Role of information in decision-making. MIS
Information plays a vital role in decision-making. Even to take very simple decisions, we need information. To understand the role played by information in decision-making, we have to understand how decisions are taken. Decision-making is basically a process that includes the following stages :
1. Identification and structuring of problem/opportunity : One needs information to identify a problem and put it in a structured manner. Without information about a problem or opportunity, the decision-making process does not even start.
2. Putting the problem/ opportunity in context : Without information about the context in which the problem has occurred, one cannot take any decision on it. In a way, the information about the context defines the problem.
3. Generation of alternatives : Information is a key ingredient in the generation of alternatives for decision-making. One has to have information about possible solutions to generate alternatives.
4. Choice of the alternatives : Based on the information about the suitability of the alternatives, a choice is made to select the best alternative.
Decision-making is the most important task of managers in an organization. Therefore, to enable managers to take good quality decisions, it is very important to provide them with the right kind of information. Information management in organizations therefore assumes a special significance. In most organizations, business or otherwise, a systematic systems based method is used for information management. Systems based information management works best under a computerized environment and such computer based information management system is normally called ‘Management Information Systems (MIS)’, which provides the service of information supply to the managers enabling them to take informed decisions. It may be worthwhile to mention here that MIS does not necessitates the use of computer based technology, but the use of computers and information technology makes MIS suitable for business organizations in a competitive environment as it helps to provide timely and accurate information. MIS done manually, without the help of computers is neither timely nor accurate.