Management Information System (MIS)
A management information system (MIS) is a database that gathers financial information in order to deliver regular reports programmed for specific levels of management in a company.
- the main objective is to offer managers personalized feedback regarding performance;
- at a senior level, managers can get customized reports that overlook the activity of the company. The delivered data is usually structured between ‘actual’ and ‘planned’ making it easy to monitor results and register progress.
- it can be used for special reports as long as the objective is set. Some of the data are collected automatically from computer-linked check-out counters; others are keyed in at periodic intervals. While regular reports are prescheduled to run at specific intervals, or on demand while the others are obtained using built-in query languages
- display functions built into the system are used by managers to check on status at desk-side computers connected to the MIS by networks. Many sophisticated systems also monitor and display the performance of the company’s stock.
The main purpose of a MIS 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 coherent manner, a MIS can provide managers with the required information in order to make informed decisions and develop structural solutions for operational issues.
A MIS can collect nearly any type of input it is required from financial data such as daily revenues and expenses and correlate them with specific departments. Managers can assess performance indicators such as reaching the deadlines or the quality of products coming off an assembly line thus setting standards for improvement. Staff can learn how to better manage schedules their work shifts, deliverables and any data linked to the MIS. It can also facilitate collaboration and communication as well while employees can contribute to ongoing reports by editing and sharing relevant documents through the common channel.
One of the most important features of the MIS is the possibility to draft and share reports. These internal reports present important information to relevant people such as managers in a logical and organized way. It allows employees and other external consultants to focus on more productive tasks and may reduce errors and the costs associated with redoing reports.
Front-line employees may use a MIS to perform more effectively by, for example, consulting the status of inventory items, monitor statistics related to their specific department and requesting internal transfers of materials.