An Overview of Executive Information Systems

An Overview of Executive Information Systems

Gary P. Moynihan (The University of Alabama, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-859-8.ch006
OnDemand PDF Download:
$37.50

Abstract

An executive information system (EIS) is a software system designed to support the informational needs of senior management. The EIS is characterized by an easy to use and maintainable graphical user interface; integrated capabilities for data access, analysis, and control; analysis and report generation across multiple files; and on-request “drill down” capability. Most existing management information systems provide an enormous quantity of detailed status reports. However, they lack the capability of providing summarized levels of information, in an appropriate format, for higher levels of management. This problem has continued despite the emergence of enterprise resource planning systems. By understanding the concept and functionality of traditional executive information systems, readers will also be able to better understand how EIS has adapted to meet the requirements of senior management in an enterprise system environment.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

Executives are upper-level managers who exert a strong influence on the direction and activities of the entire organization (e.g. McLeod and Schell, 2001). An executive information system (EIS) is a computer-based system designed to support the unique informational needs of these very senior managers. These systems are designed to simplify the user’s interface with the computer, facilitate retrieval and manipulation of data from different sources, and display results in a single presentation. Finally, executive information systems provide the capability to highlight exceptions, and explore data at progressively lower levels of detail.

The concept of the executive information system can be traced to 1982, when Rockart and Treacy introduced this term to describe an emerging category of information systems. They noted that there are four critical components to the EIS concept. First, there is the Executive, the human element in the EIS environment. The executive requires timely information, quick inquiry response, and systemic ease of use. Information supports both critical success factor analysis and leading indicators of potential problems. The third component is the System architecture that encompasses linkages to the relevant, and the processing of this data into critical information. The final component is the Organizational structure that manages the databases and systems, and maintains information security. All four components must be integrated for the EIS to be successful.

To do this, an EIS combines two complimentary approaches. According to McNurlin and Sprague (2002), “at its heart, an EIS should filter, extract, and compress a broad range of up-to-date internal and external information. It should call attention to variances from plan and also monitor and highlight critical success factors of the individual executive user” (p. 386). This perspective defines an EIS as a structured reporting system to meet the unique needs of executive management. The second fundamental approach of the EIS, as identified by McNurlin and Sprague (2002), is as a human communications support, such that. “the managers make requests, give instructions, and ask questions to selected members of this network to get people going on the desired action” (p. 387). Alter (2002) confirms this by emphasizing the networks of internal and external contacts used to gather information about specific issues of current importance, as opposed to only utilizing formalized information systems.

The terms executive information system and executive support system (ESS) are often used interchangeably (e.g. Laudon and Laudon, 1998). Other authors make a distinction between the two, based upon the fundamental approach used or emphasized. For example, based on Rockart and DeLong’s (1988) original discussion, Turban and Aronson (2001) further define an executive support system as “a comprehensive support system that goes beyond EIS to include communication, office automation, analysis support, and business intelligence” (p. 308). An important feature, especially to upper-level management, is access to external data. Thus, where core EIS functionality focuses on the processing and presentation of information, an ESS implies other communications support capabilities more oriented toward the second fundamental EIS approach mentioned above. These communications support capabilities may include e-mail, office automation functions like electronic calendars, and linkages to stock market news and industry trends.

Further, EISs were initially developed to support a small set of high-level executives within an organization. These systems normally served up to 10 or 15 senior executives. The success of these initial implementations has led to an expansion of these systems to support mid-level managers with cross-functional information needs. This type of system served up to sixty executives and managers, and has been termed an “extended EIS” In some cases, EIS, have been adapted to the entire organization (McLeod and Schell, 2001). Rockart and DeLong (1988) first observed this migration. For this paper, the term “executive information systems” will be used across this spectrum of applications and levels of use, with consideration of how the EIS concept has evolved in the process.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Critical Success Factors (CSFs): A relatively small number of easily identified operational goals that are believed to ensure the success of an organization.

Drill Down Capability: EIS capability to display details of summary-level information by allowing the pointing and clicking on a specific data field for which the user desires an additional level of detail. As a result, the components of that data field are then displayed

Executive Information System (EIS): Computer-based system designed to support the informational needs of senior management.

Executive Dashboard (also referred to as executive scorecard): Top-level EIS screen that provides a single-screen display of relevant and critical business metrics and/or statuses.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Specific measures of critical success factors.

Executive Support System (ESS): Often synonymous with executive information system, it connotes an expansion of basic EIS functionality to include extended communication support often through inclusion of office automation and external data access.

Management Reporting System (MRS): Early effort to address executive requirements by automating data acquisition from a wide variety of corporate systems and databases, and providing online output in the form of fixed-format reports.

Enterprise Information System: The linkage of EIS and ERP to provide an organization-wide system that provides consistent and integrated managerial information from a company point of view.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Preface
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma, Mohammad A. Rashid
Acknowledgment
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma, Mohammad A. Rashid
Chapter 1
Nancy Alexopoulou, Panagiotis Kanellis, Mara Nikolaidou, Drakoulis Martakos
Efficient response to change, both upon expected and unpredicted contingencies, is a critical characteristic for modern enterprises. This chapter... Sample PDF
A Holistic Approach for Enterprise Agility
$37.50
Chapter 2
Hossana H. Aberra
SAP Business Blueprint is a vital part of SAP implementation exercise. A well-defined business blueprint may set the foundation for successful... Sample PDF
What is SAP Business Blueprint?
$37.50
Chapter 3
Rogerio Atem de Carvalho
This chapter introduces the key aspects of Free/Open Source Enterprise Resources Planning systems (FOS-ERP). Starting by related work carried out by... Sample PDF
Free and Open Source Enterprise Resources Planning
$37.50
Chapter 4
Brian H. Cameron
Business process modeling (BPM) is a topic that is generating much interest in the information technology (IT) industry today. Business analysts... Sample PDF
The Changing Nature of Business Process Modeling: Implications for Enterprise Systems Integration
$37.50
Chapter 5
Alok Mishra
In the age of globalization, organizations all over the world are giving more significance to strategy and planning to get an edge in the... Sample PDF
Enterprise Resource Planning Systems: Effects and Strategic Perspectives in Organizations
$37.50
Chapter 6
Gary P. Moynihan
An executive information system (EIS) is a software system designed to support the informational needs of senior management. The EIS is... Sample PDF
An Overview of Executive Information Systems
$37.50
Chapter 7
Joseph Bradley
Enterprise Resource Planning systems have proven difficult and costly to implement. Organizations must consider the risks and rewards of embarking... Sample PDF
Enterprise Resource Planning System Risks and Rewards
$37.50
Chapter 8
Andrea Masini
After observing that the pervasiveness of IT may soon render it strategically irrelevant, management scholars have recently questioned the value of... Sample PDF
ERP-Driven Performance Changes and Process Isomorphism
$37.50
Chapter 9
Ronda R. Henning
The application software life cycle considers the functionality of a given collection of components within the context of a consumer’s requirements... Sample PDF
Application Integration within the Enterprise Context
$37.50
Chapter 10
Sanjay Mathrani, Mohammad A. Rashid, Dennis Viehland
A significant investment in resources is required for implementation of integrated enterprise systems as technology solutions while the... Sample PDF
The Impact of Enterprise Systems on Business Value
$37.50
Chapter 11
Charlotte H. Mason, Aleda V. Roth
Growing competitive pressures and escalating customer demands have led businesses to sophisticated information technology to manage costs and... Sample PDF
The Right Path to SCM-CRM Integration
$37.50
Chapter 12
Euripidis Loukis, Ioakim Sapounas, Konstantinos Aivalis
This chapter is dealing with the alignment of enterprise systems with business strategy and its impact on the business value that enterprise systems... Sample PDF
Enterprise Systems Strategic Alignment and Business Value
$37.50
Chapter 13
Sanjay Mathrani, Mohammad A. Rashid, Dennis Viehland
The market for enterprise systems (ES), continues to grow in the post millennium era as businesses become increasingly global, highly competitive... Sample PDF
Enterprise Systems in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
$37.50
Chapter 14
Kerstin Fink, Christian Ploder
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a vital and growing part of any national economy. Like most large businesses, SMEs have recognized the... Sample PDF
Integration Concept for Knowledge Processes, Methods, and Software for SMEs
$37.50
Chapter 15
Tobias Schoenherr, Ditmar Hilpert, Ashok K. Soni, M.A. Venkataramanan, Vincent A. Mabert
Although the research on integrated enterprise systems (ES) is proliferating, the knowledge base about ES implementations, usage and experiences... Sample PDF
Enterprise System in the German Manufacturing Mittelstand
$37.50
Chapter 16
Darshana Sedera
Organizations invest substantial resources in acquiring Enterprise Systems, presumably expecting positive impacts to the organization and its... Sample PDF
Size Matters! Enterprise System Success in Medium and Large Organizations
$37.50
Chapter 17
Joseph Bradley
ERP implementation projects normally involve a single vendor providing the packaged software for the entire system. Although most companies follow... Sample PDF
Implementing Best of Breed ERP Systems
$37.50
Chapter 18
Ganesh Vaidyanathan
Enterprise resource planning systems are complex yet single, integrated software programs that runs off a single database so that the various... Sample PDF
Enterprise Resource Systems Software Implementation
$37.50
Chapter 19
Calin Gurau
This chapter considers the importance of business modelling for implementing e-CRM systems. The introduction of e-business models requires the... Sample PDF
Restructuring the Marketing Information System for eCRM: An Application of the Eriksson-Penker Method
$37.50
Chapter 20
Albert Boonstra
At the present moment, many hospitals are going through a process of change directed at the integrated delivery of health care. Enterprise Systems... Sample PDF
Analyzing an ES Implementation in a Health Care Environment
$37.50
Chapter 21
S. Padmanaban
ERP systems have become key enablers of businesses today. While many organizations wish to adopt ERP for competitive advantage, they find choosing... Sample PDF
Designing to Deploying Customisable ERP Cost Effectively
$37.50
Chapter 22
Mateja Podlogar, Katalin Ternai
This chapter introduces the ERP systems, their complexity, and especially their integration in higher education as a significant challenge for many... Sample PDF
ERP Systems in Higher Education from Regional Perspective
$37.50
Chapter 23
Valentin Nicolescu, Holger Wittges, Helmut Krcmar
This chapter provides an overview of past and present development in technical platforms of ERP systems and its use in enterprises. Taking into... Sample PDF
From ERP to Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture
$37.50
Chapter 24
ERP and Beyond  (pages 329-345)
Suresh Subramoniam, Mohamed Tounsi, Shehzad Khalid Ghani, K. V. Krishnankutty
Enterprise-wide automation has already transformed the relations among suppliers, purchasers, producers, and customers. Conventional ERP helps only... Sample PDF
ERP and Beyond
$37.50
Chapter 25
Gita A. Kumta
The chapter introduces the essence of ERP in government as a tool for integration of government functions which provides the basis for citizen... Sample PDF
E-Government and ERP: Challenges and Strategies
$37.50
Chapter 26
Manish Gupta, Raj Sharman
A paradigm shift is occurring in identity management philosophy. User-focused identity management is one the emerging and most promising paradigms.... Sample PDF
Emerging Frameworks in User-Focused Identity Management
$37.50
Chapter 27
Ramón Brena, Gabriel Valerio, Jose-Luis Aguirre
From the Knowledge Management perspective, Knowledge distribution is a critical process in organizations. As many of the other Knowledge-related... Sample PDF
Next-Generation IT for Knowledge Distribution in Enterprises
$37.50
About the Editors
About the Contributors