University of Potomac Systems Analysis and Design Case Study Questions

Help me study for my Computer Science class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

  • When should a systems analyst decide a design issue, and when should users be allowed to select what works best for them? The field of ergonomics is concerned with improving the work environment and studying how users interact with their environment. Suppose you are a systems analyst studying the order processing system at Boolean Toys, a fast-growing developer of software for preschool children. You know that many data entry users have complained about the input screens. Some users would prefer to rearrange the order of the fields; others would like to change the background color on their screens; still others want shortcuts that would allow them to avoid a series of introductory screens. What if Boolean’s users could customize their own data entry screens without assistance from the IT staff by using a menu-driven utility program? What would be the pros and cons of such an approach?
  • Lynn Jennings is the IT manager at Lazy Eddie, a chain that specializes in beanbag chairs and recliners. She asked Jan Lauten, a senior systems analyst, to review the large number of printed reports that are distributed to Lazy Eddie’s 35 store managers. “Jan, I just can’t believe that our people really read all of those reports,” Lynn said. “We constantly add new reports, and we never seem to eliminate the old ones. Sometimes I think all we’re doing is keeping the paper companies in business!” Jan replied, “I agree, but what can we do? The managers say they want the reports, but I always see them stacked on top of file cabinets. I’ve never seen anyone read a report.” “I have an idea,” Lynn said. “I want you to come up with a procedure that requires users to review and justify their information needs to see if they really use the reports we send them. You could design a form that asks if the information still is required, and why. Try to get users to decide if a report is worth the cost of producing it. Do you think you can do it?” “Sure I can,” Jan replied. When Jan returned to her office, she wondered where to begin. What advice would you give to Jan?
  • You handle administrative support for CyberToys, a small chain that sells computer hardware and software and specializes in personal service. The company has four stores located at malls and is planning more. Each store has a manager, a technician, and between one and four sales reps. Bruce and Marcia Berns, the owners, want to create a personnel records database, and they asked you to review a table that Marcia designed. She suggested fields for store number, location, store telephone, manager name, and manager home telephone. She also wants fields for technician name and technician home telephone and fields for up to four sales rep names and sales rep home telephones. Draw Marcia’s suggested design and analyze it using the normalization concepts you learned in the chapter. What do you think of Marcia’s design and why? What would you propose?
  • DotCom Tools operates a small business that specializes in hard-to-find woodworking tools. The firm advertises in various woodworking magazines, and currently accepts mail and telephone orders. DotCom is planning a website that will be the firm’s primary sales channel. The site will feature an online catalog, powerful search capabilities, and links to woodworking information and resources. DotCom has asked you, an IT consultant, whether a set of codes would be advantageous and, if so, what codes you would suggest. Provide at least two choices for a customer code and at least two choices for a product code. Be sure to describe your choices and provide some specific examples. Also include an explanation of why you selected these particular codes and what advantages they might offer.
  • SoccerMom Company sells a patented seat that spectators can take to youth soccer games. The seat folds so it is small enough to fit in the glove box of most vehicles. The company operates a factory in Kansas and also contracts its manufacturing projects to small firms in Canada and Mexico. An unusual problem has occurred for this small multinational company: People are getting confused about dates in internal memos, purchase orders, and email. Towson Hopkins handles all IT functions for SoccerMom. When he designed the company’s database, he was not aware that the format for dates in Canada and Mexico was different from the format used in the United States. For example, in Canada and Mexico, the notation 7/1/15 indicates January 7, 2015, whereas in the United States the same notation indicates July 1, 2015. Although it seems like a small point, the date confusion has resulted in several order cancellations. Towson has asked for your advice. You could suggest writing a simple program to convert the dates automatically or designing a switchboard command that would allow users to select a date format as data is entered. You realize, however, that SoccerMom might want to do business in other countries in the future. What would be the best course of action? Should SoccerMom adapt to the standard of each country, or should it maintain a single international format? What are the arguments for each option?

Note:

  • Write a two to three page paper (excluding title, abstract, and reference pages)
  • Include at least two peer reviewed sources properly cited and referenced.
  • APA format, 3–4 pages in length (excluding cover page, abstract, and reference list)
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