MIS

MIS is the acronym for Management Information Systems. In a nutshell, MIS is a collection of systems, hardware, procedures and people that all work together to process, store, and produce information that is useful to the organization.

“’MIS’ is a planned system of collecting, storing and disseminating data in the form of information needed to carry out the functions of management.”

Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert Systems, and Executive Information Systems.

Management: Management is art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups. The basic functions performed by a manager in an organization are: Planning, controlling, staffing, organizing, and directing.

Information: Information is considered as valuable component of an organization. Information is data that is processed and is presented in a form which assists decision maker.

System: A system is defined as a set of elements which are joined together to achieve a common objective. The elements are interrelated and interdependent. Thus every system is said to be composed of subsystems. A system has one or multiple inputs, these inputs are processed through a transformation process to convert these input(s) to output.

Management information systems are distinct from other information systems because they are used to analyze and facilitate strategic and operational activities. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the study of how individuals, groups, and organizations evaluate, design, implement, manage, and utilize systems to generate information to improve efficiency and effectiveness of decision making, including systems termed decision support systems, expert systems, and executive information systems.

MIS structure

Figure: MIS Structure

Need for MIS

The following are some of the justifications for having an MIS system:

  • Decision makers need information to make effective decisions.Management Information Systems (MIS) make this possible.
  • MIS systems facilitate communication within and outside the organization– employees within the organization are able to easily access the required information for the day to day operations. Facilitates such as Short Message Service (SMS) & Email make it possible to communicate with customers and suppliers from within the MIS system that an organization is using.
  • Record keeping – management information systems record all business transactions of an organization and provide a reference point for the transactions.

Components of MIS

The major components of a typical management information system are:

  • People– people who use the information system
  • Data– the data that the information system records
  • Business Procedures– procedures put in place on how to record, store and analyze data
  • Hardware– these include servers, workstations, networking equipment, printers, etc.
  • Software– these are programs used to handle the data. These include programs such as spreadsheet programs, database software, etc.

Characteristics of MIS

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.

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 systems polices meet the specification of the system, continued review and participation of the manager is necessary.

Need Based: MIS design should be as per the information needs of managers at different levels.

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.

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.

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.

Long Term Planning: MIS is developed over relatively long periods. A heavy element of planning should be involved.

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.

Central Database: In the MIS there should be common data base for whole system.


[1] “What is MIS? Introduction & Definition”, available online at: https://www.guru99.com/mis-definition.html

[2] “UNIT 1 Chapter-1 Introduction to MIS”, available online at: http://www.jimssouthdelhi.com/studymaterial/BBA2/final%20bba%20MIS%20notes.pdf

[3] “Introduction to Management Information Systems”, available online at: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/42602/7/07-chapter_1.pdf

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