Currently, one of the most important pillars when taking action within organizations is information. This has caused several organizations to resort to information systems in order to obtain this valuable resource. In other words, an information system is a means by which data flows in an organization, this information can be internal or external and will be analyzed through different means or with specific characteristics.
According to Araujo, R. (2005) a MIS is the result of the integration of the different information systems of an organization in a total and unique system, aimed at recording and analyzing all the information, to make marketing decisions. The SIM is only part of the total information system and should be given the attention it requires at any given time, without pretending to be the most or less important. Seeing it as part of the whole process that will entail, along with the other information systems in order to meet business objectives.
This mechanism of action related to the collection and strategic management of information represents a key factor in the decision making of an organization at all times.
What does the development of a SIM in an organization imply?
It should be noted that one of the keys is knowing how to ask the right questions to be able to collect the appropriate information, thus preventing the accumulation of unnecessary information, taking as a guide specific objectives and a clear vision of the available resources.
To deepen the implications of the development of a MIS, we must consider what Morales and Hernández mentions, (2011) indicating that it is based on a systematic process of information with high strategic value, covering social networks of clients, professionals and other agents .
This concept of SIM is known as a stable structure of interaction, composed of a group of people, instruments and procedures dedicated to the collection, classification, analysis, evaluation and distribution of information for the use of marketing managers (Kotler & Armstrong, 1991).
This means that the provision of constant and timely information allows the evaluation of behavioral factors about an organization such as customer satisfaction and latent market trends, enabling better control over decisions and action plans, increasing the likelihood of achieving profitability objectives in the organization. For this, a structured and integrated information system represents a strategic tool that supports the decision-making process.
It is important to highlight that, although being able to collect good information is very useful, it does not mean that all the information collected is valuable for decision-making, so that it is effective and becomes a true management tool, it must have four characteristics according to (Zikmund, 1997):
- The information must be relevant.
- It must be of quality (exact, valid and reliable).
- The information must be provided at the right time.
- It is necessary that the amount of information is adequate and sufficient, so that managers can have all the necessary aspects for decision making.
The marketing information system will be the compass referring to the management and structuring of the information collected through different sources, both internal and external to the company. In order to collect all the necessary information there are different mechanisms to which to resort. This structural model of the MIS is based on four components or subsystems based on writing from Araujo, R. (2005) as shown in table 1.
Table 1. Subsystems of the structure of the SIM according to Araujo, R. (2005).
|Internal Registration Subsystem||It is dedicated to managing the organization’s own data that is generated from its daily activity. According to Grande and Abascal (2006), it collects the information flows of organizations with their microenvironment. For example, data is obtained from sales records, customer claims, vendor reports or account statements.|
|Intelligence subsystem||Information on economic, social, political, legal, environmental, physical or technological aspects is collected. Data sources include agencies and institutions, public and private, such as professional associations, public administrations, chambers of commerce or universities. Likewise, the data can also be extracted from technical-professional publications, specialized magazines and press. Finally, a very valuable source of external information is related to the permanent contacts of the organization’s staff with customers, distributors and suppliers.|
|Research subsystem||It focuses on the study of concrete facts that are necessary at a given time to solve a specific business problem. For example, when a company wants to know the acceptance of a new product by potential consumers.|
|Analysis Subsystem||It is responsible for conducting qualitative and quantitative tests and assessments that are appropriate to guide marketing managers in their decision making. It consists of a bank of models and a set of statistical tools.|
Should all organizations have a MIS?
In an ideal, each organization should have a MIS, because of the range of opportunities it represents for its operation and development, however, not all organizations have the vision to implement a SIM, but those that implement it have a higher probability to boost its growth regardless of the size of the organization.
According to Fermín, G. and Serna, J. (2007), some of the reasons why each organization should have a MIS are:
- Reduction of operating costs.
- Immediate availability of information.
- Speed in decision making.
- Constant updating of the company’s database.
- Greater efficiency.
- More and better customer services.
Currently, companies face a wide range of opportunities and challenges such as globalization, as a result of effects on technological advances. Given these changes, they are forced to adapt their behaviors and possibilities of access and information management.
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