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A management information system (MIS) is a set of systems and procedures that gather information from a range of sources, compile it and present it in a readable format. Managers use an MIS to create reports that provide them with a comprehensive overview of all the information they need to make decisions ranging from daily minutiae to top-level strategy. Today's management information systems rely largely on technology to compile and present data, but the concept is older than modern computing technologies.
The main purpose of a management information system is to make managers' decision-making more efficient and productive. By pooling information from a range of sources into a single database and presenting the information in a logical format, an MIS can provide managers with everything they need to make highly informed decisions and perform in-depth analysis of operational issues.
An MIS can collect nearly any type of information managers require. They can view financial data such as daily revenues and expenses at a glance and attribute them to specific departments or groups. Performance indicators such as the timeliness of projects or the quality of products coming off an assembly line can help managers pinpoint areas of needed improvement. Staff can manage schedules for work shifts, incoming deliveries and outgoing shipments from any place linked to the MIS. A management information system can facilitate collaboration and communication as well. Employees can edit and share documents and communicate relevant information on anticipated developments and warnings across the organization.