Determining Management Information Needs: A Comparison of Methods

Munro, Malcolm C.; Davis, Gordon B.
June 1977
MIS Quarterly;Jun77, Vol. 1 Issue 2, p55
Academic Journal
This paper reports on a comparison of the decision analysis (top-down) and data analysis (bottom-up) methods for determining management information needs in the preparation of management-oriented information system applications. Information requirements were developed using the two alternative methods for four decisions in each of four small colleges The information requirements obtained by the two methods were evaluated by the college executives as to value and other attributes. The results indicate. 1. The methods perform better in some functional areas (e g, administrative) than in others (e.g., academic) 2. The type of decision, programmed or nonprogrammed, affected the value and attributes of information obtained. The decision analysis approach provided a higher valued set of information requirements for programmed decisions than data analysis; for relatively nonprogrammed decisions, both methods were about equal in providing information requirements. The value and attributes assigned to the information requirements were higher for programmed decisions than for nonprogrammed decisions. 3. Information analysis techniques cannot he considered apart from organizational contexts in which they are to be applied.


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