Management Information Systems
A management information system is a computerized database of financial information organized and programmed in such a way that it produces regular operations reports for every level of management within a company. Special reports could also be obtained easily from the system. The primary purpose of a management information system is to give managers feedback about their performance and so that senior management can use this data to monitor the company as a whole. The management information system shows actual data rather than projected results from previous years, and measures progress against goals. It gathers data from company units and functions with some of the data collected automatically from check-out counters and other data inputted periodically. Management information systems generally are electronic automation systems that are beneficial to a company for their use in accounting and record-keeping.
Management information systems evolved over time from past accounting techniques such as ledgers and punch-cards that captured elements of information keyed in on punch-card machines. These punch-card results were then processed by other machines which could print out results of tallies. Each punch-card could be considered as a record which we’d know today as a database record with different areas of the card treated as fields. One of the pioneers in record-keeping was the company then known as the Computing-Tabulating-Record Company and today known as IBM. After World War II, computers emerged, and punch-card systems were used as both their front end and output systems, not disappearing entirely until the 1970s. Punch card systems were replaced by magnetic storage media such as tapes and disks. Computers used this new storage media for tallying purposes and for calculating. Management information systems developed when accounting functions became computerized.
Management information systems, in essence, is the study of people, technology, and organizations. This technology improves lives and productivity in the workplace by automating accounting and record-keeping practices. It is used by all types of businesses from supermarkets who analyze the output of such systems to determine which products sell best to music stores that use databases to sell CDs over the Internet.
Students who wish to study management information systems learn how businesses use information to improve the operations of a company, and how to manage information systems so that they best serve the needs of managers, staff, and consumers. They also learn how to create systems for finding and storing data. Some professions available to graduates of management information systems programs include:
The field of management information systems is continually improving and evolving over time and it is an innovative field into which to venture. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook estimated that employment within computer and information occupations is expected to grow by 22% with the addition of 758,000 new jobs from 2010 to 2020.
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