Management Information (MI) – What is it and why do you need it?
Every day in business brings news decisions. But with each decision comes risk and as your business grows, the risk increases. When you’re working with large revenues, big sales opportunities, multiple clients and hundreds of jobs, you can’t afford to treat each decision as a gamble. You need to be able to fully understand your position, your opportunities and your threats. This is where Management Information (MI) is crucial.
What is MI?
In the simplest terms, MI is information about your daily operations. So this can be anything from very basic figures – such as number of clients you are currently servicing, the number of sales calls your team are making or the amount of revenue brought in last month – to more complicated analytical data showing business development, market trends, supply chain variabilities and more.
There is no standard for MI, it’s a term that simply encompasses all the data that you can use to better understand the current state of your business.
Why do I need it?
With such a flexible definition there are inevitably thousands of different data streams that can be created in a business day – far more than you can realistically monitor, understand and consider while continuing to operate. That’s where the “intelligence” part of MI comes in. It’s no good collecting every statistic or every unit of data that you can within a business, you have to know which information will have value to you and how you can view it in a way that makes sense.
So a good MI system will collect data from multiple sources – from your staff, from your systems, from your clients – and merge those sources to create readable information. This could be reports, flowcharts, graphs, figures – whatever will best demonstrate the progress of your business, the trends of the market and the potential pitfalls in your processes.
However you receive the data, it should present you with usable insights into your business. Though it can’t tell you exactly what to do, it will give you the means to make an informed decision without having to manually analyse every piece of information that’s collected by your company.
Who uses MI?
The data that goes into management information is created at every level of an organisation. Your management information system should be integrated with your operating systems so that data can be collected from all areas of the business including people, process and technology.
The information itself can then be used by anyone from team managers to company directors, depending on their needs. Systems can be set up to provide different users with different information to suit their goals – whether that’s monitoring the KPIs of a department or setting a future strategy for the business.
Management information can allow users to focus on a core need without getting distracted by unnecessary details, or it can provide an overall view of the entire company. It really depends on what you need.
How can I make sure I’m getting MI right?
Modern businesses collect a huge amount of data so having your system set up correctly to present you with just the essential information you need can be a challenge for many companies.
The best solution is to have your management information system integrated with your operations. So, for example, if you use Proclaim to manage your cases and clients, you should be using that as a source for management information. Proclaim Advanced Reports is a useful tool for collecting and analysing the information that your team are inputting into the system through their day-to-day operations. But it’s important to remember to include additional management information that might come from other sources for a full picture.
At Zeus Technology Solutions, our MI team are experienced in developing and optimising data streams to provide you with up-to-date, usable insights that give you a full picture of the entire business or operation.
Our team will work with your business to understand how you operate, what systems you use and what your management goals are. If you use Proclaim Advanced Reports but store additional data in Excel, for example, we can combine them to Power Pivots that offer you full detail on your case loads.
We can even build refreshable apps that incorporate your management information so you can get the latest insights on your phone at any time.
MI is an increasingly important requirement for any modern business, particularly one that’s growing fast and taking on more customers, more clients and more staff. Keep on top of your operation and get the information you need to make smart decisions.
Contact Zeus Technology Solutions to find out more about our MI development service.