Management Information Systems Essay
Information systems can be defined as a collection of software, hardware and other telecommunication networks that people use to both create and collect useful information mostly in organization setting (Chatterjee, 2010). Based on our definition there are two ways in which information system can be described: one is by the components that make up an information system, and the other one is by the roles played by those components in an organization. Primarily information system is made up of five elements (Oz, 2009). They include data, people, software, hardware, and process. When people figure out information system what comes in their minds first is the data, hardware, and software .however the other two components which are people and process separates the field of information systems from other technical fields like computer science (McLeod, 2009). Let’s first consider this component that makes up information system and how they help an organization in problem-solving and decision making.
Technology is where scientific knowledge gets to be applied practically. Technology has always been part of our life since very many centuries ago. Discoveries in this field started when the wheel was invented, followed by the invention of electricity for artificial use. Some of the components of information system can be classified under technology. They include data, hardware, and software
It is a situation where you can physically touch the components of technology. They include iPad, disk drives, keyboards, computers, and flash drives. All this fall under the category of information system hardware.
Software involves a set of instructs which directs the hardware. The software cannot be physically touched. Programmers come up with software programmes meaning the create instructions to direct the hardware on what to do. The software can be categorized into operating system which makes it easy to use hardware. It can also be classified into application software which is also very much significant (Chatterjee, 2010). They are various examples of the operating system like google android which is mostly found in smartphone and Microsoft word primarily used in computers and laptops. What consist of application software are Microsoft Excel, and game applications
The third component of the information system is data. It merely means a collection of facts. Just like software data cannot be physically touched. For data to be more useful in an organization, it must be indexed, organized and aggregated together (McLeod, 2009). It became a potent tool for decision making in business. If you check keenly of all the information, we have been discussing it focuses more on how an individual can manage data. The decision made out of analyzing data can be used by an organization to improve its effectiveness and productivity
Other than software, hardware, and data which we have considered as a component of the information system that falls under technology there has been a massive debate on whether to include communication as part of elements that make up information systems. However, this has not been successful because it has been argued that a computer can exists even without communicating. In recent times it is difficult to find a computer that does not easily connect to other devices or even networks. So communication is also a vital component of the information system
When talking about information technology one can easily consider the technological factors and forget people and process. However, we must understand how technical factors such as software, hardware, and data help an organization to achieve its goal (Chatterjee, 2010). Therefore it is necessary to understand those people who handle information systems and how they use the information from these systems. Mainly information systems are commonly used by managers to make the decision. There are other users of information systems in an organization they may include the analysts, programmers or even help desk workers
This happens to be the last component of information systems. A process can be defined as steps undertaken to achieve a particular goal or outcome. In recent time information systems are being connected to organization processes, therefore, making the organization more productive where else management gain better control of the business (McLeod, 2009). The goals of very many companies are to be able to control and manage the business using technology both internally and externally to suppliers and customers (Chatterjee, 2010). These give businesses that use technology a competitive advantage over their rivals.
Types of information systems
Most organizations have six kinds of information systems each attached to a specific organization level or department (Chatterjee, 2010). These systems include enterprise resource planning system, decision support system, virtual information system, management information system, and transaction information system and knowledge information system.
Transaction information system
The business day to day activities involves carrying out of transactions. A transaction can be described as an event or activity which affects a company. Transactions types depend on the business that a company is involved in. For example, various transactions are engaged in a manufacturing unit they include shipping, receipt of goods and order entry. On the other hand transactions in banking sector involve cashing of cheques, deposits, and withdrawals. However, various transactions are common in many organizations. They include employee record keeping, the hiring of employees, billing customers and placing orders. For an organization to be running smoothly in the areas of offering transactions, traction information system is necessary.
Virtual information system
It is made up of a collection of computers, communication and technology and persons to perform various tasks in an organization. It helps in supporting official activities and executing office transactions. Official activities can be categorized into managerial and clerical activities. Most of the administrative activities carried out using the virtual information system include calendar keeping, mailing, typesetting, scheduling meeting written communication and printing. On the other hand, most of the managerial activities carried out using virtual information system include controlling performance of an organization, creating messages and conferencing. Applications like electronic email filing and word processing are also connected to the virtual information system.
This application is used to prepare, memos, reports, letters or other materials that can be printed using electronic means. Texts are written using the keyboard and later they are displayed on the computer display unit. This text is usually edited, stored and can easily be reproduced. The application is also supported by other facilities which help in counting words, checking grammar, inserting the header, indexed creation and numbering.
Under virtual information system, we also have the email which helps in sending messages by use of communication lines or computers. It is a fast method of delivering information, and also it reduces cost and time (Chatterjee, 2010). It also gives options in which one can send a message either in the form of a video, audio or images.
It unique and vital because it helps in storing and recoding of telephone messages in a computer memory. It is also effortless to retrieve messages from voice mail.
Knowledge information system
It is a unique kind of information system that promotes the creation of knowledge in an organization and ensures that technical skills and expertise are well connected in business. It motivates workers to propagate and create new information by providing them with document management tools, graphics, analytical and communication (Oz, 2009). When workers need external data to gain more details this information system gives access easily to external data. Moreover, this kind of information system must have a user-friendly interface to help workers in getting information easily and quickly. Examples of knowledge information systems are financial workstations, virtual reality systems, and computer-aided design (CAD).
Computer-aided design systems
It mostly uses the graphics software in automating the creation and revision of designs. It efficiently provides designs specifications which are used in manufacturing process. This is time-saving when one is developing a manufacturing process.
Virtual reality systems
It is stronger than CAD in simulation, visualization, and rendering. It uses interactive graphics software to come up with a computer-generated simulation which appears real. The virtual information systems are mostly used in business, scientific and educational work.
There are used to integrate wide ranges from external and internal sources of data. This data may comprise of market data, research report and contact management data. It mostly analyses, a significant amount of financial data and trading stations. It is also necessary when doing portfolio management.
Management information system
Management information system is usually developed for controlling, decision making and planning by middle managers. Management information system gets data from transaction information systems. It later complies this data and produces information in the form of reports, response, and displays (Oz, 2009). This information is used by managers to make decisions in a frim. This type of information system uses comparison and summaries which helps the manager to make proper decisions in a firm since the procedure of having the bests solution is always outlined by these information systems. Most of the reports produced by this information system are usually summary reports, for example, average sales made by sales executives (Chatterjee, 2010). Other types of reports generated by this information system include the exception reports that give some specific conditions or exceptions. Management information system produces report either annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly. However, if managers want to view this information on a daily basis, they can as well do so. Managers can also retrieve data from records using this type of information system.
Decision support systems
It is a very interactive information system, and just like MIS, decision support systems are used at the management level in an organization. The difference between management information system and decision support system is that DSS processes information which is used by managers to make appropriate decisions in a firm (Oz, 2009). An example, of a decision support system in a bank it helps managers to be able to know changing trends in loans and deposits for them to be able to set annual bank target. Decision support systems are made to help every manager to execute a specific task (McLeod, 2009). Through these information systems managers are always able to come up with structured decisions. With this, they can quickly solve the problem or task logically. However, DSS can also be used in making a complex decision. Such complex conclusions must be supported by information collected from transaction information systems and virtual information systems (Chatterjee, 2010). This type of information system is considered better in decision making as compared to the rest of information systems .this is because it uses a lot of decision-making models in analyzing and summarizing data. It summarises this data into tables and charts that help managers to make decisions efficiently. It is also very much interactive because those using this kind of information system can ask each other question or even adjust the information to fit their requirement.
Enterprise resource planning systems
It happens to be an executive information system that helps make decisions at the top level in an organization. It can also be figured as an improvement in MIS. The decisions made using this type of information system are extraordinary decisions (McLeod, 2009). Usually, they have a significant effect on the entire organization. Therefore, managers using this type of information system are always keen (Oz, 2009). The enterprise resources planning system has useful display options, computing capabilities, better telecommunication as compared to DSSs. When displaying relevant information in forms of charts and tables, it makes use of the graphics software. It is meant to help senior managers to make better and wise decisions. For better decisions to be reached they also use summarised internal data from MIS and DSS. To make their decisions more active, they have also to consider other external sources to provide information mainly on new competitors and tax laws.
Management information systems and decision making
The type of information necessary for decision making is usually related to the level of management that is making decisions. There are various management levels in an organization that must be supported with information systems without considering the participants, size, and shape of the organization (Oz, 2009). The levels are strategic management, operational management, and tactical management.
Top executives in the strategic planning process; come up with organizational policies, strategies, and goals. They also help in monitoring the performance of the organization and where it is headed considering political, economic, and social environments.
It consists of self-directed teams, business professionals, and business unit managers (McLeod, 2009). They help in developing short and medium term plans based on procedures, objectives, schedules, and budgets. They also assist in monitoring the performance of the sub units in the organization which include, project teams, divisions, departments, and work groups.
It consists of members of self –directed teams and operating managers (Oz, 2009). They help in coming up with short-range plans. They also give directions in the procedures that need to be followed when performing tasks.
The figure below show levels of decision making
Roles of managers
The following table shows show an in-depth category of roles played by managers
It is where the organization knowledge assets are organized systematically to meet tactic and strategic requirement. It is made up of systems, initiatives, processes and strategies that assist in the creation, refinement assessment and sharing of information. It helps to define where one can find knowledge and in what form it exists. It also teaches on how to come up with a right environment that promotes knowledge creation. It also helps to make sure that the proper knowledge is known to the right people on time ( McLeod, 2009). All these factors must be considered to ensure appropriate performance and achievement of short-term goals and strategic goals. Knowledge management mainly relies on the management of its creation, organization conversion, and even retrieval.
Computer-based information System model
Processing being part of the components that make up the information system management implies that information systems must be brought together into dynamics and structures of the functions they support. Therefore a computer-based information system must be put in place with all the arrangements and dynamics that are needed in the organization (Oz, 2009). Coming up with such a computer-based information system one must use conceptual tools to come up with the various features of structures and dynamics of the organization and a methodology that brings together this features into the architecture of its supporting information system McLeod, (2009). Through this, a modeling and simulation environment is created that has an extensive model base that is used for simulation analysis of all functions in an organization apart from it being used in system development.
Oz, E. (2009). Management information systems. Boston, Mass: Thomson/Course Technology.
Chatterjee, I. (2010). Management information systems. New Delhi: PHI Learning.
McLeod, R., & Schell, G. P. (2009). Management information systems. New Delhi: Pearson.