Good Example Of Database And Spreadsheet Report
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The very robust strides that have been realized in the Information Technology sector are very vocal in making all the other directly and indirectly dependent sectors to grow too. One of those sectors that have grown due to the very many benefits it has realized from the Information Technology sector is the area of business. The case at hand deals with a business that deals with car sales and resale. A car dealership is reliant on the various technologies that can be available at any given for the customers to meet their demands by having a proper catalogue of all the cars and their specification (Veltman, 2014).
The car dealership at hand has a pressing problem that should be solved. The problem at hand is about assisting the management to have to choose one of two Information Technology inspired solutions. The choice is between choosing the better of two technologies: a spreadsheet or a database. The two solutions are closely related but as the explanation below, there is a better solution that the other.
A spreadsheet is an ideal tool that is very handy in visualizing datasets in their various presentation forms. They are very accessible, and they make it very easy and first to manipulate data and to organize it its very different forms. The best example of a very popular spreadsheet is Microsoft Excel form the giant systems software designer. Microsoft Inc. A spreadsheet can store the data that is in different formats. The various formats include numerical, statistical, pictorial among others.
A database refers to an organized collection of information and facts in the form of records. The tool offers some immeasurable benefits for it comes in with storage and an inbuilt ability to store and to process the data. In the case of a car dealership, the records here would relate to records of the staff, clients, the various cars, a list of potential clients, among very many other types of records.
The report aims at assisting the top management to settle for either the spreadsheet or the database solution. The two have been weighed, and the best of them has been picked based on how ideal it is for the business processes at hand. The assessment and the discussion part is aimed at analysing the advantages and the disadvantages of the two possible solutions. The conclusion part will give the better of the two solutions. The recommendation part will explain a bit more vividly on what should be specifically done about the business. The design outline of the solution appears in the recommendations section.
This part goes in-depth to look at the two possible solutions that are proposed so as to weigh their suitability in solving a business problem and giving the best recommendation.
Just as earlier stated, spreadsheets are an ideal way to have an ideal storage and visually appealing presentations. As a business solution, spreadsheet would be very ideal, and it would be a flexible way to catch the attention of the client. The way spreadsheets are designed it very possible for the persons with little expertise to have a much easier way to handle data (Smith, (2014). Below are some of the advantages of spreadsheets.
Advantages of Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets provide an ideal way to persons dealing with them to edit the data. The data in a spreadsheet is input in what is known as the worksheet. Every data item that is input in the worksheet takes abode in its single location that is known as a cell. For instance, if there were 1,234,789 cars sold in the year 2014, the number of cars sold and the year will be stored in two labelled cells.
The other advantage associated with spreadsheet is that it makes use of mathematical formulas very extensively. The benefit of this trait is that there is a greater ability to manipulate the datasets to more complex and vivid forms to manipulate it for presentation. On the other hand, with formulas, even a novice in mathematics just needs to be served with the right formulas, and he can carry out the manoeuvres with data.
Spreadsheets provide the users with lots of pre-set functions that allow them to be faster in data manipulation. The function gives them a chance to concentrate on the problem other than having to input every formula manually. The most common of formulas are those that help in sorting and filtering the data Philips, (2003).
The greatest advantage that spreadsheets have over the databases is that they have a way of transforming the datasets into the various graphical displays. It is quite possible to transform datasets into nice looking charts, tables, graphs and so on. The graphical instruments make it possible for the viewer to understand the data. For instance, information about how a car accelerates per second and the fuel consumption can be graphically presented, and potential clients will understand much better than the raw figures. The data in a graphical format can assist a manager and a client to take a quicker and a more accurate decision.
Disadvantages of Spreadsheets
The major disadvantage of a spreadsheet solution is that it allows the user to edit the data. The possibility of manipulating the data is that it tampers with its authenticity.
The other disadvantage is that the spreadsheet program does not have the full functionalities that can enable it to handle large quantities of data fully and to organize it in very many formats as it may be required. For example, it is easy to enforce user access levels in a spreadsheet.
These are the ideal tools that provide ways for storing, organizing and presenting data. They have become some very productive tools in the business world. The very many database solutions available in the business world are used to store the clients and clients related information. A wide range of the databases is linked to the backend of a website so as to provide the client with a repository for the information they post. On the other hand, the database provides a way to process and present information to the client on the front end of the computer Jacqueline, (2014).
Advantages of databases
Databases save the business some very valuable time. It is true that with databases there is no need for tedious work in tracing a record. All one needs to do is to type in the search parameters and the database automatically looks into the records and gives feedback.
They assist the business in terms of communication. The databases ensure that there is a centralized point by what the information is deposited. Incas either is a new car in the market, the information relating to such a car is posted on the database and the all (clients and employees) that access the database will get the communication.
The greatest advantage of databases is that they offer more security due to their ability to provide access levels. There are persons that do not have the ability to change the information in a database. The persons lie in the lower levels of authorization. The databases also do provide the flexibility for backup. They can be mirrored in different servers in multiple locations and hence lower the margin of data loss greatly.
They handle the business process in an automated way that it even appears like they are a replacement for a manager. They can be a good way to cut costs without necessarily reducing the quality of work that they are meant to do. The creation of a database saves the company money in terms of, not having to repeat the information bulletin and cutting down on the expense of buying papers.
Disadvantages of Databases
The use of databases is very ideal, but its greatest disadvantage is that it a bit expensive to set up and as it grows it needs a professional database manager to oversee it.
An ideal solution that is applicable to the firm in question is the database solution. The database is a better solution for it can be easily integrated with the car dealership’s website, unlike the spreadsheet that needs to be downloaded as a whole file for it to be useable.
A car dealership ought to have a few branches but may still operate from a single location. The online inventory demands that the database be divided using the detail that are specific and which can make it easier to organize the datasets. The graphical solution for a database data model is as shown below:
In the above solution, the database entities of the car dealership have been taken into account, and their relationship with each other has been illustrated.
The database solution offers the business an ideal solution than the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet may work very well internally when the employees are making other presentations and so on. However, the customers require a more centralized and organised tool that will take them through the contents of the database in search of data relating to a car. The choice of the tool is guided by its advantages and model design in relation to the problem at hand.
Churchill, G. A (2001). Marketing Research: Methodological Foundations. 8th ed. Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College Publishing.
Jacqueline T. (2014) The Advantages of Using a Database Life123, printed 2014 Feb retrieved on 08/02/15 http://www.life123.com/technology/computer-software/database-software/advantages-of-using-a-database.shtml
Philips G. (2014) Excel Vs. Access – Can A Spreadsheet Replace A Database? Retrieved from: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/excel-vs-access-can-spreadsheet-replace-database/
Smith S. The Advantages of Using Spreadsheets Demand Media retrieved on 08/02/15. http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/advantages-using-spreadsheets-3647.html
Veltman N. (2013) SQL: The Prequel (Excel vs. Databases) Retrieved from: http://schoolofdata.org/2013/11/07/sql-databases-vs-excel/
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