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What are Levels of Information in Organization

Levels of Information
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What are Levels of Information in Organization

Introduction:

In an organization, information is a critical asset that supports decision-making, strategic planning, and operational excellence. However, the need for information varies across different levels of the organizational hierarchy. Understanding the levels of information and their unique requirements is essential for effective knowledge management and business success. This article explores the concept of information levels in an organization, highlighting the distinct needs and characteristics of each level.

Levels of Information in an Organization:

Operational Level:

The operational level, also known as the tactical or functional level, is the foundation of the organization. It comprises the front-line employees and departments directly involved in day-to-day operations and execution. The information needs at this level are typically focused on specific tasks, processes, and activities.

Information Characteristics at the Operational Level:

Detailed and Actionable:

Information at the operational level is detailed, practical, and focused on task execution. It includes standard operating procedures, work instructions, performance metrics, and real-time data.

Process-Oriented:

The information supports day-to-day processes, ensuring efficiency, quality, and consistency in operations.

Short-Term Focus:

The information has a short-term perspective, aiding in immediate decision-making and problem-solving.

Local and Departmental:

The information is often specific to individual departments or functional areas, such as production, sales, or customer service.

Examples:

Production schedules, standard operating procedures, customer service guidelines, and performance dashboards.

Middle Level:

The middle level, also referred to as the managerial or supervisory level, consists of managers and supervisors who oversee specific departments, functions, or business units. The information needs at this level are geared towards coordinating activities, optimizing performance, and ensuring alignment with organizational goals.

Information Characteristics at the Middle Level:

Analytical and Performance-Focused:

Information at the middle level provides insights into departmental performance, resource utilization, and process improvements. It includes financial reports, sales analytics, customer feedback, and market trends.

Coordination and Control:

The information aids managers in coordinating activities, monitoring performance, and making adjustments to optimize results.

Medium-Term Perspective:

The information has a medium-term focus, supporting tactical decision-making and strategic implementation.

Departmental and Cross-Functional:

The information encompasses multiple departments or functions, facilitating collaboration and coordination.

Strategic Level:

The strategic level, also known as the executive or top management level, comprises senior executives, such as the CEO, COO, and board members. This level is responsible for setting the organization’s long-term direction, formulating strategies, and making critical decisions that shape the organization’s future.

Information Characteristics at the Strategic Level:

Strategic and Forward-Looking:

Information at the strategic level supports long-term planning, market analysis, competitive intelligence, and strategic decision-making.

Big-Picture Perspective:

The information provides a holistic view of the organization’s performance, market position, and external factors.

Long-Term Focus:

The information has a long-term orientation, helping shape the organization’s future direction and growth.

Organization-Wide Impact:

The information influences decisions that impact the entire organization, including mergers, acquisitions, diversification, and resource allocation.

Examples:

Market research reports, industry analysis, competitive intelligence, financial forecasts, and strategic plans.

Impact of Information Levels on Decision-Making:

The levels of information in an organization directly influence the decision-making process. At the operational level, decisions are typically routine and focused on task execution. Middle-level managers make tactical decisions to optimize performance and align with strategic objectives. At the strategic level, decisions are strategic, forward-looking, and aimed at driving organizational growth and sustainability.

Case Study: Information Utilization at ABC Corporation

ABC Corporation, a retail company, leverages information at different levels to enhance its operations.

Operational Level:

Store managers use sales data, customer feedback, and inventory levels to optimize product displays, staff scheduling, and promotional campaigns.

Middle Level:

Regional managers analyze sales trends, customer behavior, and market research to adjust pricing, marketing strategies, and inventory allocation across stores.

Strategic Level:

The CEO and executive team utilize industry analysis, competitive intelligence, and financial forecasts to make strategic decisions on market expansion, new product lines, and technology investments.

Conclusion:

Understanding the levels of information in an organization is crucial for effective knowledge management and decision-making. Each level, from operational to middle to strategic, has distinct information needs and characteristics. By recognizing and addressing these needs, organizations can leverage information as a powerful tool to drive operational excellence, strategic success, and ultimately, achieve their business goals.

SUMMARY:

Levels of Information

 

Information is required at each level of organization, but need of information is different at each level. Information is required at following levels:

Operational Information:

  • Information need for daily tasks
  • Tasks specific information
  • Short term requirement
  • Used by supervisors to handle tasks at operational level

 

Tactical information:

 

  • Used in resource allocation decisions
  • both short term and long term
  • used by managers of departments
  • summarized form but less summarized that strategic information

 

Strategic information:

  • used by directors to decide strategic direction of organization
  • long term information
  • summarized form
  • information about whole organization

 

 

Types of Information Systems

Information systems can be divided into following types:

 

Transaction Processing Systems (TPS)

TPS is the basic information system used at operational level. It records the daily routine transactions and arrange them in given forms so that it can be used at higher levels. For example sale orders systems, payroll systems etc

 

Management Information Systems (MIS)

MIS operates at management level. TPS records data on day to day entries basis but daily data is of no use to managers.  Managers are interested in weekly and monthly reports. MIS transform the data

received from TPS into summarize reports which make it suitable for managers to use. Its important to understand that MIS only use data from internal sources

For example if TPS records sale orders or payroll od daily basis, MIS will show monthly figures of sale orders and their comparatives their other months sale orders.

 

 

Management Information Systems (MIS)
Management Information Systems (MIS)

Decision Support Systems (DSS)

This information system supports business and organizational decision making activities

Like DSS also serve at management level but it enjoys more analytical power then MIS.  It presents large amounts of data in the form of models, charts and other creative forms to help managers  in the presentation and interpretation of data.

DSS uses both internal and external sources to gather data.  For example sale, inventory, financial data from internal sources external data like interest rates and taxes figures from external sources

Decision Support Systems (DSS)
Decision Support Systems (DSS)

Executive Information Systems

EIS is used at strategic level to aid executives in Decision making for the performance of the company.

Features of EIS information system includes summarize data, friendly presentation of the data, data analysis.  It help executives to drill down from high levels of  summarize information low level detailed data.

Advantages

  • Timely delivery of summarize information
  • Better understanding of information
  • Correct decision making
  • Achievement of strategic goals

 

Expert Systems (ES)

Expert systems have comprehensive data base of expert knowledge.  ES system comprises of knowledge base and inference rules.  It records human knowledge and us it to make decision for those who have less expertise

ES is based on the concept of artificial intelligence.  Human expertise along with knowledge reasoning patterns create artificial intelligence use to make expert decisions

Expert Systems (ES)
Expert Systems (ES)