What is Management Information Systems (MIS)

A management information system (MIS) is a computer system consisting of hardware and software that serves as the backbone of an organization’s operations. An MIS gathers data from multiple online systems, analyzes the information, and reports data to aid in management decision-making.
MIS is also the study of how such systems work.

Improved Decision-Making

The purpose of an MIS is improved decision-making, by providing up-to-date, accurate data on a variety of organizational assets, including:

  • Financials
  • Inventory
  • Personnel
  • Project timelines
  • Manufacturing
  • Real estate
  • Marketing
  • Raw materials
  • R&D

The MIS collects the data, stores it, and makes it accessible to managers who want to analyze the data by running reports.

Central Information System

The goal of an MIS is to be able to correlate multiple data points in order to strategize ways to improve operations. For example, being able to compare sales this month to sales a year ago by looking at staffing levels may point to ways to boost revenue. Or being able to compare marketing expenditures by geographic location and link them to sales can also improve decision-making. But the only way this level of analysis is possible is due to data that is compiled through an MIS.

Running reports that pull together disparate data points is an MIS’ key contribution. That feature, however, comes with a significant cost. MIS implementation is an expensive investment that includes the hardware and software purchases, as well as the integration with existing systems and training of all employees.