Many people who are interested in computer science, information technology, databases, and related areas may ask, “What is management information systems?” Management information systems refers to a computer database of a certain type of information. The information is collected and analyzed in order to provide feedback and monitor activities so that problems can be identified and changes can be made as soon as possible.
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Types of Data in Management Information Systems
Management information systems usually include financial data. They may also include anticipated results in order to make comparisons against actual sales or transactions. Some management information systems focus more on operations. This might include timeliness of deliveries, tolerances of products, production levels and more. Managers may use the data and compare it with the previous months or the previous years in order to get a feel for the direction of progress. On a day-to-day basis, managers might use the data for scheduling or evaluating a batch of materials.
How Data Gets Into Management Information Systems
There are several ways that data gets into management information systems. One way is the automated collection of data for each time materials are shipped or received. Data may be automatically collected from each production batch or each online transaction. Data could be entered semi-automatically with the use of scanners and bar or QR codes. In some companies, data is entered manually by a clerk or sales associate. This is typically done through a user interface that is set up to be easy for a non-technical person to use.
Reports Generated By Management Information Systems
Management information systems provide reports so that the administrators of a company can use the data for planning, evaluation, and monitoring. The system can be set up to generate specific reports at specific time intervals. For example, a company want a monthly sales report by salesperson and by location. The reports can also be set up to pull in information such as stock price. Reports can be set up to show revenue per item or per worker, expenses versus income or worker hours per units produced. Reports can also show waste, theft, over-scheduling, and under-scheduling of workers. Managers can use the reports to adjust security, staffing, hours and more.
Uses of Management Information Systems
There are many uses of management information systems. Small businesses use these systems in order to handle accounting, inventory, and scheduling. Large corporations may use them for predicting sales, ordering materials, planning their production and rotating inventory in anticipation of large sales events. They may coordinate the data with their customer relationship management systems in order to offer special deals on items that they have an excess of or that they will be discontinuing due to a lack of interest or an updated design. Managers also use the systems for communicating with vendors, clients, and workers.
Management information systems can be integrated into the other software that a company uses, including its sales software and customer relationship management systems. The people who mine the data in management information systems and use its reports are typically savvy at understanding the technology as well as adept at business planning. Knowing the answer to the question of “What is management information systems?” allows a person to plan the direction of their college degree or their career path.