Information Systems Analysis

Problem I – (15 points)

“You’ll be happy to know that we made a strong case to manage­ment that we should hire a new systems analyst to specialize in ecommerce development,” saysJoe Sigha, a systems analyst for the multi-outlet international chain of Mighty Vitamin Shops. He is meet­ing with his large team of systems analysts to decide on the qualifica­tions that their new team member should possess. Joe continues, saying, “In fact, they were so excited by the possibility of our team helping to move Mighty into an ecommerce strategy that they’ve said we should start our search now and not wait until the fall.”

Sue Root, another analyst, agrees, saying, “As long as the economy is healthy, the demand for Web site developers is far out­stripping the supply. We should move quickly. I think our new person should be knowledgeable in CASE tools, Visual Basic, and JavaScript, just to name a few.”

Joe looks surprised at Sue’s long list of languages, but then replies, “Well, that’s certainly one way we could go. But I would also like to see a person with some business savvy. Most of the people coming out of school will have solid programming skills, but they should know about accounting, inventory, and distribution of goods and services, too.”

The newest member of the systems analysis group, Vita Minn, finally breaks into the discussion. She says, “One of the reasons I chose to come to work with all of you was that I thought we all got along quite well together. Because I had some other opportunities, I looked very carefully at what the atmosphere was here. From what I’ve seen, we’re a friendly group. Let’s be sure to hire someone who has a good personality and who fits in well with us.”

Joe concurs, continuing, “Vita’s right. The new person should be able to communicate well with us, and with business clients, too. We are always communicating in some way, through formal presenta­tions, drawing diagrams, or interviewing users. If they understand decision making, it will make their job easier, too. Also, Mighty is interested in integrating ecommerce into the entire business. We need someone who at least grasps the strategic importance of the Web. Page design is such a small part of it.”

Sue interjects again with a healthy dose of practicality; saying, “Leave that to management. I still say the new person should be a good programmer.” Then she ponders aloud, “I wonder how important UML will be?”

After listening patiently to everyone’s wish list, one of the senior analysts, Cal Siem, speaks up, joking, “We’d better see if Superman is available!”

As the group shares a laugh, Joe sees an opportunity to try for some consensus, saying, “We’ve had a chance to hear a number of differ­ent qualifications. Let’s each take a moment and make a list of the qualifications we personally think are essential for the new ecom­merce development person to possess. We’ll share them and continue discussing until we can describe the person in enough detail to turn a description over to the human resources group for processing.” Be specific and explain your reasoning in answering the following questions as they relate to this scenario:

a) What qualifications should the systems analysis team be looking for when hiring their new ecommerce development team member? (3 points)

b) Is it more important to know specific languages or to have an aptitude for picking up languages and software packages quickly? (3 points)

c) How important is it that the person being hired has some basic busi­ness understanding? (3 points)

d) Should all team members possess identical competencies and skills? (2 points)

e) What personality or character traits are desirable in a systems analyst who will be working in ecommerce development? (4 points)

Problem II – (20 points)

Use the process of normalization to transform the table below into 3NF. Show the tables in 1NF and 2NF that are created in the process.

 

Faculty ID

Faculty Name

Faculty Birthplace

Faculty College Major(s)

 

F1

Adams

Staten Island

History, Math

 

F2

Monroe

Cleveland

History

 

F3

Lee

Memphis

Physics

 

F4

Adams

Staten Island

Art

Problem III – (15 points)

Draw an entity-relationship diagram for the following situation: A commercial bakery makes many different products. These products include breads, desserts, specialty cakes, and many other baked goods. Ingredients such as flour, spices, and milk are purchased from vendors. Sometimes an ingredient is purchased from a single vendor, and other times an ingredient is purchased from many vendors. The bakery has commercial customers, such as schools and restaurants, that regularly place orders for baked goods. Each baked good has an auditor that oversees the setup of the bakery operation and inspects the finished product.

Problem IV – (20 points)

Interglobal Paper Company has asked for your help in comparing its present computer system with a new one its board of directors would like to see implemented. Proposed system and present system costs are as follows:

Year Proposed System Costs Present System Costs

Year 1

Equipment Lease $20,000 $11,500

Salaries 30,000 50,000

Overhead 4,000 3,000

Development 30,000 0

Year 2

Equipment Lease $20,000 $20,700

Salaries 23,000 55,000

Overhead 4,400 5,300

Development 12,000 10,000

Year 3

Equipment Lease $20,000 $30,500

Salaries 36,000 60,000

Overhead 4,900 3,600

Development 0 0

Year 4

Equipment Lease $20,000 $10,500

Salaries 39,000 46,000

Overhead 5,500 4,000

Development 0 0

a. Using break-even analysis, determine the year in which Interglobal Paper will break even.

b. Graph the costs and show the break-even point.

Problem V – (15 points)

Pot N Kettle is a fast-food restaurant offering all kinds of potatoes. The manager has a 30-second time limit for serving customers. Servers at the counter say they could achieve that limit if the form they must fill out and give to the kitchen were simplified. The information from the completed form is entered into the computer system at the end of the day, when the data entry person enters the kind of potato purchased, additional toppings purchased with their quantities, and the price charged. The current form is difficult for servers to visually scan and fill out quickly.

a. Design and draw a form that lists possible potatoes and toppings in a manner that is easy for counter servers and kitchen crew to visually scan, and can also be used as input to the inventory system that is on the extranet connecting Pot N Kettle and Idaho potato growers. Choose a size that is sensible and be sure to indicate the size of the form if it is not drawn at full-scale. You may use MS Word to produce this form if you don’t have any other drawing software available. You won’t be judged on the aesthetics of the form, just the content and layout. Be sure to observe the guidelines for good form design.

b. Design and draw a representation of a display screen that can be used by the servers and clerks to fill in the information captured on the form. Again, you may use MS Word for this purpose.

c. Design and draw a display screen based on your screen in part b. This time it should function as a display that shows a kitchen crew member what to prepare for each Pot N Kettle order. List three changes to the screen in part b that you made to adapt it to function as an output display. You may use MS Word to show the layout of the screen.

Problem VI – (15 points)

As part of a larger systems project, Welders Bank of Sparks, Nevada, wants your help in setting up a new monthly reporting form for its checking and savings account customers. The president and vice presidents are very attuned to what customers in the community are saying. They think that their customers want a checking account summary that looks like the one offered by the other three banks in town. They are unwilling, however, to commit to that form without a formal summary of customer feedback that supports their decision. Feedback will not be used to change the prototype form in any way. They want you to send a prototype of one form to one group and to send the old form to another group.

In a paragraph discuss prototyping the new form under these circumstances.

In a second paragraph discuss how you would prototype a new form.

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