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With the exposure to all the above information systems, let us find out the
differences between DSS and MIS. Table-1enlists some basic differences
between Decision Support System, Management Information Systems and
Executive Information System. As the name implies, the later two are the
systems that provide information that may or may not be used for making a
decision whereas the support information provided for deciding on the policy,
planning or implementation is the basic component of DSS.

Let us find out the characteristics of the three systems:


- DSS generally provide support for unstructured, or semi-structured decisions

(decisions that cannot be described in detail).
- DSS problems are often characterized by incomplete or uncertain knowledge,
or the use of qualitative data.
- DSS will often include modelling tools in them, where various alternative
scenarios can be modeled and compared.
- Investment decisions are an examples of those that might be supported by DSS


- MIS is generally more sophisticated reporting systems built on existing transaction

processing systems
- Often used to support structured decision making (decisions that can be described
in detail before the decision is made)
- Typically will also support tactical level management, but sometimes are used at
other levels
- Examples of structured decisions supported by MIS might include deciding on stock
levels or the pricing of products.


Focus Analysis, decision Information Status Access
Support processing
Typical Users Analysts, Middle, lower Senior Executives
Served professions, levels, sometime Expediency
managers (via senior executives
Impetus Effectiveness Efficiency
Application Diversified Areas Production Environmental
where Managerial control, sales scanning,
Decisions are forecasts, performance
made financial analysis,
human resource evaluation,
management identifying
problems and
Database(s) Special Corporate Special
Decision Supports semi- Direct or indirect Indirect support,
Support structured and support, mainly mainly high level
Capabilities unstructured structured routine and
decision making; problems, using unstructured
mainly ad-hoc, but standard decisions and
sometimes operations, policies
repetitive research and
decisions other models
Type of Information to Scheduled and News items,
Information support demand reports; external
specific situations structured flow, information on
exception customers,
reporting mainly competitors and
internal operations the environment
Principal Use Planning, Control Tracking and
Organizing, control
staffing and
Adaptability Permits individual Usually none, Tailored to the
to judgment, what-if standardized decision making
Individual capabilities, some style
User choice of dialogue of each individual
style executive, offers
several options of
Graphics Integrated part of Desirable A must
many DSS
User A must where no Desirable A must
Friendliness intermediaries are
Treatment of Information Information is Filters and
Information provided by the provided to a compresses the
EIS/or MIS is used diversified group information,
as an input of users who then tracks critical data
to the DSS manipulate it or and
summarize information
it as needed
Supporting Can be Inflexibility of Instant access to
Detailed programmed into reports, cannot the supporting
Information DSS get details of any
the supporting summary
details quickly
Model Base The Core of the Standard Models Can be added,
DSS are available but usually not
are not managed included or
limited in nature
Construction By users, either By vendors or IS By Vendors or IS
alone or with specialists Specialists
specialists from IS
or IC departments
Hardware Mainframes, Mainframes, Distributed
micros or Micros or system
distributed distributed
Nature of Large Application Interactive, easy
Computing computational oriented, to access multiple
Packages capabilities, performance databases, on-
modelling reports, line access,
languages and strong reporting sophisticated
simulation, capabilities, DBMS capabilities
applications and standard and complex
DSS statistical, linkages
generators financial,
accounting and
science models


- EIS support a range of decision making, but more often than not, this tends to be
- EIS support the executive level of management, often used to formulate high level
strategic decisions impacting on the direction of the organization
- These systems will usually have the ability to extract summary data from internal
systems, along with external data that provides intelligence on the environment
of the organization
- Generally these systems work by providing a user friendly interface into other
systems, both internal and external to the organization

Q. Advantages of MIS:
1. It Facilitates planning: MIS improves the quality of plants by providing relevant
information for sound decision - making. Due to increase in the size and complexity of
organizations, managers have lost personal contact with the scene of operations.

2. In Minimizes information overload: MIS change the larger amount of data in to

summarize form and there by avoids the confusion which may arise when managers are
flooded with detailed facts.

3. MIS Encourages Decentralization: Decentralization of authority is possibly when there

is a system for monitoring operations at lower levels. MIS is successfully used for
measuring performance and making necessary change in the organizational plans and

4. It brings Co-ordination: MIS facilities integration of specialized activities by keeping

each department aware of the problem and requirements of other departments. It
connects all decision centers in the organization.
5. It makes control easier: MIS serves as a link between managerial planning and
control. It improves the ability of management to evaluate and improve performance.
The used computers has increased the data processing and storage capabilities and
reduced the cost.

6. MIS assembles, process, stores, Retrieves, evaluates and disseminates the



1. Highly sensitive requires constant monitoring.

2. Buddgeting of MIS extremely difficult.
3. Quality of outputs governed by quality of inputs.
4. Lack of flexibility to update itself.
5. Effectiveness decreases due to frequent changes in top management.
Difference between GDSS and DSS:

 GDSS focuses on group decisions while DSS focuses on individual decisions

 DSS relies to a knowledge base to some degree while a GDSS does not rely to a
knowledge base.
 GDSS requires a working connection between users while DSS does not
 GDSS is applicable to every situation while DSS is not

Q. Difference between programmable and non-programmable

Programmed Decisions:
1. These are for solving day to day and routine problems and are
repetitive in nature.

2. Rules and procedures are described for taking these decisions.

3. These decisions remains consistent for a relatively longer period of

time and over many situations.

4. These decisions are made for solving both simple and complex

5. Requires no judgment.
Non-Programmed Decisions:
1. These are for solving non-repetitive tactical or unique problems.

2. Every decision will have to be taken separately by analyzing and

evaluating each problem.

3. Every decision is different and there is no consistency.

4. Such decisions are for solving complex problems of the


5. Such Decisions require judgment in each case.

Q. Discuss the relevance of MIS to a business organisation with help of

an example.

6 reasons why information systems are important

to business

1) Operational Excellence – businesses can constantly improve their

efficiency of their operations in order to achieve higher profitability.
They can do this by constantly having the correct amount of stock in
store so consumers can always get want they want.

2) New product services and business models – I.S systems play a

major role for businesses in creating new products and services. New
business models can be created and these can describe how a company
produce, create and sell their products.
3) Customer and Supplier intimacy – the better services a company
provides to its consumers with more likely they are too come back to
them and as a result the more they will buy off the supplier therefore
creating a good relationship with both parties.

4) Improved decision making – I.S systems make it possibly for

managers to use real time data when making a decision to therefore
make better decisions and not have to waste time looking
for information.

5) Competitive advantage – if companies achieve any of these 6

reasons to use I.S they will generally create a competitive advantage
over their rivals.

6) Day to Day survival – business invest in these systems to make their

jobs as easy as possibly. an example is Citibank introduced the first
ATM machine to make it easier for customers to access their money
and to cut down queues in their banks.