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Leveraging MIS for Competitive Advantage

The business world is chaotic, and data is the oil that enables organizations to anticipate, keep up with and get ahead of change.

That data, however, pours in from all operations, often producing overwhelming sets of digital information that can frustrate business leaders tasked with preparing for change and leading their companies through it.

Organizations gain competitive advantages through management information systems (MIS) that integrate the flow and delivery of performance and planning data to executive and senior leadership to manage the constantly evolving business environment.

As companies of all sizes migrate their information technology infrastructure to the cloud, demand will increase significantly for business professionals fluent in MIS. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 11% growth rate — much higher than average — in that category through 2030.

How Does MIS Technology Support Change Management?

Businesses that optimize their MIS infrastructure to ensure data delivery to change agents gain significant advantages. Overall, the information provides an accurate picture of enterprise-wide operations, is clean and free of stale data, and analyzed properly.

Change First, a change-management consultant, describes five ways data-driven decision-making delivers a significant edge:

  1. Monitor change adoption across the enterprise. Accelerated data collection, organization and analysis provide leadership with real-time insights that enable them to react to the progress of plan implementation and make appropriate changes to keep it on track.
  2. Understand previous change initiatives. Legacy data illustrates what did and did not work during previous change implementations. Learning from the past supports optimizing strategies that worked previously to minimize problems.
  3. Ensure the right people are leading. Integrated operational data helps identify personnel who are most capable of managing an initiative, as well as provide them with guidance, feedback and opportunities for enhancing the project.
  4. Visualize progress. Data visualizations such as dashboards give the change team and its organizational sponsors a real-time picture of coordination among sales, finance, marketing and other operations involved in the initiative.
  5. Enhance executive engagement. Senior leaders who rely on big-data visualizations to monitor the performance of their organizational units are eager for dashboard delivery of change metrics. The value of simple-to-understand visualizations helps engage the C-suite in the project.

How Do Companies Leverage MIS to Gain Competitive Advantage?

Management Information Systems integrate all the components of day-to-day operations. By incorporating activities throughout the organizations, MIS enables companies to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, manage risk and innovate more quickly than their competition.

By streamlining and accelerating data delivery, leaders can make decisions more quickly and with greater confidence. Among all the advantages MIS enables, Cleverism lists these:

  • Collecting and organizing data. MIS breaks down information siloes and integrates operations’ performance metrics in a central database that decision-makers can access without the assistance of IT personnel. Accelerated data delivery helps management detect anomalies rapidly and make decisions about course corrections based on real-time data.
  • Promoting collaboration. Regardless of the efficiency of inter-departmental communications, MIS provides the same data to decision-makers throughout the organization to ensure each sees the same picture as everyone else. This is increasingly important as businesses continue to de-centralize and move their computing capabilities to the cloud.
  • Running cross-team scenarios. MIS allows each business unit to measure how its operational changes impact other teams. If a company decides to downsize, for instance, HR can identify how employee reductions in one unit will affect efficiencies across the enterprise.

The role and impact of MIS “on the smooth operation of a company can never be overemphasized. That is the reason why every successful company makes use of these systems in one way or another,” according to the IT professional development provider.

How Do Business Professionals Gain MIS Expertise?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Management Information Systems Specialization equips graduates with the expertise and insights to accelerate career growth in the management of IT-related fields such as software engineering, analytics and network and database administration.

The specialized MBA offered online by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, which is open to applicants regardless of undergraduate background, explores topics including:

  • Generating and evaluating alternative business scenarios
  • Evaluating business decisions in dynamic organizations
  • Integrating current and emerging functional knowledge into the decision-making process

An advanced business degree in MIS can give professionals the tools to leverage MIS in any number of business operations and situations in an increasingly data-driven world.

Learn more about Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s online Master of Business Administration program.

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