EXECUTIVE SUPPORT / EXECUTIVE INFORMATION SYSTEM (ESS / EIS)
These are computer-based information systems which give executive easy access to both internal and external data. The executive information system is designed in such a way that it assists an executive manager to make strategic decisions. These systems provide information in the form of tables and charts which makes it easy for a manager to make analysis and make important decisions. These systems provide quick and easy to use reports that are presented in graphical displays that are easy to compare. They can be taken as specialized decision support systems because they provide information necessary to help improve the quality of decisions.
These systems address unstructured decisions made through advanced graphics communication. Can also be defined as an information system intended to facilitate and support information and decision making needs of senior executives by providing easy access to both internal and external information relevant to meeting the strategic goals of the organization. Owing to the high expectations from such a system, these systems need to be highly individualized hence they are usually custom made for specific clients. They are also customizable to fit the specific needs of the clients.
Characteristic / Features of Executive Information
i. Summarizing, Filter, and obtain detailed data. EIS created to display graphs and reports from the business processes of an organization or company. Where the data is used as a material consideration for future decision making.
ii. Provides trend analysis, exception reporting and drill down capabilities. Drill down a facility such as a button or link that when clicked will display the detail data from public records that had been clicked.
iii. Can integrate external and internal data.
iv. Easy to use. This is the main thing that distinguishes the EIS with the other systems. Ease of use is set in stone in the manufacture of the EIS, both system design and interface design.
v. Presenting information in a variety of report. This system generally displays the data in the form of graphs and reports.
vi. Allows the use of “What -if – analysis”
Advantages of ESS
i. Provides timely delivery of company summary information
ii. It helps executives to improve their understanding of the organization’s environment.
iii. Filters data for better time management
iv. Provides system for improvement in information tracking
v. Enhance organizational competitiveness in the market place
vi. It incorporates the principle of exceptional reporting hence reduces the amount of data to be produced by the executive.
vii. It eliminates communication bottleneck between the executive and subordinates that can slow down the decision-making process.