The Importance of Management Information Systems

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Authors: W.B. Adeoti

Publication Year: 1997


Journal: Library Review

Volume: 46

Issue: 5

Categories: Information Management


Presents a discussion on the importance of management information systems in management. It explains the role of information, as an essential tool for managers in planning and decision making. It describes MIS as a well co-ordinated information system, a database that is to provide management with needed information to plan and make decisions. Modern technology has further made the resort to MIS in management imperative because of the changing circumstances and environment. Also identifies some problems which can hinder effective use of MIS. These are lack of management involvement in the design; poor appreciation of management support. Finally, recommends that organizations, both private and public; commercial and non-commercial should endeavour to set up an MIS unit in their organizations so that adequate information can be put at the disposal of their management.

Critical Reflection

In the new knowledge era, information is come across as a key aspect. Management is dependent on information to ensure the success of an organization. Information cannot be overlooked on certain levels and must be supported on all levels so that it can be utilized appropriately for better planning, better decision making in order to receive better results. Adeoti –Adekeye quotes various definitions of what information is, central to the definitions is that information is a valuable resource that it should be efficiently managed. Information management by various authors is seen as managing information in an organization using modern information technologies. That is using technology to provide the relevant information to the desired persons at the appropriate time. The information systems concept Adeoti-Adekeye appropriately states that our desire and need to obtain computer assistance, especially in problem solving has rapidly increased with the reach of computer technology. Therefore information systems have become of growing interest in progressive and dynamic organizations. It is also considered to be a valuable resource especially those systems that assist management with decision making processes. Information systems can be divided according to functionality, Adeoti-Adekey list functional elements relating to the organisation and its environments:

• perception – initial entry of data whether captured or generated, into the organization; • recording – physical capture of data; • processing – transformation according to the “specific” needs of the organization; • transmission – the flows which occur in an information system; • storage – presupposes some expected future use; • retrieval – search for recorded data; • presentation – reporting, communication; and • decision making – a controversial inclusion, except to the extent that the information system engages in decision making that concerns itself.

To clarify our understanding of information systems, Adeoti-Adekeye quotes Salton (1975) in highlighting the most important computer-based information system elements as listed below as well as emphasizes that management information systems are merely sub - systems of information systems. • information retrieval system (IR); • question-answering system; • database system (DBS); • management information system (MIS); • decision support system (DSS

Management information systems (MIS)

The most vital function of management information systems is to process data into information and communicate the resulting information to the user. The presence of management information systems within organisations is to assist in achieving the organisation’s goals and objectives, as well as streamline its processes and operations, assist in dealing with uncertainty, and to help it adapt to change or, initiate change. This along with the accelerating rate of change and an ever more complex environment managers face increases importance of management information systems. “Without relevant information, no manager can function effectively”.

In conclusion Adeoti-Adekeye views management information systems as the “lifeblood” of organisations. All role players need to support and appreciate management’s information requirements and that of the organisation, in order for its success. He also recommends that managers should be careful, as they can become inundated with only marginally relevant facts rather than be presented with concrete and absolutely useful information. With an appropriate and well implemented and managed MIS unit success can be reached and maintained.