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The task is to fix the problem of the car company’s storage problem, using either excel or access. To gather full information, I researched the problem by going round the company showrooms and asking relevant questions to both the salesman and the manager. I have tried to ask them questions about the weaknesses of their data storage and the strengths. I can then see what needs to be improved and make the database as effective as possible. The questions will also give me an insight of what is needed in the database and I will use the internet and books to answer the questions. I presented the software to them, Excel and Access.

Excel

Excel is a spreadsheet and has the ability to create, analyse and share data quickly.

Excel can be used as a database but it has severe limitations and is more useful for maing graphs and calculations.

Access

Access is a powerful database for analysing and managing data. It is suitable to both powerful users and first time users. New users can use the tools to help them while the more powerful users can integrate with the database.

It has many abilities: the ability to validate data, the ability to sort by date, numeric or alphabetical options, the ability to then create standard letters from the sorted data, the ability to perform searches and the ability to create queries etc. its main advantage is the simplicity and the many output it has such as reports and forms.

Access is a fantastic database which can be used by new and experienced users

Here is a list of questions I asked:

TO THE MANAGER

1) What is your current storage of data?

Currently we have all our data stored on paper

2) Are you happy with this system?

No, no particularly. The data isn’t safe, it can be lost easily. All we can do id make copies, but we don’t want the paper to get loose.

3) Are you scared that data might fall in the wrong hands?

Yes definitely, this is one of our biggest problems; we don’t want other people to see out details

4) I have a proposition for you, I am willing to design you a better type of storage using ICT, and would you accept this?

Well, I no how important our data is and I want my system to improve. Ok, ill accept.

5) I have 2 different types of software for you, a spreadsheet and a database. Which would you prefer?

After looking at this, I think that access looks better. It seems to have many features which are useful to us and I think this would definitely be the best out of the three. I personally know how to use access and am comfortable with it so I think it will be the best.

6) Currently, how many computers have you got?

Unfortunately we only have 2.

7) Do you have access?

Yes we do.

To the salesmen/women

1) Do you think the current system is good?

2) Do you think the current system is safe?

3) Would you prefer a better storage system?

4) Are you comfortable with excel?

5) Are you comfortable with access?

6) Are you comfortable with lotus?

7) What are you most comfortable with?

From the questions I asked, I have discovered the areas which need to be improved. From the questions I asked, I found out that the company had only 2 computers with but they did have access. The system they are currently using is using paper. The problem is that the data is not safe and takes long to access.

The possible solutions were either using spreadsheets or a database. With the spreadsheet, a lot of data could be stored and it could be sorted easily. But a database can be protected (by using a password) and it is better as the customer can see a picture of the car as well as seeing much clearer data. It might take longer on the spreadsheet as the data is not as clear, with the database you could probably search for the right car by typing just 1 word. It looks much more professional some of the staff are comfortable with a database. Excel can be used as a database but it has severe limitations. In Access, you can do complex searches (called “Queries”, produce quality Reports and convenient data entry forms. You can also improve your database by making it “relational”. Excel is more suited to performing calculations or “data modelling” functions.

A relational database application such as Access is better than a Flat File database program, such as Information Workshop or Excel because it can mean spending less time on data entry and fewer errors. So therefore access is the best to choose.

I now know that they would benefit mostly from a database as it would make life easier and is the right sort of data for their problem. A database would be a preferred solution as it is quick, easy, and safer and many of the salesmen know how to use databases.

Knowing which kind of method to use, I revisited the company and asked them what pieces of information they would like in the database.

So from my research, I have found out that a database is the preferred solution for there data problem because a database is quick, easy ,safe and all of the employees will be able to use a database. A database will be the best solution as they could add cars and take away cars which have been sold.

Databases are an advantage because:

* They allow large amounts of information to be stored in a relatively small space.

* Information can be quickly and easily retrieved from the database (much quicker than searching a filing cabinet).

* Data can be re-sorted very quickly into any desired sequence.

* Information can be kept up-to-date with very little effort.

My objectives had been set, set-up a simple database, containing data such and bhp and price, which all the users could use, so that the company could quickly sell their cars and make money. I had to make a database where data can easily be added and removed.

The data will come from the actual car showroom. For the first set of cars, the details of the cars will be transferred from the paper into the database. Any new cars that come into the showroom, will have there details put on a specially designed form (in the design section).