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Background: Solomon Enterprises is small concrete construction company. They employ truck drivers who receive a base salary as well as a commission on sales. Currently, they keep data on customers and sale orders in Excel Workbooks (see the attached file). As their company and the number of sales grows, they are finding it harder and harder to keep track of their data. They would like to create regular reports to help them with decision making. Right now, they have difficulty retrieving information quickly and easily. They need your expert advice to help them with their data storage and tracking issues. You are an Information Consultant with the Digital K&S Corporation, and you have been contracted to solve this problem by addressing the specific questions below. As an analyst/designer, you will review the current Excel file, and then design and build an Access database that will be a more efficient and effective method of handling the data. Instructions: Download the Excel spreadsheet here: SolomonEnterpriseReviewed.xlsx Your first challenge is to make sense of the data stored in the Excel file. After downloading the Excel spreadsheet, spend some time analyzing the data it stores. Think about the problems it is causing the organization, and how a database can help minimize or eliminate these issues. In order to convert this data table into a relational database, you need to identify the entities, their attributes, and the relationships between the entities. Recall that in data normalization there is often a table that represents a transaction—think about what a transaction looks like for Solomon Enterprises. This transaction table becomes the central table—the one with relationships to the other entities which are part of that transaction. Use the information on database design in Chapter 5 and Chapter Extension 6 of the textbook to inform and support your decisions. For additional help with building an Access database, see https://support.office.com/en-us/access https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/access2016/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RelLvfilOnQ The following video tutorials will walk you through importing data from Excel into Access and have been made specifically for this course. We strongly advise that you watch them before proceeding: Database Design (10:03) Examine the Data (8:07) Importing Data (13:41) Simple Queries (10:36) Complex Queries (11:28) If you wish, you may use this Excel file to follow along or practice importing data into an Access database. You will need to transform the Excel data into a proper Access database. Keep in mind that retyping the data from a spreadsheet into a database is not the best use of your time and it can introduce data errors. The data in the Access database must match the Excel data (except for the obvious data inconsistencies). You can import the data directly from the Excel spreadsheet. The tutorial videos above will help you do this. In Access, you will create database tables from the data stored in the Excel file you downloaded. In database design, each table should relate to a specific entity or event; that is, tables are often created for each noun (person, place, or thing). It is essential to eliminate redundancy as much as possible. This means that the data should appear in only one place. This results in less storage space used and, because data will only need to be entered (or changed) in one place, there will be fewer opportunities for inconsistencies or errors. When designing the database, you will need to establish relationships. These relationships are usually built by examining the tables and deciding which direction makes the most sense. Often, one table will represent a transaction. Consider a sales transaction. It consists of a date and total, but also has relationships to the customer who made the purchase, so the Sale should have a Lookup to Customer. Think about why this makes more sense than the Customer having a Lookup to Sale. You need to establish the relationships between the different tables in the database. Next, you should create both a query and a report that shows each of the following: the dates and locations of the deliveries made in the Chevy truck the most productive employee the most valuable customer the product that sells the most and the total units sold. What is the average amount per order for this product? The sales manager is curious how many repeat deliveries have been made by the same employee to the same customer at the same delivery address. This helps with planning as this employee has established a relationship with this customer and location. Create a query, sorted by the number of orders, to show this information. Solomon Enterprises is experiencing some financial difficulties and is considering adopting downsizing as a possible action. Which worker, employee, or driver should legitimately be concerned by that action? In addition to these queries, look at the data and create one additional query of your choosing, along with the associated report, that show some information that would be useful for Solomon Enterprise’s managerial decision making. Finally, you will write an analytical report to the executive team at Solomon Enterprises. This report should be formatted as indicated in Writing An Analytical Report. Ensure that it includes responses to the following: Explain the problems management will experience from the data integrity issues in the spreadsheet. Include a list of your tables, including their field names, and clearly identify all primary and foreign keys. Describe how your design and implementation of a database will solve previously mentioned issues. Describe the considerations management will need to take into account to successfully convert their system from the Excel spreadsheet to the Access database system. Important note: After you have created your database file, click FILE→ SAVE AS
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