The importance of database management systems in organizations cannot be overemphasized. Databases serve as an integral brain of an organization since they contain relevant documentation that is necessary in steering the firm forward. Several departments at Party Places have been relying on an information system for their day to day interaction, both with each other and with clients. Due to the need to streamline some work operations of the sales department and help improve the internal communication system, I offer to improve the current information system to move towards more collaborative software. I also suggest that the company should migrate from a spreadsheets-based interface to a more relational one like Microsoft Access, for example, as far as our database for personnel and sales is concerned.
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Spreadsheets are efficient as far as data entry and manipulation are concerned. However, the company will be better off with Microsoft Access as the software can handle a larger amount of data. There is a limit of the number of records that an Excel spreadsheet can handle while Access is virtually limitless. Since the company has ambitious plans in regards to its growing, it is, therefore, advisable to have a database system that is likely to handle huge amounts of data that come with such growth. In addition, it is important to stress out that Microsoft Access allows a more flexible retrieval of data even when the volume of data gets high.
If Party Places wishes to go beyond graphical simulations after crunching numbers, then Microsoft Access would be the programme to adopt due to the fact that Access allows users to seek connection between different sets of data. It will also be easier to reference data in different places which will in turn allow different users to retrieve it. Formation of MS Access’s queries and forms, for instance, can go a long way in ensuring that data is accessible in different forms for easy analysis.
Laudon & laudon (1988) pointed out one drawback of Excel spreadsheets, it consists in the fact that one needs to reset formulas every time he or she adds new data. Microsoft Access overcomes this problem since it generates accurate data irrespective of the additions that are made subsequent to the original data.
The most important aspect of Microsoft Access is its user-friendly nature. It can be accessed by many users simultaneously and can be updated any time without a fuss. Members of personnel department will share the contents of such a database, for example, with Office Access 2010, which enables team members to view data in real time and generate reports directly through a web platform.
In order for members of various departments in Party Plates to communicate more efficiently, there is a need for collaborative software. It will allow persons involved in carrying out similar tasks to share information easily and in real time. Carstensen (1999) coined the term ‘groupware’ in reference to collaborative software due to the way it facilitates teams and groups to work together in order to achieve common goals. For the company to move forward, there is a need to integrate the computer within the communication network of technicians, managers as well as sales teams.
The future of Party Plates is believed to be bright. All that the company needs to do is to work towards migration from a spreadsheet-based data base to a richer platform as shown above. It also needs to invest in collaborative software to improve internal communication and efficiency among different team players. Party Plates will reap benefits exemplified above and surely emerge as an efficient business entity.
Carstensen, P.H.; Schmidt, K. (1999). Computer supported cooperative work: new challenges to systems design. Web.
Laudon, K.C. and Laudon, J.P. (1988) Management Information Systems, (2nd edition), London: Macmillan.