Management Information System
Alvin Toffier, in his' celebrated work 'Third Wave' mentions that the world is accelerating towards an information softy. People, no matter where and who they are, have been increasingly feeling and witnessing the overwhelming impact of information activities. Information technology and its products have been incorporated into business machines and home appliances. They are available for immediate use on their desktop, and are also transforming the ways in which people live and communicate with orb another. The nucleus of information society hinges on the easy acquisition, processing, production and dissemination of information Basically, information is intellectual knowledge which is generally viewed differently from the definition of data. Data generate information through manipulation. The system which performs the data-to-information process is called an information system. In other words, an information system is a collection of people, procedures, and equipment designed, built; operated and maintained to collect, record, process, store, retrieve and display information. From a technical perspective Sage defines an information system as an input output structure which acquires, stores, and processes data, and produces and/ or disseminates information in an organised manner". (Sage, 1990). In practice, the term is used in a very general sense both in technical literature and in general publications. Sometimes the term information processing system is used when the focus is on the processing rather than on its use. Also, the term data processing system is frequently used synonymously with information processing system.Certainly a difference arises when an attempt is made to distinguish between data and information. The concept of an information system is not something pertaining only to the electronic computer or other modern machines. The human mind is one of the oldest information systems in nature. With the invention of the printing press, the library (or equivalent of a system) has become firmly established as an information system, which is not only able to store information indefinitely but is also able to transmit and distribute the information to anyone anywhere at a relatively low cost. Other examples of such systems include bank systems, corporate planning systems and management decision-making systems. 8 Information System and Networks With the knowledge explosion in the technological world, awareness as well as demand for automated tools and devices to generate, modify, store, retrieve, transmit and receive large quantities of information has witnessed a remarkable growth. It has become the logical step to employ the modern digital computer and related peripheral devices to accomplish the goal of automated information systems. It is computerised systems which are employed nowadays for the purposes of information storage, processing retrieval and dissemination. Hence, the discussion in this Unit will be confined to computer-based information system.