Determining Databases and Data Communications
BIS/320

Determining Databases and Data Communications
Scenario 1
You need to track data about booth components, equipment, shippers, and shipment. List typical fields for each type of data. Provide an example of two relationships that you need to track.
In order to describe fields for each type of data it is first important to understand just what a field is in this context. According to Techopedia (2015), when describing databases a field is a set of data values within a table which define data. An example of fields relating to the booth components data may include a list of the components included in the booth as well as information relating to whether the components were shipped out in use or in stock at the office. Additionally fields relating to the date of shipment may also be included. Like the booth components, fields describing each piece of equipment may be used. Fields relating to the location of the equipment as well as the date shipped are also important. Fields relating to the shippers data may include the name of the person as well as the date shipped. There could also be a field containing information as to whether the items shipped were damaged when in the shippers care. Similarly the shipment data could include fields describing what is included in the shipment as well as the name of the person performing the shipping. Additionally, the date and quality of shipment could also be included.
One example of a relationship that may need to be tracked is that between shipper and shipment. Each shipper could possess a designated number that could then be used in the shipment table to identify who is performing the shipment. This allows for easy identification of who is shipping the equipment. Additionally, each piece of equipment could be labeled with a unique identification number that could be used relationally in the shipment table. When looking at the shipment table both the equipment and shipper are easily identifiable. This allows easy tracking of all necessary information pertaining to the shipment.
Do you need a database system? If not, can Excel® handle the data and the output? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
While Excel could be used for storing data pertaining to scenario 1, a database system would provide a more in-depth description of what is happening. A database system is also advantageous because it provides the ability to sync information from multiple tables and sources. Ultimately, Excel could handle the input of data but would not produce the output of data and information. Kroenke (2014) states, “lists of data involving a single theme can be stored in a spreadsheet; lists that involve data with multiple themes require a database” (pg. 108).
Excel possesses many advantages including the ability to more easily and quickly enter and manipulate data. However, the output of information received from Excel is very limited. This information is more black and white than the information retrieved from databases. Utilization of databases is advantageous due to the wealth of knowledge received from the manipulation of data. However, databases are often more complicated and require more time and ability for utilization.
Would you use a personal database or an enterprise database? Explain your answer.
While an enterprise database would allow multiple users and provide numerous additional features, a personal database is sufficient for scenario 1. This is because the marketing assistant is in charge of all aspects of managing the trade shows. For this reason, a personal database should provide the capabilities needed to organize and manage the task of tracking and managing equipment. However, limited details are provided, if the marketing assistant were constantly collaborating with and sharing this information with multiple coworkers an enterprise database system would become more appropriate.
Would a decision support system (DSS) be helpful? Explain your answer.
“A well-designed DSS aids decision makers in compiling a variety of data from many sources: raw data, documents, personal knowledge from employees, management, executives and business models” ("Decision Support System," 2015). Regardless of whether utilizing a personal database or enterprise database a decision support system could provide help. One example of how this system could provide help in scenario 1 is through identifying shippers who repeatedly damage goods. This could save the organization money by eliminating