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Database and Information Systems

How do you handle all the data presented to you via the Internet, apps, or in day-to-day operation? How do you find value in all that data and information? How do you filter out what is important and what is not?

If you have a file, what do you do to store it or manage it, so it is available for later use?  Well, an electronic file may be maintained in an electronic database.  You have electronic folders that house your electronic files.  A series of files in a folder would make-up an electronic database. An example of an electronic file is a MS Word document. An example of an electronic folder is the ‘Document’ folder that comes with a Personal Computer (PC). Before we even start addressing files and folders any further, it helps to understand how data is organized.

How Data Is stored? Data storage is made up of several levels with files representing one format. Another format is what we identified earlier as “1s and 0s” called bits; a series of bits (8 bits) would produce a bytes another form of data storage; and you also have fields and records as other instances of data storage. It is computer literate to understand database storage hierarchy. As guided by your textbook, the following is a more detailed outline of data storage hierarchy:

  • Bits—The bit is the smallest unit of data the computer can store in a database—represented by 0 for electricity being off or 1 for on.
  • Characters—A character (byte) is a letter, number, or special character. A, B, C, 1, 2, 3, &, %, @ are all examples of single characters. A combination of bits represents a character.
  • Field—A field (column) is a unit of data consisting of one or more characters (bytes). An example of a field is your first name, your street address, or your Social Security number.
  • Record—A record (row) is a collection of related fields. Each record stores data about only one entity, which can be a person, a place, a thing, an occurrence, or a phenomenon. An example of a record would be your name and address and Social Security number.
  • File—A file (often called table) is a collection of related records. An example of such a file is data collected on everyone employed in the same department of a company, including all names, addresses, and Social Security numbers. You use files (tables) a lot          because the table is the collection of data or information that is treated as a unit by the computer.
  • The file (table) is at the top of the data hierarchy. A collection of related files (tables) forms the database. A company database might include files on all past and current employees in all departments. There would be various files for each employee: payroll, retirement benefits, and so on.

The benefits of organizing your records, tables, files and folders in an electronic database are the following:

  • The ease of using a database management system (DBMS) software to store, arrange, change and extract data from a database.
  • The flexibility of data maintenance, which includes updating, removing or adding records, tables, files or folders.
  • The functionality of increasing data security using security measures such as biometrics, passwords, and access privileges.
  • The functionality of assigning a unique identifier, such as you school ID#, to each record or file, so there is no confusion during database management—it would be rather frustrating if your grade was accidently assigned to another student simply because the system could not distinguish you from another student.
  • The ability to place common records, tables, files and folders together.
  • The option of using a hypertextdatabase to access files and folders more easily.
  • The efficiency of removing data redundancy by keeping a record or file in one location and accessing it from that location only.
  • The effectiveness of giving access to records, tables, files or folder to other users via the cloud or a shared drive.
  • The ability to increase the speed and time it takes to access a file or folder.
  • The capability of sustaining data integrity in which the data remains credible and up to date.
  • The ease of sharing records, tables, files or folder regardless of the network or the software used to access the files.

To realize these benefits, we will need a database administrator (DBA) such as you to address the need for policies and activities involving data integrity, availability, security, performance, and recoverability.   The DBA will also need decide how to organize the database which may be organized in one of five different models: (1) hierarchical and (2) network if using an older model or (3) relational, (4) object-oriented, and (5) multidimensional if using a more modern approach for organizing a database.  By the way, the you should learn to use structured query language (SQL) if you are interested in becoming a database administrator. SQL is the expectation for most database applications. You may visit the following links to gain more information on the value of learning SQL:

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SQL tutorials:

  • http://sqlcourse.com/intro.html
  • sql-tutorial.net/
  • http://sqlzoo.net/

Another key technique to accessing and manipulating records in a database is using queries. Query by example (QBE) is a type of query language. You may visit the following links to learn more about QBE:

QBE tutorials:

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9vyzpdUWHs
  • dailymotion.com/video/xlo03u_access-2010-tutorial-how-is-using-the-qbe-grid-writing-sql-code-microsoft-training-lesson-7-6_tech
  • http://searchoracle.techtarget.com/definition/Query-by-Example

Also, for more information regarding managing databases and files, you may go to the following links below:

Detailed site on databases:

  • answers.com/topic/database

Information on the future of data storage can be found at:

  • http://gigaom.com/2013/12/14/5-predictions-on-the-future-of-databases-from-a-guy-who-knows-databases/
  • http://mozy.com/infographics/the-past-present-and-future-of-data-storage/
  • http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/video/Future-of-data-storage-Addressing-traditional-architecture-problems
  • http://science.time.com/2013/01/24/goodbye-silicon-hello-dna-the-future-of-data-storage/

Discuss the importance of databases for the web:

  • answers.com/topic/database

What Is the “Deep Web”? Tor?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Web
  • https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en

Database administrator job descriptions:

  • http://www.netcomlearning.com/careers/3/Database-Administrator-training.html?advid=65&gclid=CI3K6JqZzbwCFQNufgodvSYAfg
  • http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/job-descriptions/database-administrator-job-description.aspx
  • http://www.prospects.ac.uk/database_administrator_job_description.htm

Data Mining

Sorting through millions and trillions of data sets can be very overwhelming. How do you manage data overflow? Data mining is one method used to manage large amounts of data through a concept called relationship. Consider the term Data Mining (DM) as the process of managing large data sets using relationships. Why would you need to manage data overflow? Businesses need to be able to make sound decisions by understanding the impact of different positions taken or strategy implemented. Data mining affords organizations the ease of making these key decisions. Note that an organization is typically made-up of several departments. If you were working at Lowe’s what would be some of the key departments? If you were working at Oliver Garden, what would be some of the key departments? If you were working at a university, what would be some key departments? These departments of offices typically include but not limited to the Chief Executive Office led by the chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Human Resource Department, the Operations Department led by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Accounting and Finance Department led by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Legal Department, the Information Systems Department led by the Chief Information Officer (CIO), and the Marketing Department.  Now imagine the frequent predictions and decisions each department within each company or organization needs to make. What tool would you use to make critical decisions?

Data mining typically encompasses the following flow as outlined in your Textbook as well:

  1. Data enters the process from different sources.
  2. Data is cleaned to ensure quality and yielding both data and metadata (information about the data).
  3. Data is then transferred to the Data Warehouse and stored there usingRedundant Arrays of Independent Disks (RAID).
  4. Database Managers then will mine the data and the metadata using algorithms or step-by-step problem-solving procedures. When you think of data mining, think of what gold miners do to find gold. Typically, some of the same processes are involved—searching and sifting through findings. However, in this instance the need to interpret and make the data meaningful also become very important. Basically, techniques such as Regression Analysis andClassification Analysis are used to analyzed the data. When you here the term regression analysis used, think of mathematical interpretation of data. When you here the term Classification Analysis used, think in terms of pattern-recognition.

For more information on data mining and data warehouse, visit the links below

  • dwinfocenter.org/defined.html
  • 1keydata.com/datawarehousing/data-warehouse-definition.html
  • http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B10501_01/server.920/a96520/concept.htm

For more attributes of good information go to:

  • http://www.contentedwriter.com/characteristics-of-good-information/
  • http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Qualities_of_good_information

When you get an opportunity, study big data and how it is driving Big Data analytics! Recognize that your personal, professional, and social data is a part of big data. We are all contributing to big data.


What we are really saying is that, databases help to produce information to help you and I make decisions. One of the ways to access if information is of a certain quality is to asses if the data or information is correct, complete, current, accessible, and economically sound. Remember, an organization houses sensitive data and information in the data warehouse. These data, metadata, and information are central to the success of the company, whether that data is flowing horizontally and vertically from the strategic-level, the tactical-level, to the operational-level and back. These levels of management decisions are necessary for an effective organization.  Fortunately, technology allows us to be able to make decisions and predictions regardless of our location or time. How do you use technology to make decisions or manage a project from a remote location?  Do you use an email system, Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, other videoconferencing, intranet or SharePoint? One important point is to pay careful attention to what you post in cyber space. If you do not exercise care, you could experience identity theft or your organization could easily experience security breach. Also, note that you create a data trail as you post and share data and information. You may visit the links below for additional information:

“Making the Case for Decentralized Management”

  • asaecenter.org/PublicationsResources/ANowDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42147
  • http://smallbusiness.chron.com/centralized-vs-decentralized-organizational-structure-2785.html
  • https://www.ordoro.com/blog/2012/07/19/centralized-organization/

Take a look at the following Computer-Based Systems used by many businesses and organizations:

  • Executive support systems
  • Decision support systems
  • Expert systems
  • Management information systems
  • Office information systems
  • Transaction processing systems

Additional Information:

Transaction Processing Systems:

  • bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/transaction-processing-systems.htm
  • http://dictionary.sensagent.com/transaction+processing+system/en-en/

DSSs and ESSs:





There are instances when we may not care to make a decision; however, we would like to use the data we have to allow technology to make the decision for us. We will soon have the option to use machines to make more and more decisions for us through the principles of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Do a search of AI on YouTube, and you will discover the essence of AI. Do you remember the movie I Robot, Terminator series, and the Matrix? There movies feature some levels of AI. Perhaps you can think of an AI example. Look for Artificial Intelligence to take us places never been before as a result of nanotechnology. Below are some key areas of AI:

  • Robotics
  • Virtual reality and simulation devices
  • Intelligent agents
  • Expert systems
  • Natural language processing
  • Pattern recognition
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Neural networks

Expert systems: 

  • http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Architecture_of_expert_expert_system
  • referenceforbusiness.com/management/Em-Exp/Expert-Systems.html
  • answers.com/topic/expert-system

Intelligent agents:

  • webopedia.com/TERM/I/intelligent_agent.html

Virtual Reality & Simulation Devices

  • www-vrl.umich.edu/intro/
  • sciencedaily.com/news/computers_math/virtual_reality/
  • http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/other-gadgets/virtual-reality.htm

Fuzzy Logic

  • http://home.howstuffworks.com/rice-cooker2.htm
  • http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/fuzzy-logic

Want to participate in the Turing test?

  • turinghub.com/

For more information on Captchas:

  • captcha.net/
  • wordspy.com/words/captcha.asp
  • computerworld.com/softwaretopics/software/story/0,10801,82025,00.html
  • http://drupal.org/project/captcha

“The Singularity”: The Concept of Smarter-Than-Human Computers

  • aleph.se/Trans/Global/Singularity/
  • singularity.com/aboutthebook.html
  • http://singularityhub.com/

Ethical Issues in Advanced Artificial intelligence

  • http://aitopics.org/topic/ethics-social-issues
  • http://www.cs.bath.ac.uk/~jjb/web/ai.html
  • nickbostrom.com/ethics/ai.html
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2548355/Google-sets-artificial-intelligence-ethics-board-curb-rise-robots.html
  • http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/oct/20/artificial-intelligence-impact-lives

Short Questions:

  1. Who is the database administrator (DBA)? 
    2. What is Data mining (DM)?
    3. What is data warehouse?
    4. Identity four advantages of databases
    5. What is an expert system?
    6.  Define Virtual reality (VR)
    7. What are the main areas of AI?
    8. Define a decision support system (DSS)?

Short Answers:

  1. The database administrator (DBA) is the person who coordinates all related activities and needs for an organization’s database. The DBA determines user access privileges; sets standards, guidelines, and control procedures; assists in establishing priorities for requests; prioritizes conflicting user needs; and develops user documentation and input procedures. He or she is also concerned with security—setting up and monitoring a system for preventing unauthorized access and making sure that the system is regularly backed up and that data can be recovered should a failure or disaster occur.
    2. Data mining (DM)refers to the computer-assisted process of sifting through and analyzing vast amounts of data in order to extract meaning and discover new knowledge. The purpose of DM is to describe past trends and predict future trends. Thus, data-mining tools might sift through a company’s immense collections of customer, marketing, production, and financial data and identify what’s worth noting and what’s not.
  2. data warehouseis a database containing cleaned-up data and meta-data (information about the data). The data is stored using high-capacity disk storage. Data warehouses combine vast amounts of data from many sources in a database form that can be searched, for example, for patterns not recognizable with smaller amounts of data.
  3. Four advantages of databases: (1) reduced data redundancy; (2) improved data integrity; (3) increased security; (4) ease of data maintenance.
  4. An expert system, or knowledge-based system, is a set of interactive computer programs that helps users solve problems that would otherwise require the assistance of a human expert. Expert systems are created on the basis of knowledge collected on specific topics from human specialists, and they imitate the reasoning process of a human being. Expert systems have emerged from the field of artificial intelligence, the branch of computer science that is devoted to the creation of computer systems that simulate human reasoning and sensation.

Expert systems are used by both management and nonmanagement personnel to solve specific problems, such as how to reduce production costs, improve workers’ productivity, or reduce environmental impact. Because of their giant appetite for memory, expert systems are usually run on large computers, although some microcomputer expert systems also exist.

6. Virtual reality (VR), a computer-generated artificial reality, projects a person into a sensation of three-dimensional space. To put yourself into virtual reality, you need software and special headgear; then you can add gloves, and later perhaps a special suit. The headgear—which is called a head-mounted display—has two small video display screens, for each eye, to create the sense of three-dimensionality. Headphones pipe in stereophonic sound or even 3-D sound; so that you think you are hearing sounds not only near each ear but also in various places all around you. The glove has sensors for collecting data about your hand movements. Once you are wearing this equipment, software gives you interactive sensory feelings similar to real-world experiences.

  1. Main areas of AI are expert systems, natural language processing, intelligent agents, pattern recognition, virtual reality and simulation devices, robotics, fuzzy logic, neural networks
    8. A decision support system (DSS)is a computer-based information system that provides a flexible tool for analysis and helps managers focus on the future. It gathers and presents data from a wide range of sources in a way that can be interpreted by humans. Some decision support systems come very close to acting as artificial intelligence agents. DSS applications are not single information resources, such as a database or a program that graphically represents sales figures, but a combination of integrated resources working together. Whereas a TPS records data and an MIS summarizes data, a DSS analyzes data. To reach the DSS level of sophistication in information technology, an organization must have established TPS and MIS systems first.

Many DSSs are developed to support the types of decisions faced by managers in specific industries, such as airlines or real estate. Many companies use DSSs called geographic information systems (GISs), such as MapInfo and Atlas GIS, which integrate geographic databases with other business data and display maps.

Also called an executive information system (EIS), an executive support system (ESS) is an easy-to-use DSS made especially for strategic managers; it specifically supports strategic decision making. It draws on data not only from systems internal to the organization but also from those outside, such as news services or market-research databases. An ESS might allow senior executives to call up predefined reports from their personal computers, whether desktops or laptops. They might, for instance, call up sales figures in many forms—by region, by week, by anticipated year, by projected increases. The ESS includes capabilities for analyzing data and doing “what-if” scenarios. ESSs also have the capability to browse through summarized information on all aspects of the organization and then zero in on (“drill down” to) detailed areas the manager believes require attention. ESSs are relatively user-friendly and require little training to use.


Image Source: /access/content/group/science-and-technology-common/ITCC/ITCC121/Images/Lesson%207/Other_Applications_of_Data_Mining.JPG


Image Source: /access/content/group/science-and-technology-common/ITCC/ITCC121/Images/Lesson%207/Process_Data_Mining.JPG
Image Source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/previews/build-database-represents-databases-storage-3d-rendering-100464143.jpg

Williams, B. (2015). Using information technology 11th complete edition. New York, NY:McGraw-Hill/Irwin.


Assignment Instructions


Week 7  Assignment: Build a substance-based PowerPoint presentation (with audio support using Kaltura, PodOmatic or other available audio/video software), of at least 15 slides with an introduction, body and summary slides on the concepts listed below from Week 7 Readings.

Submission Instructions: Submit your completed presentation at this location.

Grading Rubric

Assessment Rubric Exemplary Accomplished Developing Beginning Points Available Points Earned
·         Introduction: provide the reader a bulleted list of all the points your will discuss in the presentation. Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 5
·         Database Management Systems: identify some basic concepts associated with database management systems (Audio is required). Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 10
·         Database Models: explain what a database model is and provide a description of three types (Audio is required). Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 15
·         Databases & the Digital Economy: provide the description and the current trend of E-Business & E-Commerce (Audio is required) . Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 10
·         Information Systems in Organizations: explain how organizations are using databases to help make decisions (Audio is required). Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 15
·         Administration: define database administration and the administrators used to manage a database(Audio is required). Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 15
·         Specialized Database: identify a specialized database and its purpose (Audio is required). Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 10
·         Summary: provide the reader a bulleted list of all the major points you discussed in the presentation. Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 5
·         Overall Quality of Presentation with audio support using Audacity, Kaltura, PodOmatic or other available audio/video software (included images, video, audio and content hyperlinks where needed to extend presentation). Remember to give your source credit using APA format, and you need at least 15 slides. Student effectivelycompleted the assignment. Student partiallycompleted the assignment. The student providedlimited and meaninglesssubstance completing the assignment. Student failed to complete the assignment. 15
Total 100


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