Part 1

You work in the headquarters office of the investigation division of a law enforcement agency and are developing an automated case-tracking system for your headquarters office to replace the current manual system. Cases are opened when a request-for-investigation form is received from other divisions in your agency; no cases are initiated internally. A new case folder is created, containing any criminal record information based upon checking various criminal justice databases, then sent to the appropriate field investigation office. When the case is completed, headquarters receives an investigation report from the field office, the case is closed, and a copy of the completed investigation report is sent to the originating office. Every week, a listing showing cases opened, completed, and in progress is sent to each field office.

Based upon the narrative provided above, assume the role of a systems analyst to complete the following deliverables using appropriate systems analysis and design tools and techniques (make assumptions where necessary):

  • Based upon your knowledge of systems analysis and design, briefly discuss any issues related to the scope (i.e., the boundaries of a project – the areas of a business that a project may (or may not) address) of the proposed systems as well as any other issues that you believe are pertinent to its design.
  • Based upon the narrative provided construct a Context Diagram of the proposed system identifying necessary external agents and input and output flows (use standard symbols). Provide appropriate explanation of how and/or why you designed the Context Diagram.
  • Based upon the Context Diagram and the information provided in the narrative create a Use-Case Model Diagram identifying the necessary actors, use cases, and relationships (use standard symbols). Provide appropriate explanation of how and/or why you designed the Use-Case Model Diagram.
  • Based upon the Context Diagram, use cases identified in the Use-Case Model Diagram, and information provided in the narrative create a High-Level Data Flow Diagram (i.e., event diagram) of the system identifying necessary external agents, processes, data stores, and data flows (use standard symbols). Provide appropriate explanation of how and/or why you designed the Data Flow Diagram.

Part 2

Object-oriented analysis (OOA) and object modeling have become familiar terms in many organizations, but their underlying concepts are not always intuitive and can be difficult to understand, especially by nontechnical users who are involved in a systems development project. With this in mind answer the following, citing any external sources you may have referenced.

  • In nontechnical terms, explain what an object is and what the object-oriented approach is.
  • In nontechnical terms, explain the technique of object modeling.
  • What are the main differences between object-oriented analysis and traditional systems analysis in how they approach system development?
  • Do you think it would be easier to learn object-oriented methods if you were a systems designer experienced in traditional methods, or if this was the first analysis method you were learning? Explain your answer.

Part 3

A regional used bookstore operating 27 stores in 5 midwestern states has hired you as a consultant to help them improve their information systems deployment. The chain has been in business for over 30 years and still has strong sales in the declining book market but is beginning to worry about the impact of online sales in their area. Currently, the only information system in use between all stores is a point of sales system deployed in all locations. Although that data is collected, it is rarely used beyond tax purposes.

The store receives 80% of its inventory from customers coming to the store and selling their books, CDs, and DVDs. Buyers in the store have been trained according to company policy but many of the buying decisions are based and intuition or experience of the buyer. For example, a buyer may pay 20% of the cover price for a book currently on the bestseller but pay next to nothing for last year’s bestseller due to the number of copies received. An experienced buyer may know that certain books such as vintage science fiction or rare regional history sell well but all of this is based on internal knowledge and experience.

The remaining 20% of the inventory consists of new books shipped to stores from a central warehouse. Currently the inventory is shipped based on overall sales and is not based on previous sales data. In other words, larger stores get more new product than smaller stores.

The company has very loyal customers but the CEO has begun to worry about losing these customers to online retailers. They currently have a loyalty program that sends generic coupons periodically to customers who have signed up for their mailing list. However, these coupons are mailed randomly and do not reflect the customer’s tastes, previous purchases, like the promotions done by many of the large online booksellers.

The CEO has asked you to suggest ways the company can improve its operations in inventory management, increase sales, and retain customers.

  • Based on the request of the CEO, make 5 recommendations on how the company should implement information systems to help them meet their business goals. In this report, you should outline the pros and cons of each recommendation you are making and the report should be written so that the solutions are easily understood by the CEO.
  • With each solution outlined above, discuss the necessity or advantages of the solutions you have selected in light of either Porter’s Competitive Forces model or the Business Value Chain model.
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