Types and Levels of Information System

12/06/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Information systems (IS) are vital components of modern organizations, helping them manage, store, process, and disseminate data to support decision-making and operational efficiency. They are broadly classified based on their purpose, functionality, and level within the organization. Here are the main types and levels of information systems:

Types of Information Systems:

Transaction Processing Systems (TPS):

TPS is the foundational level of information systems. They are designed to process and record day-to-day transactions, such as sales, purchases, inventory management, and payroll. TPS ensures that basic operational data is captured accurately and in real-time, forming the basis for other levels of information systems.

Management Information Systems (MIS):

MIS is a system that collects, processes, and presents summarized and aggregated data from various TPS. It provides middle-level managers with reports and dashboards to monitor the organization’s performance, analyze trends, and make informed decisions. MIS helps managers focus on strategic planning and tactical decision-making.

Decision Support Systems (DSS):

DSS is designed to assist managers at all levels in making semi-structured and unstructured decisions. They use data analysis tools, modeling techniques, and “what-if” scenarios to help managers assess various options and potential outcomes. DSS aids in solving problems that may not have clear-cut solutions and supports strategic decision-making.

Executive Information Systems (EIS):

EIS is a specialized information system designed for top-level executives. It provides strategic information and high-level performance indicators to support executive decision-making. EIS typically offers visually rich dashboards and customizable displays to help executives quickly grasp the organization’s overall health and performance.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems:

ERP systems integrate various business processes and functions across an organization into a single, unified system. They facilitate the flow of information and enable real-time data sharing between different departments, such as finance, human resources, sales, and supply chain management. ERP promotes efficiency, reduces redundancies, and enhances collaboration.

Knowledge Management Systems (KMS):

KMS focuses on capturing, organizing, and sharing an organization’s knowledge and expertise. It includes tools for document management, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, enabling employees to access critical information, best practices, and lessons learned.

Levels of Information Systems:

Operational Level:

This level deals with day-to-day, routine tasks and transactions. It primarily involves Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) that process data from operational activities. The primary users are operational staff and supervisors who need detailed and real-time information to carry out their duties efficiently.

Tactical Level:

The tactical level supports middle-level managers and their decision-making processes. Management Information Systems (MIS) play a vital role at this level, providing summarized and aggregated data from various TPS to help managers monitor performance, analyze trends, and plan for the short to medium term.

Strategic Level:

At the strategic level, decision-makers are concerned with the long-term direction and overall success of the organization. Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Executive Information Systems (EIS) are used at this level to assist top-level executives in making strategic decisions that have a significant impact on the organization’s future.

Knowledge Level:

The knowledge level spans across all three organizational levels. Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) are used to capture, store, and disseminate organizational knowledge, ensuring that valuable information and expertise are available to support decision-making and problem-solving at all levels.

Information systems have become critical components in organizations of all sizes and industries. Their effective implementation and utilization can enhance efficiency, streamline processes, improve decision-making, and give businesses a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Transaction Processing Systems (TPS):

TPS is essential for the day-to-day operations of an organization. Its primary function is to capture, process, and store transactional data resulting from routine business activities, such as sales, purchases, inventory movements, and employee timekeeping. TPS ensures data accuracy, timeliness, and reliability. Key characteristics of TPS include:

  • Real-time processing: TPS records and updates data immediately as transactions occur, ensuring that the information is up-to-date at all times.
  • Large transaction volumes: TPS must handle a high volume of transactions efficiently and without delays.
  • High reliability: Since TPS deals with critical operational data, it requires robust backup and recovery mechanisms to prevent data loss.
  • Limited decision support: TPS mainly supports operational decisions, providing data for day-to-day tasks rather than strategic or managerial decision-making.

Management Information Systems (MIS):

MIS aggregates and summarizes data from TPS to provide middle-level managers with the information needed to monitor and control operations effectively. It helps managers understand the organization’s performance, identify trends, and make informed decisions. Key features of MIS include:

  • Reports and dashboards: MIS generates regular reports and dashboards with key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide an overview of the organization’s performance.
  • Data integration: MIS pulls data from various TPS and departments to create a comprehensive view of business activities.
  • Periodic reporting: MIS reports are typically produced on a regular schedule, such as daily, weekly, or monthly, to aid in monitoring ongoing operations.
  • Drill-down capability: Managers can drill down into reports to access more detailed data and identify the root causes of issues.

Decision Support Systems (DSS):

DSS assists managers in making semi-structured and unstructured decisions that often involve complex and uncertain situations. DSS uses data analysis, modeling tools, and simulations to support decision-making. Key characteristics of DSS include:

  • “What-if” analysis: DSS allows users to model different scenarios and assess the potential outcomes of each scenario before making a decision.
  • Data mining: DSS can analyze large datasets to discover patterns, trends, and relationships that may not be apparent through standard reporting.
  • Ad hoc support: DSS is designed to respond to ad hoc queries and provide on-the-spot analysis to help managers with unique and unplanned decision-making needs.
  • Collaboration features: DSS often includes collaboration tools to facilitate group decision-making and consensus building.

Executive Information Systems (EIS):

EIS serves the top-level executives of an organization, such as the CEO, CFO, and other C-suite members. Its primary purpose is to provide executives with an easy-to-understand overview of the organization’s performance and its key success factors. Key features of EIS include:

  • Dashboards and scorecards: EIS presents critical performance metrics in graphical form, allowing executives to quickly grasp the organization’s status.
  • External data integration: EIS may include external data sources, such as economic indicators and market trends, to provide a broader context for decision-making.
  • Drill-down and drill-up: Executives can delve into more detailed information or zoom out for a higher-level view, depending on their needs.
  • Strategic planning support: EIS helps executives identify opportunities, assess risks, and align decisions with long-term goals.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems:

ERP integrates various business processes and data across an organization into a unified system. It enables seamless information flow and enhances efficiency by eliminating data silos. Key features of ERP systems include:

  • Centralized database: ERP uses a shared database, ensuring that all departments access the same accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Process automation: ERP automates workflows, streamlining business processes and reducing manual tasks and errors.
  • Cross-functional integration: ERP connects different functional areas like finance, human resources, inventory, sales, and more, fostering collaboration and better decision-making.
  • Scalability: ERP systems can handle the growth of an organization, supporting increased data volumes and user demands.

Knowledge Management Systems (KMS):

KMS aims to capture, store, organize, and share an organization’s knowledge and expertise. It helps ensure that knowledge is accessible to employees and can be utilized to solve problems and improve decision-making. Key components of KMS include:

  • Knowledge repositories: KMS stores knowledge in various formats, such as documents, manuals, best practices, lessons learned, and employee expertise profiles.
  • Collaboration tools: KMS often includes communication and collaboration tools to facilitate knowledge sharing among employees.
  • Search and retrieval capabilities: KMS allows users to search for specific information and retrieve relevant knowledge efficiently.
  • Expert identification: KMS helps identify subject matter experts within the organization, promoting knowledge sharing and mentoring.