What are the levels of information requirements in an MIS?

The levels of information requirements in an MIS are:

  • Organization level
  • Application-level
  • Technical level
  • Database level


At the top is the corporate information that is useful for the whole organisation. This ‘global’ information is generally fairly well addressed by the corporate intranet (even if the intranet itself needs improvement).

Examples of corporate information include policies and procedures, HR information, online forms, phone directory, etc.

Interestingly, there may be a limited amount of truly global information, and it may not deliver the greatest (measurable) business benefits.

Team, division, business unit

The middle level is perhaps the most interesting, as it covers all the information shared within teams, divisions, business units, etc. This information may be critical to the day-to-day activities of the group, but of little interest to the rest of the organisation.

Examples include project documentation, business unit specific content, meeting minutes, etc.

This level is generally poorly-served within organisations, although collaboration tools are increasingly being used to address team information needs. It is also being recognised that it is this ‘local’ information that may be the most valuable, in terms of driving the day-to-day activity of the organisation.


At the lowest level is the personal information needs of staff throughout the organisation. Examples include correspondence (both internal and external), reports and spreadsheets.

In most organisations, staff must struggle with using e-mail to meet their information management needs. While staff generally recognise the inadequacy of e-mail, they have few other approaches or technologies at their disposal.

Note that some organisations (such as consulting firms) are heavily dependent on personal information management amongst their staff.

Managing the levels

When managing the information within each of the three levels, consider the following:

  • An information management solution must be provided for staff at each of the three levels.
  • If corporate solutions aren’t provided, then staff will find their own solutions. This is the source of poor-quality intranet sub-sites, and other undesirable approaches.
  • A clear policy must be developed, outlining when each of the three levels applies, and how information should be managed within each level.
  • Processes must be put in place to ‘bubble up’ or ‘promote’ information from lower levels up to higher levels. For example, some team-generated information will be critical for the whole organisation.
  • As much as possible, a seamless information management environment should be delivered that covers all three levels.

The purpose of MIS is reporting and is to provide the necessary information to the managers and supervisors at various levels to help them to discharge their functions of organising, planning, control and decision making.

Information systems serve each of these levels and functions. Three main categories of information systems serve different organizational levels: operational-level systems, management-level systems, and strategic-level systems.

Some of the common types of Management Information Systems include process control systems, human resource management systems, sales and marketing systems, inventory control systems, office automation systems, enterprise resource planning systems, accounting and finance systems and management reporting systems.

MIS is the systematic use of technology and people to manage the flow of information. In retail, MIS is used for point-of-sale data collection, logistics, inventory control and internal communication, all of which affect retail operations and marketing.