40.3 INFORMATION MANAGEMENT, idaarat al maalumat

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.


Information is data that has been put in a form usable by management. Data are raw facts. Information is summarized and organized information. Intelligence is information as interpreted by the brain. Information is an important resource for an organization. It is used in planning, control, decision-making, problem-solving, and project implementation. Information is power only if it is used properly. Information and knowledge are the basis for authority. Good and usable information must be accurate, relevant, concise, and cost-effective. Allah knows all information. Data bases were compiled in Islamic history. The Prophet had ordered the listing of all Muslims. Omar Ibn al Khattab established population registers.



The organization must have a management information system on which it relies. That system has three main components: inputs, data-base, and outputs. The Data base manager has the following duties: collection of information, storage of information, and updating of information. An information data-base should not be used in a passive way. Top management should not only ask for and use specific information items, but should also be involved in the conceptualization of the data-base structure and the information items to be collected. They will therefore make sure that the information needed for decision-making is collected. Close and intimate contact with the data-base will have the additional advantage that the manager can browse through the data-base and given his/her background, can identify opportunities and functional linkages that a lower-placed person in the hierarchy misses. Managers must have the humility of knowing that there is a limit to how much information you can collect, store, analyze, and use. Allah alone is all-knowing. This humility will help you avoid the disease of ghurur that often leads to the worst decisions. MIS can be used in a sophisticated way for decision support systems, expert systems, and artificial intelligence



The 3 components of a data-base are input, storage, and output. Information has to be updated regularly.



The distinction between intelligence gathering and research is becoming hazy. Intelligence no longer means secret. Research is less systematic and may pick up useful information by chance. Intelligence is more focused. Intelligence is gathered pro-actively and not reactively. There is a lot of useful information in the public records that can be used. Top leaders and managers must be able to read and understand research results



(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004