Database Plan Reports Examples
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This paper provides an overview of a database and user interface design process for an information system. The first section will provide an overview of what an information system is required to do and propose the design and development process. The information system is based on a car management company. It is proposed that the company y will benefit immensely from the services of an information system. The second part of the paper will detail the design of the user interface based on the principles of human computer interaction s design. The third part of the system explores the semiotic analysis of the case used in the paper with reference to pragmatism, semantics, and syntactic. The fourth and the final part will comprise of a critical analysis and review of the effects of innovation on the motor industry.
PART 1: DATABASE PLANNING
Los Auto Car Company has been in operation for the last five years. The company was formed by two motor-racing enthusiasts-cum-entrepreneurs. In the initial stages, the company specialized in repairs, customization and sales of racing and vintage cars. Over the years, the company has evolved and grown to be one of the best auto car company in town. At the moment, the company imports a wide variety of car including those requested by the customers. Also, the company engages in custom services, rentals, repairs servicing and fleet management. The business has grown and the company is seeking technology facilitators to improve its service offerings.
Given the wide number of clients visiting the company offices for rentals, sales, services and shipping activities, the company has find it hard to manage them using the old paper based records keeping. The company offers two kinds of rental services, to external companies and individuals. In addition, it offers its top management vehicles to oversee the company business. If a person is to be accorded a vehicle for whichever activity, he/she must satisfy the requirements set by the company. For internal employees, they must be travelling for business functions outside the town. They are required to book in advance by providing their details and business type and an approval from their departmental head. Currently, for an allocation to be provided, they must provide paper documentation of the details of the project they are engaged in and an approximation of the distance to be traveled and fuel consumption. This is forwarded through head of departments who provide approval for the request to be processed. Once an allocation has been made, users are required to check out through the security departments at the entrance and check in once they are back.
All the information on the car usage is compiled on a weekly basis. The process of compiling is so tedious and complicated and depends on the cooperation of all associated parties in providing accurate and timely information. More than once, employees have complaint on the effectiveness and efficiency of the process. This method is slow, inefficient and consumes a lot of resourceful time which could be spent on executing business practices. The management are also worried that they are losing a lot of money due to inefficient processes.
As a result, a technological solution is crafted in form of a system that can streamline the processes and improve efficiency. The new system is expected to bring new all the operations under one interface. Booking processes for whatever is reason sis done under one interface. This will facilitate efficiency, transparency and effective reporting and analysis.
A database system is an alternative to the paper-based file processing system. It provides real real-time and dynamic environment for processing data. The advantages of a database system are that it eliminates data redundancy and facilitate management. The features of a database that make it suitable for management of a car rental company include:
Scalability- this refers to the capability to expand a system to accommodate new services. The database will readily accept development of new business processes in future that are not supported at the moment. For instance, if Los Auto decides to add data on secondary suppliers and spare part manufacturers, the database will be scaled to accommodate such development.
Economy of scale: Databases allow better utilization of hardware resources. In this case, an enterprise-wide database will facilitate processing of different activities such as internal employee bookings, client bookings and sales, repairs and maintenance among others. Itt is cheap using a database that using paper based file systems.
Independence – system s in the database interacting with different applications are independent of how physical data is presented. Data structures are altered but not the information system that uses the data.
Database is built following a systems development lifecycle methodology. In this methodology, a number of steps are executed in an hierarchical manner. There is database planning, database building, database implementation and database support. This section of the paper concerns database planning. I the planning process, information is gathered on the current system and how the proposed system will solve some of the problems currently faced.
Information gathering for the proposed system
A database management system is appropriate for Los Car Rentals. They system will provide a streamlined reporting mechanism for all the activities in the company. A web interface will be provided for staff and client to book their appropriate cars. Booking will involve provision of proper documentation as required by the company. Staff will fill out a booking form that entails their details, reasons for the booking, business details, date, location and expenses anticipated. Clients looking for services from the company will book using another form that requires their details, type of service booked, date, duration, costs among others. For instance, those seeking to rent the company vehicle will provide their details, type of service desired, e.g. executive, regular, date and time, duration of the service, and distance to be travelled and destination location. Once this information is entered, an invoice is generated. The client will then pay full or part of the amount agreed and the vehicle is dispatched from the company yard.
An ERD is used to model the database system desired by Los Car Auto. In the database, entities and attribute are used to represent the relationships existing between the various parties. The entities in the database include employees, clients, booking, payment, cars and projects. Attributes are presented for each entity as follows:
Employee – employee name, employee no, employee address, employee department, employee job designation
Car – car model, car registration number, chassis number, car type
Booking- booking ID, booking date, booking reason, booking duration
Payment – payment ID, payment number, payment purpose, payment type
Customer – Customer name, Customer ID, customer address, customer type, customer other details
Project – project ID, project team number, project location, project duration and project status
This section has documented the process of planning a database system. Based on the current organizational activities, the requirements for the new information system have been documented. The new database system will help the organization in managing its business activities effectively. Booking of any service in the organization will be streamlined and given the capabilities of the database, the process will take less time and effort. Likewise, reporting processes will be enhanced. The database will generate reports on a predefined period to show the status of activities. Two benefits are outstanding from the use of a database system: efficiency will be enhanced saving employees a lot of resourceful time. This will lead to timely decision making processes. Second, the company will save immensely by eliminating misappropriation instances and managing its resource efficiently. The second section deals with human computer interaction concepts applied in the development of the system.
HUMAN COMPUTER INTERACTION
The objective of this part of the paper is to apply HCI principles to develop a system interface that is highly usable among employee and clients. It has been stated that the booking process will be offered via a web interface. One of the requirements for the success of the system is ease of use. Though the system is new to the users, it should be easy to learn and use. An highly usable system will derive a lot of benefits for the clients and employees. Clients will find the booking process much easier to accomplish and would come back again and again. Employees would spend the least time manipulating data and generating the required output.
The design of the system is based on user-centered approach. In this approach, the needs of the users are put first among other things. The primary users of the system are employees, clients, customer care personnel and technical persons. Not all these groups are knowledge of computers and as such, the system should accommodate both groups equally. The designs of a system that accommodate all the users irrespective of their computer literacy require that a survey be conducted on how the system interface should be like. A survey is conducted using questionnaires, interviews and expert review. Responses from staff, clients and experts in the field of human computer interface are sampled and subjected to review to select what needs to be included and what is not necessary. Using the information from the survey, it is possible to build and interface that is user friendly and with less but detailed content. A prototype is build and tested to get user review on what need to be changed or eliminated. This user involvement activity is critical in system development processes so that an acceptable system can be implemented.
Description of user interface concepts
Visibility is one of the important concepts of interface design. Visibility is founded on the concept that the more visible the buttons are in the screen, the more aware is the user of the previous and the next operation and the more the interesting the experience. In order to satisfy this rule, the font should be legible and the color appropriate for normal and visually impaired users. In the figure below, the font is appropriate and the color is satisfactory. The report on this figure is easy to follow and understand because the content is visible and organized.
Feedback is the response that the user expects from the system after executing a certain activity. This is required to authenticate that a certain activity has been fulfilled. For instance, in booking a van, the system should respond and assure the client that a car has been booked after inputting all the details and satisfying all the requirements. The response signify the success or failure of a certain activity and is the assurance that an interaction is active between the user and the system. Feedback is delivered in form of transition to new pages, prompts after successful payment, sequence of launching new tabs etc. In the figure below, the system is responsive because it asks the user to enter the designated city. The feedback is produced as a promt.
The location of some common buttons should be universal throughout the page. This is intended to eliminate confusion and restore consistence in the system. It also serves to accelerate the learning process and ensure that similar activities and elements are used to complete similar tasks. For users with limited computer literacy, memorizing the process for attaining a particular task is enhanced and overall usability of the system is raised. For instance, in booking a rental car, the button should be consistently located in one side of all page while the user is navigating the forms.
In this database, queries and forms are located on the left hand side, while a highlighted content is shown on the right hand side.
Restrain is required to define how operation on objects should be. The next activity cannot be conducted before completion of a recent one. For instance, the processing of paying for a service cannot be conducted before a booking is done and an invoice issued. In the same way, vehicle dispatch cannot be executed before payment is effected. Constraint is required to protect against unscrupulous activities that may lead to losses.
The system is usable as much as the users can attest to it. The proposed system is anticipated to bring efficiency, effectiveness, utility and better management of company resources. Efficiency is achieved when the system can be facilitating execution of operations in an expeditious manner. Effectiveness is attained when the system can accurately track and manage company resources. Utility is achieved when the anticipated operations are adhered to always. On the contrary, if the system cannot allow the attainment of most of these, it is not usable and the development process cannot be termed a success.
This part concerns semiotic analysis of the provided case. Analysis of CRV HONDA brochure is conducted. The brochure is dated January 2013.
Honda CR-V being the latest model at the time of publication has been emphasized using colorful graphics. According to the company, Honda CR-V has the state-of-the-art engine which delivers power for maximum performance with economical fuel consumption. The engine is a 2.0 liter I-VTEC and its consumption is 7.71liters of petrol for every 100kms. Engine power has been emphasized using graphics.
This brochure is a PDF format that can be printed or accessed over the internet. Formatting and organization of content in the PDF format is excellent to give the viewer a realistic and sensible content.
The new model has been designed and built with safety and environmental conservation in the mind of the manufacturer. The illustration in the brochure depicts areas where safety elements have been incorporated. There are more than 10 safety features illustrated in the brochure to assure the customer of exceptionality in performance.
The element of communication is illustrated sufficiently in the brochure. Safety parameters are illustrated in graphics and explained in words.
Honda CRV has enormous space on the inside to deliver value to the user. The design appears smaller on the outside but bigger on the inside. The outer design is appealing with a strong front bumper and bold wheels to show masculinity. Other features include curved rear class window and brake lights.
HONDA has created a car model that represent two worlds; an illustration of urban civility and an SUV. The brochure has perfectly illustrated these features in the brochure. The pictures illustrate an aerodynamic sports structure as well as a sleek model for inter-city and outdoor experience.
The automotive industry is dynamic and unstable with many external factors affecting its performance on an economic perspective, and sustainability in the global perspective. There is growing demand for the reduction of automobiles due the environmental impacts on living things. Automobiles account for a sizeable proportion of environmental hazards and more pressure is piling on production of fuel-efficient models. As the adoption of new technology increases, supply chain management also improves and small dealers and late adopters suffer the most. Los Auto Car is a small entity in global perspectives and being a late adopter of automation, it has already encountered missed opportunities.
The only way a small entity such as Los Auto could leverage technology is to improve its supply chain and conduct analytics and forecasting to predict the future. In an era of dynamic global shift exacerbated by environmental pressures and innovation, near real time analysis of the market is required to establish the penetration of innovative technologies and act accordingly. For instance, the introduction of a solar powered car model in the market would require extensive to establish the likelihood of purchasing such a model. Technology enablers such as information systems and web applications are instrumental in sourcing for analytic data. Customer purchasing trends and preferences can be combined to arrive on a decision as to whether Los Auto should launch sale and service of such models based on its operational environment.
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