It’s no secret that making the right decisions based on consistent and clear data is key for the success of any company. However, dealing with tons of monthly and yearly reports makes data visualization and decision-making strenuous tasks that result in poor financial and operational inefficiency. With that in mind, more and more companies put in place management information systems to turn tons of data into useful information. Not only does it help them to facilitate the flow of information, but they can also avoid wrong choices.
What exactly is a Management Information System?
Generally, management information systems are used to coordinate, control and visualize data needed by a company's managers, business owners and other decision-makers to make informed and data-driven decisions for the company. Not only does it help businesses and companies operate more effectively, but it also allows them to better serve their customers, staff and bottom line. Let’s overview key functions of management information systems (MISs):
- Data capturing
- Data storage
- Data processing
- Data and information distribution
What are the types of Management Information Systems?
Thanks to data retrieved and aggregated from different units of the company, the system generates various types of reports to provide business leaders, owners and other decision-makers with useful and important details about situation occurred in the company. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution - different MISs meet different business needs.
That’s why we’re diving into the main types of MIS software to help you find a good fit for your business.
- Process сontrol systems: these systems are used to measure, monitor and control physical or industrial processes and activities to make sure they are carried out efficiently and consistently.
- Inventory control systems: these systems are built to manage and track a company's inventories through a full cycle of the supply chain, including purchasing, shipping, receiving, tracking, warehousing and storage, turnover, and reordering.
- Management reporting systems: these systems are designed to manage massive amounts of data and present information in the form of annual reports.
- Sales and marketing systems: these systems are used to monitor marketing and sales processes in the company so that marketing managers and salespeople can use gathered information in their decision-making.
- Accounting and finance systems: these systems are built to collect, store and process financial and accounting data and produce informational reports that help to be in the know about the current financial situation in the company.
- Enterprise collaboration/Office automation systems: these systems are used to keep track of employees, financial elements like payroll, benefits and retirement. Moreover, they automate the recruiting process by collecting and evaluating CVs as well as identifying the right potential candidates.
However, there are also other types of management information systems (MISs) such as decision support systems, expert systems, executive information systems, transaction process systems, school information management systems and local databases.
Why do you need a Management Information System for your business?
Let’s discover why companies should take into account management information solutions:
- If you need to identify a company's strengths and weaknesses
- If you need to get quick access to massive amounts of data
- If you need to help middle managers optimize decision-making and monitor performance
- If you need to promote better communications and connectivity between departments and share the same information
- If you need to eliminate time spent on gathering the data
- If you need to improve customer service and create more effective marketing and promotional campaigns.
What’s the idea of the project?
DDI Development team has great experience in creating and implementing an ocean of software solutions to meet business needs in such verticals as logistics, healthcare, eCommerce, eLearning, recruiting, fintech, and booking. Recently, we developed and implemented a management information system (MIS) for a UK-based financial company. Not only does it help our client identify non-performing areas in business, but our client can make more rational decisions based on reliable data. Only by incorporating the management information system can our client do the following:
- Get accurate information faster
- Spot problem areas and find agreeable solutions
- Make crucial business decisions with ease
- Improve operational flow
The development process of the management information system
Here we are going to overview the development process of the management information system (MIS) for a UK-based company. Keep on reading!
To create and implement a management information system, we needed the following specialists involved in the process:
- 1 Business analyst (BA)
- 1 Project manager (PM)
- 2 UI/UX designers
- 3 Front-end engineers
- 2 Quality assurance engineers (QA)
- 2 Backend engineers
When developing the management information solution, we focused on Agile methodology taking into account the following factors:
- The development team could easily adapt to any changes if the client’s requirements changed.
- The team could consider all the client’s needs over the requirements in the development plans.
- Instead of established processes, the team could concentrate more on results that were more important for both the team and the client.
Thanks to the key components of agile-driven development, our development team built and incorporated a management information system into the client’s business within 24 sprints.
For a quick start, the Business Analyst interviewed the client and stakeholders to gain a clear understanding of the problem they would like to tackle with a management information system (MIS). Once the Business Analyst collected all the essential information about the business processes, potential users, critical or necessary data, etc., the development team was able to define key features for the potential project and suggest necessary technology for their implementation. In addition to these, the Business Analyst created a project specification document outlining the desired system look and functional specification. Not only did it help the team understand how the client and stakeholders see the appearance and capabilities of the upcoming management information solution, but it could also provide more information for the development team.
Based on this information, the Project Manager could produce a preliminary estimate to the client and suggest the development process roadmap. Once it was confirmed, the planned scope of work (so-called Backlog) was broken down into 2-week sprints. Before each sprint, the whole team of designers, front-end and back-end engineers, QA engineers reviewed which features from the backlog they worked on and committed to some result by the end of each sprint. With demo sessions, the team gave feedback and discussed with the client any possible changes to the backlog which would help to maximize project value. Once the management information system (MIS) was free of bugs, the team launched it and collected feedback from users to make any improvement or upgrade.
There are two key user levels within the system: Financial Analyst and Administrator. However, you can create more user roles such as C-level board (CFO, CEO, etc.) if there is a necessity for your business.
- Financial Analyst: a user who is responsible for looking at massive amounts of data to identify opportunities or evaluate outcomes for business decisions; growing financial performance through analysis of financial forecasts, results, etc.
- Administrator: this role is assigned to a user who can manage every aspect of the management information system - from creating user roles to defining their access levels and permissions within the system.
Financial Analyst Dashboard
You can register in the system as a Financial Analyst and land on the main page - Dashboard. It’s the homepage of the management information system. On the Dashboard page, you can see the tabs including Activities, Processes, Tasks, Sales Metrics and Finance Metrics. The Sales metrics tab shows a user's, team's or company's performance and helps track progress toward goals, prepare for future growth, adjust sales compensation, identify any strategic issues, etc. The Finance Metrics tab represents information such as revenue, expenses, net income, cashflow and so on that illuminate a business’s performance and help identify issues holding it back.
With the Tasks feature, you can properly plan your tasks daily, weekly or even on a monthly basis. Not only does it simplify your work, but it also minimizes the chances of missing them out. Moreover, you can view who created the task, task deadline, estimated time, etc. In addition to this, you can also filter and search tasks or display your tasks into different layouts - List or Kanban.
The Activities feature allows you to visualize the relationships and dependencies between the various activities and tasks, view the timelines and deadlines of all tasks, etc. Not only does it help you provide visibility into team workloads, but it also makes sure the teams are on the same page. Moreover, it eliminates confusion about dependencies, especially which team needs to finish what before another team can begin their task.
Thanks to the Processes feature, you can discover all the processes that are absolutely essential to efficiently running a business. They are the following: Sales, Orders, Purchases, Invoices, Sales. The Sales process tab shows the sales pipeline and allows you to identify where in the sales funnel your deals are, which sales activities generate revenue, how many customers have been turned into closed deals.
The Reports feature provides you with an accurate and clear picture of a company’s finances, including their revenues, expenses, profits and cash flow, etc. Not only does it help you gain in-depth insights into financial information and streamline your business’s financial activities, but you can also create legally compliant reports, from budgets to cash flow statements and balance sheets by avoiding human errors. Here you can find the following types of reports:
- Sales Reports
- Financial Reports
- Profit/Loss Reports
- Income Reports
- Purchase Reports
- Market Reports
Thanks to the Notifications feature, you can keep information under control and organized. Moreover, you ensure that you never miss an important update and are always on top of what’s going on in the areas of information you need the most. Not only do real-time notifications update you immediately to important changes or events, but you can also stay up-to-date.
Only by signing in as an Administrator can you land on the Dashboard page. Here you can find such options as Data sources, Integrations, Notifications and System Settings. Let’s take a closer look at them below!
With the Data sources feature, you can discover where data is born, where it is digitalized, etc. Its main purpose is to capture or hold data of interest. Not only does it help applications or other systems connect to and move data to where it needs to be, but it also produces information in a more easily understood and user-friendly format.
Thanks to the Integrations feature, you can connect a variety of additional third-party solutions with your system that will add your existing system efficiency or scalability or simplifies the workload. Only by using integration feature can business and work processes be done more effectively and efficiently.
The System Settings feature represents a significant number of options for configuration and customization and allows you to configure a number of system functions and features with a simple click. On the System Settings page, you can find out such tabs as Users, Tasks, Processes, Reports and switch between them to make any changes.
What are the key components of Management Information System?
Generally, the management information systems (MISs) include the following components:
- People Resources: users involved in the day-to-day business processes and required for the operation of all information systems.
- Data Resources: means a database that gathers and processes data collected from activities.
- Software Resources: means all specialized software required to perform a variety of tasks and activities within the company.
- Hardware Resources: includes all physical devices such as computers, printers, networking devices to process information.
- Process: includes all the business processes that are necessary to attain established goals.
Also, you can read about: How to create CRM for the banking sector
What are the benefits of Management Information System for your business?
The points below show the benefits you can derive from a good management Information system (MIS). Don’t hesitate to read!
- Trends analysis: applying various algorithms, the system can analyze the current market trends and predict future trends based on such information to help stakeholders or business owners plan strategically and determine future goals.
- Reduced risk of errors: the system eliminates data replication that minimizes chances of human errors being made and contributes to more accurate data available.
- Better decision-making: with MIS solution in place, you can access accurate, timely, relevant and complete information on how well your business runs. Not only does it help you discover a complete picture of a situation, but it also allows you to make a data-driven decision to change the situation.
- Problems identification: with the system, you can map out and repair any issue as efficiently as possible. Only by identifying the source of the problem and breaking down it into components can you uncover solutions to address it.
- Increased efficiency: thanks to the MIS solution, you can manage every aspect of your business by accessing more complete and more recent information. Not only does it help you reduce the data management frustration, but your business can operate more efficiently.
- Improved productivity: with the MIS solution, the overall work process runs more effectively in terms of access to the same information and better collaboration between departments and teams.
Bottom line: Ready to put Management Information System in place?
With the rapid development of a variety of software solutions, companies can remain competitive. Having a management information system on hand allows you to get a clear picture on management and business processes, strategy and performance in your company. Moreover, it provides a plethora of reports on all the data you have to make informed decisions. Only by understanding your business’ data can you plan strategically and allocate resources in an organized and systematic way. That’s why if you want to grow your business and survive in the market, a management information system (MIS) is what you need. Drop us a line if you want to turn thousands of data into helpful, usable and information.