Friday, October 3, 2008

MIS - what an organisation needs today........

I was asked to jot down a note on Lift Irrigation Project of Naandi Foundation the other day, perhaps a lot of things happened in this project from 1999 onwards. While doing this assignment I got to learn an important lesson on how important is information gathering for an organization and what is the importance of information for the purpose of research and analysis.

Information is usually an outcome of data. To collect data in an efficient manner needs a proper and systematic approach. Specially in a project like Lift Irrigation in livelihoods sector needs a complete understanding so that these data can be used as a source of information for analysis in any impact studies or in assessing the outcomes and growth in different parameters developed for the surveys.

To disseminate information in a more planned and sophisticated manner Management Information System (MIS) is used in different organisations. MIS is a planned system of collecting,processing,storing and disseminating data in the form of information needed to carry out the necessary functions. It is used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making. In a certain sense this term MIS is given to the discipline focused on the integration of computer systems with the aims and objectives of the organisation.

For gathering of concrete information in a systematic manner Naandi foundation Lift Irrigation project has adopted this management system where the field coordinators will collect data from the farmers at the village level and put it in the format decided by the team. This will certainly help in arranging and updating the data in an organised manner. There are different ways in which we can arrange and distribute information,but to put in a way where one can easily access information and updates and can comprehend is actually important.

The purpose of MIS is to help the smooth running of the business by providing information on the firms data (such as accounting figures). Employees from different levels will then evaluate this information so that decisions can be made to ensure that the business remains competitive and successful. MIS have been created to support the whole range of business's administration and regulatory activities.

The Concept of management information systems originated in the 1960s and it attempted to relate computer technology and systems to data processing in business. During the early 1960s, it became evident that the computer was being applied to the solution of business problem,concentrating almost entirely on the computerization of clerical and record – keeping tasks.

Thus MIS is an integrated Man-machine system that facilitates information to support the planning and control function in an organisation. In a nutshell,MIS facilitates planning, it encourages decentralisation of authority, it brings co-ordination and also assembles,process,stores,evaluates and disseminate the information.

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