The purpose of system Analysis
I am at present employed as a junior System Analyst by Scarborough Computer Services. The company has been approached by Lee Gowans LTD a company of builders with a view to installing an Information system. This company has been experiencing difficulties in losing business to more efficient competitors all whom have computerised Information systems. My Managing Director has had a meeting with Lee Gowans board of directors and briefly explained the classic Development Life cycle of an Information System, but this has left a certain amount of confusion in the minds of some of the directors, none of whom are familiar with Information Systems.
My Managing Director has asked me to prepare a report for the Lee Gowans directors to describe and explain the Purpose and Main stages of System Analysis. The Purpose of System Analysis System Analysis is the process of studying an existing system to determine how it works and how it meets the users needs. System Analysis identifies any problems. Part of system Analysis involves an Investigation, which will usually involve establishing a working relationship with the client, and the various users involved with the working of the system Meeting Client Needs When evaluating an Information system the Analysts job is to Identify the problems that the client has in the present system. Define a system that solves the problem and meet the customers needs, This may not involve a new system. They must understand the problem, and make a decision, i.e. what should be done, and what can be done, but the ideal is not always the best. This is fundamental to system Analysis.
The users that are involved with the system are. 1. Hands on End user Who operates the system or has direct Interaction through system equipment. 2. Indirect hand user This is the user who reports on Info produced by the system by the system, but does not use the system. 3. User Manager Overseas Investment in Development or use of system, has organisational responsibility, for the control of system Activities.
Senior Management Incorporates Competitive and strategic use of Information system with plans and strategies and evaluates the system. All Possible Problems must be identified, for if not all a new system will do is Incorporate those problems. Improved Decision Making Basic requirements of an Information system is to provide Data that will improve the decision making in the company in question, if it does not meet these requirements then it is no good at all. With the possibility of a new system been introduced Improved decision making should be made better, there is less chance of error. There is a large amount of information available on a Information system, the data is relevant, current and can be displayed and updated immediately. This will improve decision making and achieve greater accuracy for the company.
Identifying the Cost Benefit When evaluating a new Information system, there are a number of things that you need to take into account, you need to know how much the company’s willing to spend on a new
system, the cost of running this etc. One thing the analyst must remember is that the Ideal Solution is not always the best, this may because the Cost of a new system may be too great for the companies requirements. The company will want to know what the Benefit of the proposed system will mean to there company, because if there is no benefit to be gained by a new system what is the point of changing the present system. Examples of cost benefit for the company could be a reduction in staff, but this does not always occur very often, instead increased activity is possible with existing staff.
Other benefits that may occur as a result of the new system are, but the amount of cash saving is hard to define, these could be 1. Increase in sales 2. Better credit control 3. More accurate Information 4. Information available faster 5. Better service to customers 6. Increased profits Defining Actions When evaluating an Information system the actions need to be examined thoroughly too see how the activities can be handled successfully by the Information system. In the case of Lee Gowans builders business this could mean there business could be improved by having there procedures changed, for instance when deliveries arrive they could be scanned by a bar code scanner, this would check the purchase order with a delivery note, checking then becomes instantaneous. This would mean that the goods then could go straight into stock. The advantages of this are that there system would be quicker and far more efficient.
Defining Processes The Processes involved in an computer system, refers to how the computer controls and uses the data. The system will have to decide what processes the data will go through. It will have to decide whether the data is to be. Transformed Transforming is the method of changing something from its original state to an other state. There are two methods of transforming data, these are found on next page Calculating This is the method of adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying numbers to find out the value of certain numbers. An example of its use In your firm would be the Payroll department, because it will need to calculate the wages of the employees.
Converting This the method of changing the data from one state to another for example you could convert a weight measurement say in grams and convert it into pounds and ounces. Manipulating Manipulating is the term used for using something that is beneficial for your purposes and needs, there are four methods of manipulation these are sorting, merging, joining and selecting, a short description of each is listed below. Sorting This is a way of arranging items in an order that is easy to use and understand.