An executive information system (EIS) is a decision support system (DSS) used to assist senior executives in the decision-making process. It does this by providing easy access to important data needed to achieve strategic goals in an organization. An EIS normally features graphical displays on an easy-to-use interface. Executive information systems can be used in many different types of organizations to monitor enterprise performance as well as to identify opportunities and problems.
Early executive information systems were developed as computer-based programs on mainframe computers to provide a company’s description, sales performance and/or market research data for senior executives. However, senior executives were not all computer literate or confident. Moreover, EIS data was only supporting executive-level decisions but not necessarily supporting the entire company or enterprise. Current EIS data is available company- or enterprise-wide, facilitated by personal computers and workstations on local area networks (LANs). Employees can access company data to help decision-making in their individual workplaces, departments, divisions, etc.. This allows employees to provide pertinent information and ideas both above and below their company level. The typical EIS has four components: hardware, software, user interface and telecommunication.
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