Pat and Robin are planning to open a brand-new cannabis store on Bank Street. They have applied for all the permits and licences that are required to sell their product legally, and expect to receive approval in the next couple of months. They have leased a storefront, and are renovating it right now to have the right “vibe” and to be functional for their staff and their customers in six weeks. The tables and chairs should be arriving soon, right after the walls are painted in the owners’ favourite colours.
In the meantime, they want to plan out their Management Information Systems and the underlying technology needed in the store. They figure they will need 4 desktop Point-of-Sale computers for staff at the fixed customer service stations spread around the store, and a tablet computer for each employee walking the floor, greeting and advising customers. They would also like to provide wireless access for their customers while they are in the store. Neither Pat nor Robin has any skills at setting up software or hardware – they regret not taking that MIS course in university a few years ago. Robin does have a sibling, Alex, who did some programming recently and is familiar with the Agile approach – Alex would be available to offer some help to prepare the systems to get the store up and running. However, Alex will be off to university overseas soon and would not be available once the store opens and the sales operations starts up.
1. Databases: a) Name 2 Master and 1 Transactional databases (not a database type or data mart or data warehouse) Pat and Robin would need to run their store, and briefly describe them. (2 marks)
2.Databases: b) For each of the 2 Master and 1 Transactional databases you listed in the previous question, list 4 typical data elements (fields) they would require in each (2 marks)
3. Databases: c) For each of the 2 Master and 1 Transactional databases you listed in the earlier question, identify the primary key, the secondary and the foreign key (if any) for each of the three databases. (2 marks)
4.Privacy and Security: a) Name one significant data privacy issue that the cannabis store will have to deal with, and how to mitigate the issue. (2 marks)
5.Privacy and Security: b) Name one significant data security issue that the cannabis store will have to deal with, and how to mitigate the issue. (2 marks)
6. Business Analytics: a) Once the shop has been running for a while, provide one specific example of management information you would want to see using Descriptive Analytics and specify the data source(s) and how you would obtain the information. (2 marks)
7.Business Analytics: b) Once the shop has been running for a while, provide one specific example of management information you would want to see using Prescriptive Analytics and specify the data source(s) and how you would obtain the information. (2 marks)
8.Networking and Communications: a) How would you connect the 4 fixed Point-of-Sale desktop computers to the local server in the back of the store for the staff to use? Justify your answer. (2 marks)
9.Networking and Communications: b) How would you provide wireless networking for the staff to use for their tablets when they walk around serving customers? What wireless networking would you provide for customers to use when they are in the store and why? (2 marks)
10.Software Acquisition and Platform Hosting / ERP: a) What approach to acquiring the ERP software would you recommend? What is the best method for the software and platform hosting for the servers required to run Pat and Robin’s operation and why? (2 marks)
Sample Answer (Order for Original Paper)
- Databases: a) Pat and Robin would need two Master databases and one Transactional database. The two Master databases could be:
- Product Inventory Database: This database would store information about all the cannabis products they have in stock. It would include details like product names, quantities, pricing, supplier information, and product descriptions. This database helps in managing and tracking their inventory effectively.
- Customer Database: This database would store information about their customers, including names, contact information, purchase history, and preferences. It allows them to personalize customer interactions and marketing efforts.
The Transactional database could be:
- Sales Transaction Database: This database would record each sales transaction in real-time. It would include data such as the date and time of the sale, products sold, prices, payment methods, and the employee who processed the sale. This database is essential for tracking daily sales and generating financial reports.
- Databases: b) For each of the databases listed above, here are four typical data elements (fields) they would require:Product Inventory Database:
- Product ID
- Product Name
- Quantity in Stock
- Supplier Information
- Product Description
- Reorder Point
- Customer ID
- Contact Number
- Email Address
- Purchase History
- Date of Birth
- Membership Status
Sales Transaction Database:
- Transaction ID
- Date and Time of Sale
- Employee ID (Cashier)
- Customer ID (if applicable)
- Product(s) Sold
- Quantity Sold
- Payment Method
- Discount Applied
- Total Amount
- Databases: c) For each of the three databases, here are the primary key, secondary key, and foreign key (if any):Product Inventory Database:
- Primary Key: Product ID
- Secondary Key: Supplier Information
- Foreign Key: None
- Primary Key: Customer ID
- Secondary Key: Email Address
- Foreign Key: None
Sales Transaction Database:
- Primary Key: Transaction ID
- Secondary Key: Employee ID
- Foreign Key: Customer ID
- Privacy and Security: a) One significant data privacy issue the cannabis store will have to deal with is customer data protection. To mitigate this issue, they should implement strict access controls and encryption to safeguard customer information. Additionally, they should ensure compliance with relevant data protection regulations such as GDPR or local data privacy laws.
- Privacy and Security: b) A significant data security issue could be the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive sales data. To mitigate this issue, they should implement robust authentication measures like strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and regularly update their security software to protect against cyber threats like malware and data breaches.
- Business Analytics: a) Using Descriptive Analytics, Pat and Robin would want to see a daily sales report. The data source would be the Sales Transaction Database. They would obtain this information by running a query to summarize daily sales, including the total revenue, number of transactions, and top-selling products.
- Business Analytics: b) Using Prescriptive Analytics, they would want recommendations for product restocking. The data source would be the Product Inventory Database and historical sales data. They could use algorithms to predict when to reorder products based on inventory levels, sales trends, and reorder points.
- Networking and Communications: a) To connect the 4 fixed Point-of-Sale desktop computers to the local server, they should use Ethernet cables. Ethernet provides a stable and high-speed connection suitable for Point-of-Sale systems. It ensures reliable and low-latency communication, critical for sales operations.
- Networking and Communications: b) To provide wireless networking, they should set up a Wi-Fi network for staff tablets, secured with WPA2/WPA3 encryption for data protection. For customers, they should offer a separate guest network with limited bandwidth to ensure that customer usage doesn’t impact the staff’s network performance.
- Software Acquisition and Platform Hosting / ERP: a) Pat and Robin should consider a Software as a Service (SaaS) approach for acquiring ERP software. SaaS offers scalability, regular updates, and reduced maintenance, which would be beneficial for their small business. For platform hosting, they can opt for a cloud-based solution like AWS or Azure, which provides flexibility, scalability, and reliability without the need for on-site server infrastructure. This approach is cost-effective and suits their lack of IT expertise.