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IT Solutions for Businesses: Database and Network Case Study


Scenario 1

In the first case, the assistant manager of a company need to plan, order, schedule, ship and install equipment to be used during the booth shows. After the show, the equipment will be shipped back to the owners. During the shipping process, all the equipment must be tracked to ensure that they arrive in good working condition. The assistant manager must also ensure that the equipment are returned in good condition and also track any damages so that they can be sorted out. In order to define the necessary database fields, all the stakeholders and their functions were identified and listed.

Key elements and stakeholders

The most important elements for the company’s booth show are outlined below

  • Suppliers: These are companies that will supply the booth materials and the equipment to be displayed at the show. All equipment and materials must be listed alongside the suppliers.
  • Booth materials: These are the materials that will be used to construct the booths. These materials and their quantity must be determined and the marketing assistant should order them in advance.
  • Display equipment: These are the equipment that will be displayed at the booth. It is expected that people from around the world will attend the show. The assistant marketing manager must purchase state of the art electronic equipment so that the company can secure deals with the customer’s visiting the booth show.
  • Shipping companies: Booth materials and the equipment must be transported via ship from various parts of the world to the exhibition site. This requires that the shipping companies be involved in the transportation process.

Types of fields for each item

The data fields that can be used to represent the major items in a database are outlined below:

Booth materials

  1. Material ID number
  2. Material name
  3. Material description
  4. Country of origin
  5. Use at the show
  6. Booth materials supplier

Display equipment

  1. Identification number
  2. Name
  3. Description
  4. Supplier
  5. Type of equipment
  6. Shipping company

Shipping company

  1. Name
  2. Identification number
  3. Contact details
  4. Address
  5. Equipment/ materials to be shipped
  6. Time of shipment
  7. Details of the shipment

Suppliers

  1. Name
  2. Identification number
  3. Supplier address
  4. Equipment/ material be supplied
  5. Supply Contract details
  6. Materials /equipment dispatch date

Important relationship that should be tracked

There are many important relationships that need to be tracked by the assistant manager. These include:

Tracking each supplier and the equipment/ materials being supplied: There are different materials and equipment required for this show. These materials will be procured from different suppliers around the world. It is therefore important to keep track of all the suppliers, the materials and equipment they supply and the delivery dates. The assistant manager must ensure that the suppliers provide quality materials and equipment for the show.

The relationship between the shipping company and the assistant manager: it is important that the assistant manager tracks all the shipping companies involved in transportation of materials and equipment to the show. This is because there are different shipments arriving at different dates. It is therefore paramount to track these complex relationships so as to get up to date information about the shipment, condition of the equipment, arrival time and any risk involved in transportation. The shipping company must prove that they can transport the equipment safely and on time.

It is also important to track relationship between the supplier and shipper. This is because of the complex relationship between them. The items will be ordered from the suppliers who will then deliver them to the shipper who in turn delivers them to the organizing company. It is important to link the supplier with the shipping company so as to ensure a smooth flow of materials and equipment from the supplier to their intended destination.

Use of database as opposed to Excel

Database systems are more sophisticated as compared to Excel. Past and present records and the relationship between various stakeholders and equipment can be easily stored and retrieved when using a database system. Since the elements of a database are self describing, it is easy to enter and classify data. As the data increases, the Excel functions are not able to handle this information. Databases on the other hand are extendable and able to handle huge amount of information.

Database systems organize data in logical sequence making it easy to retrieve and analyze (Gillenson & Miller, 2007).Doing this in Excel is tedious and cumbersome. Databases allow various users to access data and this assist in information processing and decision making process. In this case, using a database system would allow the assistant manager store and retrieve records as well as search for information (Manzo, Piziak & Rhoads, 2010).

Use of personal database as opposed to enterprise database

It is more advantageous to use enterprise database as compared to personal database. Enterprise database have large volumes of data which can be effectively utilized by employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. Enterprise databases combine the functions of different departments such as procurement, marketing, customer service and management in order to assist in the decision making process. Using enterprise database, staff working at Booth Company will be able to access information from other exhibitions and also source equipment from good suppliers (Gillenson & Miller, 2007).

Use of a decision support system (DSS)

The staff at the company should use DSS to assist them make vital procurement and management decisions. DSS system assist managers in the decision making process by providing adequate data and strategies of manipulating this data so as to make decisions. DSS would be an effective tool to help plan this event. The employees can use data driven DSS to access supplier and shipping information. This would assist them compare different equipment and materials in terms of quality and cost in order to select the best supplier. DSS would also assist the managers select the best shipping companies to ship the equipment. During the event, there are many functions, costs and other activities that require sound decisions to be made. Thus, the assistant manger should use DSS during the decision making process (Gillenson & Miller, 2007).

Scenario 2

You manage a group of seven employees in a small consulting business. Some employees work at home and some work in the office. Each of the employees needs to be connected to the Internet.

Does the company need WAN or LAN

Wide Area Network (WAN) covers a large area as opposed to local area network (LAN) that covers only a small location such as communication within a company. In this case, some of the employees of this company work from home while others work from the office. It is further given that, those employees operating from home must access internet and link with the company. This means that WAN would be the most suitable as it connects all employees irrespective of the distance separating them. Therefore, WAN is the best solution for this company.

Does your business require wireless?

Yes, the business requires wireless communication. This is because some employees work from home which lack internet cable connections. This means that employees working from home can only access internet through the use of broadband modems which are wireless. The use of wireless technology is also advantageous as the employees can access the company information over a large geographical area. Wireless internet is also compatible with many electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops and desktop computers.

Security

Security is paramount in this case. Data from clients and other company records should be safeguarded from loss or theft. Vital and sensitive company data need to be protected from theft and misuse. It is important that employee provide passwords. This is a good security measure to prevent non employee from accessing the company’s data. As workers and clients exchange information through the use of emails, there is need for the company to enhance internet security. The company needs to install antivirus software’s to block worms, malware, Trojans and spywares.

Use of Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN can be regarded as a private network hosted in the public network. VPN is useful for companies expanding to other regions and still needs its employees to communicate through the internet in a faster, convenient and secure manner. VPN provides a method through which companies can expand their internet network into WAN. VPN also provide reliable and secure connections to it users. The company should therefore use VPN so as to ensure that only the employees and approved clients can access the website. This in turn will improve the data and internet security.

Determining the average, minimum and maximum values from a dataset

From the data provided, the average, minimum and maximum values were computed. These were computed as follows:

  • Minimum value -The function used was MIN (B2:B6). This function computed the minimum value of the data provided.
  • Minimum value- The function used to compute the maximum value was MAX (B2:B6).
  • Average – The average price was calculated using AVERAGE (B2:B6)
  • The average rating was calculated using AVERAGE (C2:C6)

The completed table with different color coding for each segment is shown in table 1 below

Brand Price Reviewer Rating (Scale of 1-5) Wireless Protocol Frequency Band Ethernet Speed Wireless Data Transfer Rate Remote Management Protocol
Asus $134.99 5 IEEE 802.11n 2.4 GHz
5 GHz
1000 Mbps 300 Mbps HTTP
Cisco $219.99 3.5 IEEE 802.11n 2.4 GHz
5 GHz
1000 Mbps 300 Mbps HTTP
HTTPS
Netgear $99.99 4.5 IEEE 802.11n 2.4 GHz
5 GHz
100 Mbps 300 Mbps HTTP
Vizio $99.99 4 IEEE 802.11n 2.4 GHz
5 GHz
100 Mbps 300 Mbps HTTP
D-Link $74.97 3.5 IEEE 802.11n (draft 2.0) 2.4 GHz 1000 Mbps 300 Mbps HTTP
Max Price: 219.99
Min Price: 74.97
Average Price: 125.986
Average Reviewer Rating: 4.1

Bar graph

A bar graph comparing the price of the different brands was developed. This graph is shown in figure 1 below. From the graph, Cisco products had the highest price while D-link had the lowest price.

the comparison in price between different brands
Figure 1: the comparison in price between different brands.

References

Gillenson, M & Miller, F. (2007). Introduction to Database Management Project Manual. New York: Wiley publishers.

Manzo, J. M., Piziak , D. & Rhoads, C.J.(2010). Microsoft® Office 2007 in Business Core, Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 13). IT Solutions for Businesses: Database and Network. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/it-solutions-for-businesses-database-and-network/

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"IT Solutions for Businesses: Database and Network." IvyPanda, 13 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/it-solutions-for-businesses-database-and-network/.

1. IvyPanda. "IT Solutions for Businesses: Database and Network." June 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/it-solutions-for-businesses-database-and-network/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "IT Solutions for Businesses: Database and Network." June 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/it-solutions-for-businesses-database-and-network/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "IT Solutions for Businesses: Database and Network." June 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/it-solutions-for-businesses-database-and-network/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'IT Solutions for Businesses: Database and Network'. 13 June.

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