Implementing MIS Dashboards for Better Decision- Making

Melita Grace, IT

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With all industries evolving at a faster pace than ever before, making the right decisions based on consistent and clear data is key for any company. Way too often, managers have to deal with several different monthly or yearly reports from each department, making data visualization and decision-making strenuous tasks, frequently resulting in poor financial and operational results. In order to facilitate the flow of information and avoid disastrous choices, companies should put in place a consistent and efficient reporting system, such as a dashboard.

A dashboard is a business intelligence tool used to display data visualizations in a way that is immediately understood, by summarizing information from different parts of the organisation to ensure that appropriate decision will be reached. Dashboards fall into three categories: operational, analytical and strategic. Whilst the first two will look respectively at real-time data to understand performance, and past trends that can influence future decision-making, a strategic dashboard tracks performance in relation to a company’s key performance indicators, to better align actions with strategy.

A management information system (MIS) dashboard can help identify the source of a problem in order to determine the future needs of the company. Moreover, it can predict future trends by using various market tools to analyse the current ones, while also helping assess monthly or yearly performance to increase efficiency.

Essentially, this system ensures data collated from different parts of your organisation are processed and then presented in a manner that will help make the right decisions. For example, different banks will have different reporting formats and tools, raising the question of whether integration can happen within the two and whether reported data is accurate.The needs for a strong and customisable visualization tool in terms of charts, graphs and data is fundamental.

By using MIS dashboard, banks can collect and understand consistent reports and financial statements of competitors using external sources, while also comparing assets, such as credit cards, applications or sales being audited across years. This helps identify their position in the market, loopholes, threats and action plans to fix any issue highlighted by the data.

Excel sheets have become a thing of the past, as a dashboard can show a greater and more in-depth amount of internal and external data in one report, avoiding discrepancies between departments. Thanks to this, spending per department can be compared and negative trends identified and corrected, resulting in more effective decision-making.

A business can have various MIS reports to benefit each division of the business, saving them time and gaining total visibility of all systems.

For example, financial MIS can provide financial managers with fixed and standard report formats containing major financial objectives, while also projecting financial needs. Similarly, accounting managers can benefit from aggregated information on accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll.

Besides banking, other industries can greatly profit from an MIS dashboard. In IT, an MIS dashboard can report on infrastructure or operational issues, as well as calculate how many of these escalated to vendors, or ensuring the IT team is meeting SLAs. Each report can be customized depending on the company’s needs, tailoring frequency or data accordingly.

In retail, a MIS can be used for point-of-sale collection, logistics, inventory control and internal communication, all of which affect retail operations and marketing. The latest can also benefit from MIS dashboards by making sure its strategy is in line with KPIs such as sales effectiveness and sales revenue. The report can include charts, different dashboards, and comparisons between current and past years data and targets.

A similar approach can be applied by HR by analyzing recruitment data, as well as employee retention and month-on-month or year-on-year productivity. In conclusion, MIS reporting should be backbone of any organisation to ensure we achieve our goals and objectives by improving the performances and helping us look forward towards the growth and success of an organisation.

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