If the labor that goes into the MIS should be worth the while, the MIS should turn out all the information that is needed for decision making. It must come to the decision makers in the manner and form in which they need it and at the time they need it. When the MIS is designed and operated in the right way, it is absolutely possible for the system to meet the entire information needs of the marketing decisions makers. With the recent progress in the IT field, practically any kind of information output / report that is needed for marketing decisions can be made available by the MIS.
The goals of an ideal MIS are to relieve management from converting data into information, provide relevant information to each management level for effective decision-making and the effective conduct of the job function, and present information that is current and in a readily usable and easily understood format. To meet these goals the MIS would posses the following attributes.
MIS would address the primary needs of the management function and not the needs of a person, the underlying problem, not just the symptoms.
It would present a maximum of information and a minimum of data which must be reliable and the output would contain sufficient and relevant information to minimize uncertainly in a format that can be easily understood and be usable without further modification.
Stages of MIS development:
1. Strategic and projects planning stage.
2. Conceptual system design stage.
3. Detailed system design stage.
4. Implementation, evaluation and maintenance stage.
An effective design is made possible when the user of the information should be included on the design team. Cost of money and time of the system should be taken into account, and match them with the benefits derived from the system. Importance should be given to relevance and selectivity over sheer quantity. The system should be tested before it is installed. Adequate training and documentation should be provided for the operations and users of the system. Information should be disaggregated and similar decisions should be aggregated. The actual mechanical methods for information processing are designed and controls for the system developed. The decisions system must be thoroughly analyzed.
The outputs/reports emanating from the MIS can be classified into the following four categories:
1. Periodic reports
2. Triggered reports
3. Demand reports
4. Plan reports
* Periodic reports are presented in predetermined formats at specified intervals of time. They are the normal outputs of any data processing system.
* Triggered reports are reports ion specific situation. By their very nature, the marketing task and the, marketing decisions require a host of triggered reports on various situations and subjects. In fact, the competence of the MIS gets tested by its capacity to give the right triggered reports.
* Demand reports are the answers provided by the system to specific queries raised by the marketing decision makers.
* And planned reports are reports tailor made for assisting formulation of sales forecasts, sales plans, distribution plans, facilities plans and sales budgets.
MIS also develops specialized database on different aspects of marketing
Customer database is one such specialized database. We saw that companies engaged in direct marketing, especially in catalogue selling and mail order marketing, rely heavily on customer databases Apart from the basic information about name, address and other demographic details, data pertaining to what an individual customer has bought, when the past purchase was made and other similar details are available in this database. They also provide the RFM (Recently, Frequency and Monetary) formula, which, in turn helps the firm arrive at a customer index that shows which customers are more profitable for the firm. The MIS can take care of the customer database.