Management information system or MIS can be defined as a planned system of gathering, processing, storing and disseminating information so that effective management decisions can be taken. It plays an important role in management’s effective performance of planning and controlling functions. From the point of view of managerial control, MIS is most helpful in providing timely, relevant information so that managers can make greater use of various types of controls. The concept of MIS is closely related to computer technology. It is an attempt to deal with
huge cost, revenue, inventory, pay-roll and other data in an orderly and timely manner, so that needful information is placed in the management’s hands in the right form and at the right time. MIS can keep a lead of sales status by product, territory, salesperson, and customers with deviations, production status by product, department, plant, including orders behind schedule and reason for deviation, profit position, inventory position, personnel skill inventory, budget deviation and automatic compilation of all financial ratios.
According to W.H. Sinler four critical factors are to be considered in building, using and evaluating MIS, viz;
(1) meeting organizational objectives
(2) providing information flow
(3) delivering the right quality and quantity of information and
(4) providing timely information
The goal of an MIS is to provide what is needed (no more or no less) to those who need it (managers and decision makers) at the right time and place, and in right form. Information is needed at various levels of management. All organizations need to deliberately and consciously develop MIS for effective managerial control.