Such decisions should in turn, help in the achievement of the goals of the firm. Further, it also helps managers implement of plans, monitor budgets and take corrective actions so that the organisation could grow in all the areas of its operations.
1. Framework of Understanding:
To present the framework of understanding for MIS, we, here, are taking account of Anthony who classified management of a firm into 3 levels-strategic, tactical and operational.
2. Important Guidelines at the Strategic Level:
At the strategic level, the following are the important guidelines at the strategic level are
(i) Information is only numeric text; the top brass talks in terms of figures. But, some sets of information could be in the form of (brief) text as well.
(ii) It comprises most of the numeric values. The top brass prefers to avoid text in reports and electronic spreadsheets. Some reports can be used to give plain facts, which are in text formats.
(iii) It is generated less frequently. Sometimes, months or years may be taken to generate important sets of information.
(iv) It has to be accurate; else the top brass goes mad!
(v) It must be of use of the top brass only. No other person in the firm can use it. It is classified and jealously guarded.
(vi) Most of it is prepared by the top brass or its deputies. Tactical-level managers give information to the top brass. But, this information is again classified or pruned to make it relevant to the needs of the top brass. The assistance of top brass does these jobs.
(vii) MIS systems are computerised and mostly connected by WAP, Blue Tooth, cellular phones etc. Internet is used quite often.
(viii) The finally prepared information sets must be effective. These must help the top brass take decisions. Most of these decisions are strategic, in nature.
(ix) Timely submission of data is important.
3. Important Guidelines at the Tactical Level:
This level comprises all the functional managers. These managers need information from outside the firm. But, most of these information sets would emanate from their own departments.
They have to control their respective units or departments through budgets, inventory control techniques, PPC tools, Quality Control charts, GANTT charts etc. They need to take decisions regarding their department and divisions. They use a combination of text and numerical data in their operations. Important guidelines at the tactical level are
(i) Information is of routine nature but, in a concise format. Routine figures are eliminated but, important figures are put in reports and forms.
(ii) It comprises most of numerical values, supported by some text.
(iii) It is generated periodically, i.e. every week, month or year.
(iv) It must be accurate.
(v) It must be relevant to the functional unit or division that creates or uses it.
(vi) Most of it is filtered to let only numeric figures go to the top brass.
(vii) Computerisation of the MIS is a must; in fact, the MIS is relevant at the tactical level.
(viii) The filtered information must be effective. This means that it must help tactical managers take vital decisions in the context of their divisions or units.
(ix) Timely collection of information is important.
4. Important Guidelines at the Operational Level:
The third category is that of operational level management. The supervisory staff handle labour, foremen, sales executives and other junior staff under them. Information handled by them is voluminous but, technical in nature.
Important guidelines at the Operational Level are:
(i) Information is of routine nature.
(ii) It comprises text and numerical values.
(iii) It is generated quite often. It is also made redundant quite often.
(iv) It must be accurate.
(v) It must be relevant to the department or section that creates or uses it.
(vi) Parts of this information are filtered so that these could be presented to the middle-level management.
(vii) Some parts this (filtered) information can also be used by the top management. (vz/7) Computerisation of the MIS is necessary at this level; in fact, the MIS is not relevant at this level this level is the source of all the information sets.
(ix) Information must be generated in time and submitted to supervisors in time.
5. Designing MIS:
Here, the presenting the process of system design for the purpose of designing MIS.
In fact System Analysis and Design (SAD) is a jointly organised and executed task. But, we are discussing system design separately because of its dependence upon system analysis. However, both are inseparable.
System design would specify how the new system ought to operate. It is an iterative process. It is based on what the system would do, as depicted in the feasibility report. It has 5 parts, as follows:
The system is studies to determine what types of outputs would be emanating out of it.
Output requirements having been defined, the input needs are defined in this step. We have to define what types of inputs we would be feeding into the system. Documents are also defined; some of these may be revised while, some others may have to be discarded.
Files have to be designed in a logical manner. That is because; data would be stored in these files (and taken from them) time and again. All these files are electronic files. These are, in fact, collections of large numbers of records.
This step would define the actual procedure of processing. The operations to be done by the computer would be defined. The sequence of all the programmes to be run the computer would also be defined. Further, manual operations for feeding such data would also be defined; so would operations of outputs and their precise formats.
It delineates such procedures as would ensure the correctness of processing and accuracy of data, timely outputs and other related factors.