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Management Information System and Attributes of Information
October 31, 2011 by:
rekhas Points: 12
Unprocessed and un-analyzed data becomes valuable information after proper processing. In simple terms, information is the data, processed into meaningful format, and is useful in decision-making processes. Here are some various attributes of information.
Information is a main resource for managers to monitor regular operations in the organization. Many times, problems crop up in organizations because of a communication gap. Accurate information helps to bridge this gap between actual and desired state by identifying the gap and finding ways to overcome the gaps. What is then, the meaning of information? In simple terms, information is the data, processed into meaningful format, and is useful in decision-making processes.
Essential Attributes of Information
Not all data can become information. Data can include unanalyzed and unprocessed facts or figures. During analysis and processing of data, managers remove irrelevant information and use only the relevant data. Such a processed and analyzed data becomes valuable information. Information is of use to managers when it has the key attributes such as- accuracy, timeliness, relevance and completeness. Let us describe the attributes in detail-
Accuracy - the information should be true, correct and accurate.
Timeliness- information should be available in the right time without too much delay.
Relevance- information should be relevant to the situation in discussion. If information does not help in additional knowledge to the manager, it is not relevant to the situation at hand. Information relevant at one time, may be irrelevant at other times and situations.
Completeness- it might be a rare case to find complete information for a situation. However, the information gathered, should be complete enough to help in effective decision-making.
Other essential attributes to information include- frequency or up-to-date information; time horizon, scope of coverage, origin or based on source, either external or internal, and form of presentation (written, printed, verbal or graphical form).
Information Needs of managers
Managers require information to carry on their regular managerial activities. Information created inside the organization is internal information. It helps to manage daily operations. On the other hand, information created outside organization, helps to plan and control various activities. Top-level managers use external information for planning and controlling. Some examples of internal information include- everyday receipts and expense reports, quantity of inventory, product selling price and cost price and quotas given to sales division.
Similarly, examples of external information include- demand for new services and products, information related to customer satisfaction regarding products and services, changes in supplier's policies, information of promotions, campaigns, and price changes or new products that competitors plan; changes in government's policies and regulations.
Sometimes, organizations also need to provide external information to government, suppliers and customers. These include-
Providing prices of goods and services - to consumers
Providing information about quantity of inventory needed -to suppliers
Providing revenues of sales and profits in a year- to the government
Moreover, information needs differ for various levels in the organization hierarchy. Lower level managers require more detailed information than top-level managers do. This is because the top-level managers consider the broader perspectives. They require only such information which helps in developing or enhancing their decisions.
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