Introduction to MIS


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.


“’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.


The concept of the MIS has evolved over a period of time comprising many different facets of the organizational function. MIS is a necessity of all the organizations. The initial concept of MIS was to process data from the organization and present it in the for of reports at regular intervals. The system was largely capable of handling the data from collection to processing.

It was more  impersonal, requiring each individual to pick and choose the processed data and use it for his requirements. This concept was further modified when a distinction was made between data and information. The information is a product of an analysis of data. This concept is similar to a raw material and the finished product.

What are needed are information and not a mass of data. However, the data can be analyzed in a number of ways, producing different shades and specifications of the information as a product. It was, therefore, demanded that the system concept be an individual- oriented, as each individual may have a different orientation. Towards the information. This concept was further modified, that the system should present information in such a form and format that it creates an impact on its user, provoking a decision or an investigation.

It was later realized then even though such an impact was a welcome modification, some sort of selective approach was necessary in the analysis and reporting. Hence, the concept of exception reporting was imbibed in MIS. The norm for an exception.

Was necessary to evolve in the organization. The concept remained valid till and to the extent that the norm for an exception remained true and effective. Since the environment turns competitive and is ever changing, fixation of the norm for an exception becomes ka futile exercise at least for the people in the higher echelons of the organization.

The concept was then evolved that the system should be capable of handling a need based exception reporting. This need maybe either of an individual or a group of people. This called for keeping all data together in such a form that it can be accessed by anybody and can be processed to suit his needs. The concept is that the data is one but it can be viewed by different individuals in different ways. This gave rise to the concept of DA .ABASE, and the MIS based on the DATABASE proved much more effective.


The concept of MIS gives high regard to the individual and his ability to use information. An MIS gives information through data analysis. While analyzing the data, it relies on many academic disciplines. These include the theories, principles and concepts from the Management Science, Psychology and Human Behavior, making the MID more effective and useful. These academic disciplines are used in designing the MIS, evolving the decision support tools for modeling and decision – making.

The foundation of MIS is the principles of management and if its practices. MIS uses the concept of management Information System can be evolved for a specific objective if it is evolved after systematic planning and design. It calls for an analysis of a business, management views and policies, organization culture and the culture and the management style. The information should be generated in this setting and must be useful in managing the business.

This is possible only when it in conceptualized as system with an appropriate design. The MIS, therefore, relies heavily on the systems theory offers solutions to handle the complex situations of the input and output flows. It uses theories of communication which helps to evolve a system design capable of handling data inputs, process, and outputs with the lest possible noise or distortion in transmitting the information form a source to a destination.

It uses the principles of system Design, Viz., an ability of continuous adjustment or correction in the system in line with the environmental change in which the MIS operates. Such a design help to keep the MIS tuned with the business managements needs of the organization.



The MIS has more than one definition, some of which are give below.


1. The MIS is defined as a system which provides information support for decision making in the organization.

2. The MIS is defined as an integrated system of man and machine for providing the information to support the operations, the management and the decision making function in the organization.

3. The MIS is defined as a system based on the database of the organization evolved for the purpose of providing information to the people in the organization.

4. The MIS is defined as a Computer . based Information System.





Objectives of MIS :

Data Capturing : MIS capture data from various internal and external sources of organization. Data capturing may be manual or through computer terminals.

Processing of Data : The captured data is processed to convert into required information. Processing of data is done by such activities as calculating, sorting, classifying, and summarizing.

Storage of Information : MIS stores the processed or unprocessed data for future use. If any information is not immediately required, it is saved as an organization record, for later use.

Retrieval of Information : MIS retrieves information from its stores as and when required by various users.

Dissemination of Information : Information, which is a finished product of MIS, is disseminated to the users in the organization. It is periodic or online through computer terminal.



  1. Improves personal efficiency
  2. Expedites problem solving(speed up the progress of problems solving in an organization)
  3. Facilitates interpersonal communication
  4. Promotes learning or training
  5. Increases organizational control
  6. Generates new evidence in support of a decision
  7. Creates a competitive advantage over competition
  8. Encourages exploration and discovery on the part of the decision maker
  9. Reveals new approaches to thinking about the problem space
  10. Helps automate the Managerial processes.




Some of the functions can be listed as below,

1. data processing -

It includes the collection, transmission, storage, processing and output of data. It simplifies the statistics and reduces to the lowest cost by supplying an unified format.

2. function of prediction -

It predicts the future situation by applying modern mathematics, statistics or simulation.

3. function of plan -

It arranges reasonably the plans of each functional department in accordance with the restrictions afforded by enterprises and provides the appropriate planning reports according to different management.
4. function of control -

It monitors and inspects the operation of plans and comprises with the differences between operation and plan in accordance with the data afforded by every functional department, and be assistant to managers to control timely each method by analyzing the reasons why the differences comes into being.
5. function of assistance -

It derives instantly the best answers of related problems by applying to various of mathematics’ mode and analyzing a plentiful data stored in computers in the hope of using rationally human resource, financial resource, material resource and information resource for relative abundant economic benefits.




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 system’s 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.

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


Structure of MIS

Structure of MIS is a difficult concept to understand Structure of MIS is a difficult concept to understand because there is no standard or universally accepted is no standard or universally accepted framework for describing management information framework for describing management information system.

For example , A car may be perceived in a system. For example , A car may be perceived in a number of different way; by describe the physical number of different way; by describe the physical characteristics, i.e. its shapes, colour, seating capacity,characteristics, i.e. its shapes, colour, seating capacity,door etc. MIS structure be described by following a door etc. MIS structure be described by following avariety of different approaches:variety of different approaches:

  • Physical components,
  • Information system processing functions,
  • Decision support
  • Levels of management activities
  • Organizational functions


MIS Structure Based on Physical components:

Structure of MIS may be understood by looking at the physical components of the information system in an organization.

Hardware: Hardware refers the physical data processing equipment and peripheral devices.

Software: software is broad term given to the instruction or program that direct the operation of the hardware.

Database: the data base consist of all data utilized by application software.

Input and output :various physical input and output from the information system, existing in form like printout, report etc.








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