Businesses run on information, and information systems comprise the computer networks, software and databases that turn data into knowledge. This knowledge enables businesses to accelerate communication, simplify decision-making, optimize operations and sort, analyze and retain data for accurate reporting.
“When used effectively, information systems can give organizations a competitive advantage by providing them with a way to improve efficiency and effectiveness while reducing costs,” according to WoodWard Avenue, a business resource archive.
Graduates of advanced business programs have the information systems knowledge highly demanded in the modern marketplace. In addition, these professionals have a thorough understanding of collecting and analyzing data to implement business strategies.
What Types of Information Systems Do Companies Use?
Information systems are broadly categorized as one of three terms: management support, knowledge worker support and operational support. Some of the most widely deployed systems include the following:
Transaction processing systems (TPS) are an operational support network that collects, organizes and distributes data generated by day-to-day operations. TPS is further divided into real-time and batch management. Examples of real-time TPS processing include the airline industry’s reservation system and point-of-sale transactions in the retail sector. An example of batch processing in the consumer finance industry is check processing, in which transactions are accumulated and processed as a single unit.
Management information systems (MIS) is a financial data and reporting system that gives all levels of business leadership insights into company performance measured against forecasts. The reports enable senior and mid-level managers to assess performance within their business units and provide the “big picture” to executive leadership.
Executive information systems (EIS) software, also known as executive support systems (ESS), collects and analyzes enterprise and inter-departmental data that executive-level leaders in finance and staffing operations use to make decisions more quickly and with greater degrees of certainty. As a predictive resource, EIS provides statistics-based insights that forecast potential outcomes.
Decision support systems (DSS) gathers, analyzes and simplifies complex, raw datasets to develop and distribute reports for middle and senior management. Typically, DSS supports sales projections, inventory and other operations-related data.
Office automation systems (OAS) enable data to move across systems without human intervention. Among the benefits companies realize from OAS are increased accuracy and data-based metrics for reporting, simplified workflow creation and optimized performance.
Knowledge work systems (KWS) support employees in problem-solving, product development and other business professionals whose productivity is measured by the quality — not the quantity — of their output. KWS collects, stores and processes data for “knowledge workers.”
“In the current era, almost every business is trying to innovate its operations and products using technology — and getting a new automated, integrated system is the best way to do that,” according to Vates, a system integration solutions provider.
How Do Business Professionals Learn About Information Systems?
Because of the proliferation of information management systems (new hardware and software for managing data are easily accessible) and they have a task-specific nature, a general Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a high-value credential.
The MBA curriculum offered online by the University of West Florida, for instance, equips graduates with an experiential, applied learning experience. The flexibility afforded by a general MBA prepares them for senior management and executive roles that use insights via information systems, including the analysis of:
- Critical elements of complex business problems and alternatives to solve them
- Key performance indicators in finance, marketing, supply chain operations and strategic perspectives
- The impact of economic, regulatory and tax policies on the business environment
An advanced business degree can equip business professionals with the necessary knowledge in information systems so they can make informed business decisions.
Learn more about the University of West Florida’s online MBA program.