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)
a) Master Databases:
b) Product Master Database:
Customer Master Database:
Sales Transaction Database:
c) Product Master Database:
Customer Master Database:
Sales Transaction Database:
a) Data Privacy Issue: Pat and Robin will need to address the privacy of customer information, especially since the purchase of cannabis products may carry a social stigma. To mitigate this issue, they should ensure strict access controls and encryption for customer data, only allowing authorized personnel to access customer records.
b) Data Security Issue: Since the cannabis store will handle sensitive customer and financial data, a significant security issue is protecting against cyberattacks and data breaches. To mitigate this issue, they should invest in robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits.
a) Descriptive Analytics: Pat and Robin would want to see a monthly sales report that includes data on total sales revenue, the most popular products, and peak sales hours. This information can be obtained from the Sales Transaction Database through data analysis tools.
b) Prescriptive Analytics: To optimize inventory management, they can use prescriptive analytics to determine the reorder points for each product. This would involve analyzing historical sales data from the Sales Transaction Database and using algorithms to suggest when to reorder products to prevent stockouts.
a) To connect the 4 fixed Point-of-Sale desktop computers to the local server, a wired Ethernet connection is recommended. This ensures a stable and high-speed connection, which is crucial for Point-of-Sale systems. Wired connections are less susceptible to interference and offer low latency, ensuring smooth transactions.
b) For staff tablets, they can use a secure Wi-Fi network within the store. This allows flexibility for employees to move around. For customers, a separate guest Wi-Fi network should be provided. This separation ensures that customers’ internet use does not interfere with the staff’s network, and it enhances security. A captive portal can be used for customers to log in, collecting customer data for marketing purposes (with consent).
a) For acquiring the ERP software, they should consider a cloud-based ERP solution. It offers scalability, lower upfront costs, and automatic updates, which can be beneficial for a small business like theirs. They can also choose a subscription-based model, allowing them to pay for what they use.
For platform hosting, a managed cloud hosting service is recommended. This eliminates the need for on-premises servers and provides reliability, security, and scalability. It’s cost-effective and allows Pat and Robin to focus on their core business while leaving server management to experts.