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Management information system
Management Information System (MIS) is a subset of the overall internal controls of a business covering the application of people, documents, technologies, and procedures by management accountants to solving business problems such as costing a product, service or a business-wide strategy. Management Information Systems are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organization. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems.
At the start, in businesses and other organizations, internal reporting was made manually and only periodically, as a by-product of the accounting system and with some additional statistics, and gave limited and delayed information on management performances.
In their infancy, business computers were used for the practical business of computing the payroll and keeping track of accounts payable and accounts receivable. As applications were developed that provided managers with information about sales, inventories, and other data that would help in managing the enterprise, the term "MIS" arose to describe these kinds of applications. Today, the term is used broadly in a number of contexts and includes (but is not limited to): decision support systems, resource and people management applications, project management, and database retrieval application.
'MIS' is a planned system of the collecting, processing, storing and disseminating data in the form of information needed to carry out the functions of management. According to Philip Kotler "A marketing information system consists of people equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers."
The terms MIS and information system are often confused. Information systems include systems that are not intended for decision making. MIS is sometimes referred to, in a restrictive sense, as information technology management. That area of study should not be confused with computer science. IT service management is a practitioner-focused discipline. MIS has also some differences with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as ERP incorporates elements that are not necessarily focused on decision support.
Professor Allen S. Lee states that "... research in the information systems field examines more than the technological system, or just the social system, or even the two side by side; in addition, it investigates the phenomena that emerge when the two interact."