An executive information system (EIS) is a computerbased system that serves the information needs of top executives. Also known as executive support systems (ESSs), EISs are essential for a business to succeed in today’s highly competitive corporate environment. EISs gained popularity in the 1990s and became a staple in almost all large organizations. Today the focus is more on performance management and things like the everpopular balance scorecard (Kaplan & Norton, 1992; Smith, 2006). However, even though very few articles are being written about EISs, they still exist because companies, quite frankly, have a need for EISs, as the need for executive information remains. As Power (2003) indicated, EISs may continue to take different shapes over the next few years but the basic principles of an EIS will remain the same.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Personal Digital Assistant: A handheld device that has evolved from a simple personal organizer to a miniature computer, capable of accessing the Internet, checking e-mail, interacting with other computers, and running numerous types of software. Commonly referred to as a PDA and sometimes referred to as a Pocket PC.
Balanced Scorecard: A method for measuring a company’s activities in terms of its vision and strategies that gives managers a comprehensive view of the performance of a business.
Management Information System: Commonly referred to as information technology management. A system that concentrates on the integration of computer systems with the aim of the organization and supports business processes and operations, decision-making, and competitive strategies.
Executive Information System: A computer program or system intended to facilitate and support the information and decision making needs of an organization. It provides easy access to both internal and external information relevant to meeting the strategic goals of the organization.
Data Management: A broad term that comprises all the disciplines related to the management of data as a valuable resource.
Dashboard: A digital dashboard is a type of computer software that provides a way of monitoring business attributes, functions, or systems through a visual representation. Also known as an “enterprise dashboard,” “executive dashboard,” or “business dashboard.”
Decision Support System: A class of computerized information systems or knowledge-based systems that support decision making activities.