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Executive information system

Executive Information System is commonly abbreviated as EIS, and it is a management information system which supports, facilitates, and makes decisions for senior executives by providing easy access to both internal and external information. Executive Information System can also be considered a specialized form of a Decision Support System. The focus on Executive Information Systems is on easy to use user interfaces and graphical displays. The benefits of this is that they offer strong reports and drill down capabilities. Drill down capabilities are when you move from summary information to detailed data by focusing in on something. Executive Information Systems are important because they help top-level executives analyze, compare and highlight trends in important areas so they can monitor performance and identify opportunities and problems. Over recent years however, the popularity of Executive Information Systems has decreased due to Business Intelligence, analytic(s), and digital dashboards.

Executive Information Systems were originally developed as mainframe computer based programs, where the purpose was to package a company’s data and provide sales performance. The main objective behind Executive Information Systems was to highlight information to satisfy senior executives’ needs and not for the entire company.

Today, Employees can use their personal computers and access the company’s data and decide which data is best to use. Executive Information Systems is not only for “executives” now, but for the entire company. The freedom with this allows everyone to access company data and share information with everyone in the company.

The hardware for Executive Information Systems consists of four main components: Input data entry devices, the CPU, Data Storage Files, and Output devices. Input data entry devices allow executives to enter, verify, and update data immediately. The CPU (central processing unit) is the center point because it controls the other computer system components. Data Storage Files are for saving useful business information, and it allows for easy historical information lookup. Output Devices are visual or permanent records for the executive to save or read. Executive Information System products for networked work stations are becoming more easily available, because companies offer local area networks. Running EIS with these systems require less support and also save tons of money.

There are also 4 main components for choosing the right software for Executive Information Systems. It is very important and main concern, because it measures how components integrate the data into one system. The first main software component is Text base software, and most common form of text is probably documents. The second component is Database, which reside on vendor-specific databases, and help executives access both internal and external data. The third component is Graphic Base, which can turn volumes of text into visual information so executives can use them. Examples of graphic base are: Time series charts, scatter diagrams, maps, motion detectors, sequence charts, and bar charts. The fourth and final component for software is Model Base. The Executive Information Systems models contain routine and special statistical, financial, and other quantitative analysis. Another difficult problem that executives face is choosing the right technical software packages. They have to make sure they are affordable, easy to use, make sure the package can run on existing hardware, and much more.

The use interface is also very important to Executive Information Systems. It needs to be efficient to retrieve data for decision makers. There are many types of interfaces that can become available to the Executive Information Systems, so it is very important that the interface must fit with the decision maker’s style. Some of the interface styles are scheduled reports, questions and answers, menu driven, command language, natural language, and input and output. If the executive is not comfortable with the interface, the Executive Information System will not be fully utilized.