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Determining Databases Essay

1213 words - 5 pages

Determining Databases and Data Communications
Laura Dowell
BIS/320
March 18, 2013
Martin Mueller

Determining Databases and Data Communications
A manager in today’s business environment must have the skills and knowledge to play a role in a variety of departments. Even if he or she is not an expert in the information technology field, a basic understanding of the tools and terminology is a must-have. This understanding can be useful in clearing out some of the options which are obviously untenable and narrow decisions to a limited number of viable options. The scenarios below demonstrate how a basic knowledge of software application and network design can simplify decisions that would ...view middle of the document...

In the case of a damaged item, it would be prudent to check every item hauled by that particular carrier.
When the assistant starts gathering all of the data, the choice between a spreadsheet or a database can be temporarily puzzling. However, as he or she begins to list the advantages and disadvantaged of each, a clear answer forms. First they consider a spreadsheet, which would be very easy to set up and use. Everyone in the company is proficient in using spreadsheets, so sharing the data with a wide variety of people would be easy. The company already has Microsoft Excel installed on all of the computers, so there would not be any additional costs for this option. The graphs and charts generated in a spreadsheet would be useful to show trends damaged shipments. If any changes are needed, a spreadsheet is easy to modify. Unfortunately there are also drawbacks to using a spreadsheet. The biggest drawback is that only one user can access the spreadsheet at a time. There would also be some duplicated data in the spreadsheet if, for example, one carrier hauled several of the items or if many items shipped on the same day. Another major disadvantage of a spreadsheet is that it is too easy for someone to change a crucial piece of information inadvertently and save their changes; at which point the spreadsheet is useless. Next the assistant considers the pros and cons of a database. One of the biggest advantages of a database is the ability for multiple users to access it simultaneously. Databases have better security in the sense that it is harder for someone to change key information. Databases have the capacity to store much more information that a spreadsheet. When new information is added to a database, one form can populate multiple tables. The downside to using a database is that “database design and development is a complex undertaking, requiring experienced designers and significant financial resources” (Basu, n.d., para. 2). Finally, not very many employees currently use a database program, so there would be some training needed. Also there may be some initial cost involved in getting the database set up.
After weighing the advantages and disadvantages carefully, the assistant chooses to use a database to track the trade show information. The key advantages in this situation are the ability for multiple users to access that data and the expansion potential inherent in the database. As the business grows, more displays will be sent to various trade shows, and it will be easy to keep track of them in a database. The assistant realizes that although the amount of information will grow, it will not be necessary to...

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