Management Information Systems (MIS): What Do They Mean for Businesses?
MIS stands for management information systems, which is the department that oversees hardware and software solutions dedicated to making critical business decisions. These information systems are designed to gather and analyze data and produce business reports that help management with critical decision-making.
Generally, the chief information officer (CIO) or chief technology officer (CTO) will decide when to implement an MIS in an organization, and IT or MIS directors will achieve that solution. These directors will also be responsible for implementing new policies regarding the MIS, as well as making sure that all new policies and solutions fall in line with existing IT policies, including training employees on the new system.
While information systems have been in use for decades, the acceleration of technological growth in our society means that these information systems have become increasingly digital and complex.
Functions and Benefits of Management Information Systems
At its core, an MIS is meant to take in data, either automatically or via manual input, and generate a report to help management make critical business decisions. The following are a few of the benefits of using an MIS:
- Companies can gain better organizational visibility via the data and reports generated by MIS.
- MIS reports can help identify an enterprise’s strengths and weaknesses, which can lead to strategically reproducing strengths and successes, as well as exercising weaknesses and failures.
- MIS can help improve operational efficiency, product development, and business-critical decision-making.
- Certain types of MIS like office automation systems can help with communication and organization between personnel.
- Stellar customer data management and analysis can lead to better marketing and promotional decisions.
- MIS can help reduce downtime for decision-making while providing a company a competitive advantage.
To understand how MIS benefits businesses, it helps to understand MIS solutions and the parts of business specifically that they pertain to.
Types of Management Information Systems Solutions
There are many different types of management information systems solutions designed to handle multiple aspects of a business. Those include:
Decision support systems (DSSs) are a type of MIS solution that gather data and help users make decisions. These types of systems could theoretically be used for any field that requires decision-making, but have been used to monitor processes and interpret data from a variety of sources. From railroads to dams, DSSs take data from a (usually) automated monitoring system and then perform a diagnosis on these processes, leading to decisions that promote greater efficiency, safety, and cost-savings.
An executive information system (EIS) is commonly considered a form of DSS, and is used by upper-level executives to help make decisions. This type of system is designed to be easy for management to use and to offer efficiency to decision-makers via summarized reports.
Every business worth its salt should be collecting and interpreting business data, even if that comes down to inventory and assets. A standard local database and database management system (DBMS) might be considered two of the most basic forms of MIS, the analysis of which can help decision-makers decide when to order and stock inventory, stop ordering certain products, how long inventory sits around, etc. Those who want to become proficient in mining, analyzing, and interpreting big data should consider an MBA in Business Analytics.
Day-to-day human resources processes should be easy to manage and easy to access. Fortunately, human resources management systems (HRMS) facilitate this, providing a means of gathering, analyzing, and distributing HR information to decision-makers, managers, and stakeholders. Alongside an MBA in Human Resources Management, an HRMS and knowledge of how to use multiple types of HR software can make for a formidable HR professional and an efficient HR department to boot.
Accounting and Finance
Computer-based accounting information systems (AIS) are designed to support accounting functions and activities including auditing, managerial and tax accounting, and streamlining and automating financial reports. Cloud-based accounting information systems often integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, though even small-to-medium-sized organizations can benefit from the use of AIS. An MBA in Finance can help prepare any professional to use accounting or finance information systems.
Sales and Marketing
A marketing information system (MkIS) can help prevent and solve problems for marketing departments. Market-monitoring systems can be combined with strategic implementation and development systems, and should not be confused with market research, which can also help inform strategic decision making. Those with an MBA in Marketing will be prepared to use both market research and MkIS solutions to better inform their decisions.
Is a Degree in MIS Worth It?
Those who choose to pursue a degree in MIS will be well set up to pursue careers in multiple fields and industries including IT, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, or a general MBA if they choose to continue onto a graduate program. Management information systems majors might find a job as a developer, an analyst, or a consultant dealing with web, social media, and business information applications.
It should be noted that a career MIS isn’t just concerned with computer coding languages and architecture — it’s just as much about people, teamwork, leadership, and management. Those that want a career just as tangential to computer sciences as it is to people and management might want to check out a degree in MIS.
Lastly, according to the BLS, employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 11% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations, making a degree in MIS highly desirable.
© 2022 Montclair State University | All Rights Reserved