By Graham Curtis; David Cobham

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Data on inflation rates and growth in market sizes fall into this category. This example illustrates the integrating nature of the database. The original data was used in transaction processing for disparate purposes but has now been brought together and used to predict cash flow. Because the modelling element of the provision of the information is designed to aid decisions, in this case on cash management, it is called a decision support system. Applications software Applications software will also interrogate the database to produce reports for management decision making and control.

A modern MIS will have some in-built flexibility enabling the manager to decide what information is to be produced. Alternative terminology This section has introduced the term ‘management information system’ as an allencompassing designation for systems that assist managers of a business in making decisions. However, some authors use the term ‘management information system’ to define a smaller subset of the systems described above. 16. Under this classification, the highest-level information systems are termed executive information systems (EIS).

Business systems need internal stability to guarantee continued functioning and survival in the light of a changing economic, commercial and financial environment. This is not a free gain, as the mechanisms introduce inefficiency or extra cost. 11 Subsystems coupling and decoupling: (a) highly coupled subsystems; (b) the use of inventory for decoupling; (c) slack capacity as a decoupling mechanism of buffer stock or the maintenance of slack production capacity. Nevertheless, a certain degree of stability through decoupling is usually thought desirable in any system and is often built in at the design stage.

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