Posted by: | 5th Oct, 2010

MIS in Action

After today’s lecture on MIS (Management Information Systems) I went home and tried to find an article relevant to the topic. It didn’t take long, and in fact the article I found shows the dramatic effect that MIS has on decision making and our lives.

I encourage you to read it here:

What essentially happened is this: a single program used by an investment firm to carry out trades got an automated order to trade $4.1 billion worth of stocks, which it did within 20 minutes. This triggered a huge wave of selling that made major index stock prices drop by 5%.

I thought this was an excellent example of how much MIS is used and how relevant it is for everyone. In this case, MIS was not only used to help managers make decisions, it made those decisions itself. It’s interesting that MIS can be so sophisticated that it can be made to automatically take certain complicated actions in complicated situations. For the most part those actions are the right ones, but here it obviously led to a disaster. I suggest that we shouldn’t rely on technology to replace our own brains in most cases.

It only took a single computer.

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