Components, Purpose and Function of Information Systems

14 03 2010

Jenna Doucet (September, 2009).

Components, Purpose, and Functions of Various Information Systems

“Every aspect of management in the modern age relies heavily on information to thrive” (Adekeye, 1997, p.318). It is commonly said that information is power, thus the development and use of information systems, such as the Information management system (MIS), the Decision support system (DSS), and the group support system (GSS) that enhance the use of knowledge inside an organization, can be great sources of power in today’s competitive world. In order to fully appreciate the benefits these systems can bring to an organization and which system best suits the needs of the business it is essential to understand each systems components, purpose and functions.



The components of the MIS are comprised of perception ( the initial capture or generation of data), recording (capturing data physically), processing (the transformation of data into the organizations specific needs), transmission (the flow of information in the system), storage of data, retrieval of data and presentation ( the reporting and communication of data and information) (Adekeye, 1997).


Adekeye (1997), states that the purpose of the MIS and the reason for which it exists in the organization is to “ help them achieve objectives, to plan and control their processes and operations, to help deal with uncertainty, and to help in adapting change or, indeed, initiating change (p. 322).


The functional aspects of the MIS include:

  • Financial MIS: provides financial information for executives and professionals who makes financial decisions on a daily basis (Stair and Reynolds, 2006).
  • Manufacturing MIS: provides manufacturing information to professionals in order to make better decisions on increasing quality of products and productivity (Stair and Reynolds, 2006).
  • Marketing MIS: supports decision making processes involving product development, distribution, pricing decisions, promotional effectiveness and sales forecasting (Stair and Reynolds, 2006).
  • Human Resource MIS: human resources MIS’s support activities relating to employee’s information (Stair and Reynolds, 2006).
  • Other MIS: Other MIS’s include accounting MIS which works closely with the financial MIS and provides aggregate information on accounts payable and receivable, payroll and more, as well as the  geographical information systems (GIS) which, is a computer system that assembles, stores, manipulates and displays geographical referenced information ( Stair and Reynolds, 2006)



“The components of a DSS include a database, a model base, external database access, access to the internet and corporate intranet, networks, and other computer systems, and a dialogue manager” (Stair and Reynolds, 2006, p.246).

The Database

The database management system provides managers with qualitative analysis of a company’s storage of information and data in databases, data warehouses, and data marts (Stair and Reynolds, 2006).

The Model Base

The model base write Stair and Reynolds (2006) “is a part of a DSS that provides decision makers with access to a variety of models and assists them in decision making” (p.246).

The Dialogue Manager

The dialogue manager is the component of the DSS that allows users to interact with the system and obtain information. “ In a practical sense, to most DSS users, the dialogue manager is the DSS” (Stair and Reynolds, 2006, p.247).


Stair and Reynolds (2006) write that the purpose of the DSS is to “handle unstructured problems that cannot be easily programmed”(p.245), “to support individuals, small groups and the entire organization” (p.245), “support all aspects and phases of decision making” (p.245), and “is a direct support system that provides interactive reports on computer screens” (p.245).


The functions of the DSS are to support problem solving phases, support for different decision frequencies, support for different problem structures and support for various decision making levels. A DSS can also provide for different functions such as financial, statistical, graphical and project management model type software (Stair and Reynolds, 2006).



“A GSS contains most of the same elements of elements found in a DSS, plus software to facilitate group member communications (Stair and Reynolds, 2006).

GSS software is often referred to as groupware because it helps individuals work together and assist in their scheduling, communication, and management. “GSS software allows work teams to collaborate and reach better decisions- even when they work across town, in another region or on the other side of the planet” (Stair and Reynolds, 2006).


The purpose of the GSS is to handle situations that are not always suitable for the DSS. The GSS has additional features that make support for group settings more effective.


The functions of a GSS include e-mail and instant messaging, videoconferencing, project management and document sharing.


The MIS, DSS and GSS are important tools that allow individuals and companies to make decisions more effectively.


Adekeye, A. (1997). The importance of Management information systems. Library Review. 46 (5), 318-327. Retrieved on September 3rd, 2009 from ProQuest database.

Stair, M. & Reynolds, W. (2006). Fundamentals of information systems (3rd ed.). Boston: Thomson Course Technology.




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