Functions of MIS
The three main functions of an MIS are data collection, data storage and processing, and information presentation. As the information requirements in organizations are large and their sources are different, organizations need to define their requirements before selecting their sources of information. The sources of information could be internal or external. The internal sources of information include company records and reports compiled by managers while external sources comprise trade publications, customers, and consultants. Databases generally contain data collected from different sources. After the data is collected, it is stored on magnetic tapes or on the hard disk. This makes retrieval of information easy for users. Though relevant data may be available, presenting it in a simple and clear format may be a difficult task. Standardized report formats are followed to facilitate information presentation.
Importance of MIS
The managements of organizations are often of the view that developing and implementing an information system is a costly proposition and consumes a lot of time. Moreover, they generally believe that implementing an information system requires a complete organizational transformation, which could result in employees being reluctant to agree to a change in their working style and the work culture. These are the basic reasons why managements of organizations have not realized the importance of MIS. In organizations where the management has failed to understand the importance of information systems, wastage of resources may be high. The role and importance of information systems in management can be described as follows:
- Well-designed information systems make decision making much easier and faster.
- Information systems help in categorizing information according to the requirements at different management levels.
- They ensure timely availability of information to the top management to facilitate decision making.
- Being an integrated system (collection of subsystems), they eliminate redundancy.
- Owing to their flexibility, they can be easily modified according to current requirements.
- They help in improving management processes.
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