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For my Coursework I have looked at how Steve Edwards at Airbus UK uses paper-based database systems and computerized systems to handle his data. I choose Airbus as they are a large worldwide company. Airbus is also a local company with alot of departments, which means they would use many different systems. Steve Edwards organizes work experience placements for pupils at Airbus UK. 80% of his workload is organizing work experience and liasing with schools. I have looked at how he uses it to store information from application forms. When a pupil applies for a work experience placement in Airbus UK, they get in touch with Steve Edward’s and he sends them a pack, this includes an application form. When the pupil completes the application form and it is returned, he then needs to store this information.

For my coursework I am looking at whether it is better for Steve Edward’s to store this information using a manual paper-based system such as a filing cabinet or electronically using a computerised system. Firstly, I created our own questionnaire for Steve Edwards containing questions about manual and electronical systems. I thought about the kind of things Steve Edward’s would need to store information for. I thought that asking these questions would give me a better understanding of data handling. I created questions asking about electronic and paper-based systems, also about how he kept their data secure. I got ideas from when Steve Edwards came to visit our school to talk to us about data handling and gathering. I paired up with Amy Broadbent and we decided on the best questions to send to Airbus UK. I input the questions onto the computer using Microsoft word in the form of a questionnaire.

When he and many other departments respond to our questionnaire Steve Edwards and his colleagues will have filled it in and sent the responses back to us to give us a better idea of which system is more effective and efficient. I thought it would be a good idea to ask Steve Edwards questions about data-handling as he is part of a big company. He uses data handling and data gathering methods in his everyday work life. I thought Steve Edwards and his colleges responses would be a good insight into the world of data-storing and data-gathering.

I attached this questionnaire to an email and sent it to Steve Edwards. We used an email to send the questionnaire as it easy, quick and efficient. It was easy to attach the questionnaire to the email. I recommend that a business should use emails to share information. It is quick, easy and efficient. I think that before opening an email received, the email should be scanned for viruses. So it is very important that all the company computers have up to date anti-virus software installed. Regular checks should also be performed on each computer to check for viruses. If a computer which is part of a big corporation is infected, it could corrupt the whole system. Some email services give the option of having ‘reports’. When an email is sent to the sender to inform them that the recipient has received the email.

An email is an easy way to send alot of information quickly. Which will save alot of time compared to writing a letter. This is also uses less paper, which helps the environment and saves money. A good idea for a business would be messaging between a LAN (Local Area Network). Which is when the computers are linked together by cable, enabling many computers to communicate. Most business’s computers are LAN networked. This enables files and software to be shared, so one piece of information could easily be sent to another computer. This would be used for inside the business, where as the emailing over the internet would be used to send information to outside of the company.

Steve Edwards uses a questionnaire in the form of an application form to help him place work experience applicants. To explore this further we investigated the system in our classroom. Everyone in our class filled in an application form applying for a work experience placement in Airbus UK. The application forms were handed in and then given back to us. Some people were refused work experience as they had filled the in the form incorrectly, this showed us that every detail matters. If I were applying for a job in the future, filling in my application form incorrectly could cost me the job. We filled them in so we would be able to put them on a computerised database to explore how difficult it was.

Once I had completed my application form I created my own database with separate fields concerning each piece of information. I chose what fields to use by thinking which information would be most important. I chose obvious ones like Reference, Name, Address, Department placed in etc. For fields such as age and reference, I had to format the field to number. For date I selected the number format then selected date. I made sure the database had all the information about the applicant that is needed. I put the information from the application forms into my database. I input 20 applicants which included my details and some of my fellow pupils. I thought my database was very effective and easy to understand and well presented.

Some problems occurred when I was entering the data, some applicants had not filled in their questionnaires fully. This caused gaps in my database. This shows how important it is to fill in an application form correctly. For a database in a business this would cause problems. Firstly the applicant may not get the job or position if they have not filled in the application form correctly, which is a waste of the companies and the applicants time. Also when performing searches on the database, you may not get all the results if every field is not filled in correctly. After I checked through my Database I printed off a copy.

I then performed a sort to put my data in ascending alphabetical order by Surnames. I did this by selecting the record option then going onto the sort records option. Using the drop down box I was able to select which field I would like to put in ascending or descending order. I selected ascending order and applied the sort. I used this sort as it would be easier to find a person by surname if it was in alphabetical order. I applied another sort to put the Department placed in ascending alphabetical order and then age. This would make it much easier to see how many people in each department or to find a certain person in that department. Also there may be certain things that people under the age of 16 could not do, so it would be easier if they were grouped by age. The sort option was very easy to use and organised my data. I would recommend using the sort facility to a business. It was very quick, compared to the time it would take to look through a filing cabinet manually. I printed off a copy after everything I did.

I then performed 3 filters on my database. My first filter was to show female applicants only. To perform a filter I left-clicked the tools option from the menu. I then selected the filters option. I am given the option to write in my filter name. Firstly I select the field I would like to filter from the drop down box under ‘Field Name’. For this filter I selected the gender field. I then select my ‘Comparison’ from the drop down box. Such as ‘is equal to’, ‘is greater than’, ‘is less than or equal to’ etc. For this filter I selected ‘is equal to’. In the ‘Compare to’ box you write the word you are filtering for. Such as ‘Female’. I then left click the ‘Apply Filter’ button. I then preformed a filter to show the applicants from the Holywell area who were starting work experience from 06/07/2004. I used this filter as I thought Airbus would be able to provide transport for the applicants. If they decided to do this it would help people in the same area doing work experience at the same time transport may be arranged.

The last filter I performed was to show applicants who were placed in design, doing 1 week of work experience and are under the age of 16. Filters are easy to use and very effective. Using a filter I could find any information from my database very quickly. It would take me a lot longer to search through the database manually looking for a record. Also the information in a filing cabinet is in order by just one criteria, for example surnames in alphabetical order. If you wanted to find out people or a certain age, or that live in a certain town, you would have to search manually for a long time. This wastes company time and resources. Where as using a filter I can search for as many as 5 different pieces of information in one filter. I printed off a copy after everything I did.

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