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A management information system (MIS) is a broadly used and applied term for a three-resource system required for effective organization management. The resources are people, information and technology, from inside and outside an organization, with top priority given to people. The system is a collection of information management methods involving computer automation (software and hardware) or otherwise supporting and improving the quality and efficiency of business operations and human decision making.
As an area of study, MIS is sometimes referred to as information technology management (IT management) or information services (IS). Neither should be confused with computer science.
It is important to note that a management information system should not only indicate the status of a business’s conditions, but also indicate why the conditions are improving or deteriorating. For example, an MIS should report performance relative to cost and profitable or unprofitable projects, while identifying individual accountability – both current and past. This can be done only if such reports are based on constantly updated information accessible to those in authority who are responsible for assessing and assuring it is used for timely decision-making.
Examples of the broad scope and varied contexts of MISs are:
The term MIS and "information system" are often confused. Information systems, by themselves, are differentiated from the decision-making process. Of course, the data within them may facilitate the decision-making process.
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