Managing information reduces fraud risk

June 2004 News

Tilos's new, locally developed management information system, Tilos MIS++, can help companies counter fraud and take timeous corrective action in the event of problems, by drawing together data from a number of databases or data warehouses to provide management with a global view of operations. This is in contrast to normal management information systems, which gather data from one or more sources, place it into a single database, data warehouse or data mart and extract reports or cubes and graphs from that information.

Sybille McCloghrie, director of Tilos, says traditional MISs (management information systems) tend not to be operational in their focus and orientation. "Management simply receives a report in either electronic or paper format, and can study it to see where things are going wrong or have already gone wrong. The first problem with such a process is that actions taken on such a report are up to the person studying it and are no longer an extension of the MIS."

Tilos MIS++ provides a mechanism whereby the person receiving the report can take corrective action against anomalies using the MIS itself. That corrective action then interfaces back to the source system and the origin of the data, either directly or indirectly, thus closing the cycle between when management identifies problems from the reports and when corrective action is taken.

In other systems, it is difficult to track whether that corrective action is effective, McCloghrie says. "The single biggest difference between Tilos MIS++ and other systems is the feedback mechanism that goes through to the company's underlying systems," she says.

"A secondary difference is that many MIS systems require their own data warehouse into which to pull information. Tilos MIS++ can work with a multitude of other data warehouses if necessary. If a customer already has an MIS in place, it can simply add Tilos MIS++ on top, without having to dispense with the work it has already done."

The system collates figures, reports on them and monitors processes across diverse systems, distils that data and produces a host of reports and cubes on which to take action.

"For example, if a person applies for a telephone line, with a telco, the application usually moves along various processes, which are fulfilled in isolation, making it difficult to track the progress. Tilos MIS++ can track a single item of work across all systems along the way, so if there is a query about the progress of the application, it can see where it is in a particular process."

If processes are not flowing smoothly, Tilos MIS++ can bring to management's attention where the bottleneck is and who is holding up the process. It can also counter fraud by alerting, for example, a telco to the fact that an application for a telephone line has been made, but has not reached the billing department.

For more information contact Sybille McCloghrie, Tilos, 011 847 5555,

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