Systems Analysis and Design (CIS54)

Review Questions for the Final Exam

Spring 2000

Your final will consist of 10 of these questions - note that some of the questions are some what opened ended in that they say solve a problem of this type, so in that case you are not getting the specific question.

  1. Explain the kind of information that is kept on a master file. Why? What type of information is not kept on a master file? Why?
  2. Explain why you design output before you design input.
  3. Explain the difference between an internal report and an external report from the forms design point of view and from the distribution point of view.
  4. Explain some of the important things to consider in designing a document to capture input information. (The document will be used by a data entry clerk to key information.)
  5. Explain some of the options available to the analyst when considering form design (types of forms etc.).
  6. Explain alternatives to printed (hardcopy) lists. What are the advantages and disadvantages of hardcopy versus the other methods?
  7. Explain some ways you could set up a report if you needed to print more information than would fit on a given line.
  8. Explain the difference between a preliminary systems investigation and a detailed investigation/analysis both in objectives and scope.
  9. Explain the different kinds of edit checks that are important to insure the validity of data.
  10. What are the pros and cons for different types of data entry situations - person entering data doesn't know material, just keys, person entering data works in the appropriate area and is familiar with the material.
  11. In deciding the type of organization to use in storing a file, what should be considered?
  12. Explain the what the following are used for and the information that they provide. Group them by function - what do the ones in a group have in common and how do they vary. (a) logic flowchart, (b) IPO chart, (c) hierarchy chart, (d) pseudocode, (e) structured English, (f) decision table, (g) Nassi-S... charts, (h) Warinier-Orr diagrams, (i) systems flowchart, (j) data flow diagram DFD, (k) PERT/CPM chart.
  13. What must be done with a file of input transactions before they are used in a sequential update of a master file?
  14. What is the purpose of an accounts receivable system and what are the major things that must be handled? What are some of the decisions and considerations that the analyst must deal with?
  15. What is the purpose of an accounts payable system and what are the major things that must be handled? What are some of the decisions and considerations that the analyst must deal with?
  16. Besides data entry clerks, what other people must be trained in the use of the new system and what should this training consist of?
  17. Explain the kind of documentation that should be given to operators.
  18. Explain the processing that must be done to update a file randomly (be sure to discuss the handling of the transactions).
  19. Explain why detail transaction information is not usually kept on a master file. (Be very detailed/specific in answering this question). What are the alternative ways to keep detailed information that may be needed for later processing?
  20. Explain normalization and its three stages (first normal form, second normal form and third normal form). Be prepared to illustrate using a list of data that needs to be set up in normalized files.
  21. Explain the concepts of one to one, one to many, and many to many. Give an example of each. Explain the tables that result from these situations. Explain when a key needs to include multiple parts. Relate this to the cone to one, one to may and many to many concepts.
  22. Explain a primary key, an alternate key, a secondary key and a foreign key. Give an example of each.
  23. What is the difference between what I have called maintenance updating and production updating. Explain using an inventory system as the example.
  24. How does advanced inventory screening help in handling orders? What processing problems does it avoid?
  25. In your opinion, should a systems analyst know how to program? Should they work as a programmer before becoming an analyst? Why?
  26. Explain a system analyst's job?
  27. What are the steps that must be gone through in testing a system?
  28. What is the difference between systems analysis and systems design? Why is each step important?
  29. Discuss the various steps in converting to a new system?
  30. When your system has been tested and you feel it is ready to go into production, you must convert from the present way of doing business to the new system. Explain the ways that this can be accomplished and give the pros and cons of each.
  31. What information can you get from a CPM or PERT chart. Once a CPM or PERT chart is prepared, is it good for the entire project? Why or why not? What is the critical path?
  32. What help does the CPM or PERT chart provide in managing a project?
  33. If something on the critical path (CPM/PERT) is delayed, what impact does it have and how can this be ascertained? Is the impact always the same? If something not on the critical path is delayed, how can you tell whether or not it will impact the project?
  34. What are the earliest and latest finish start and finish times and how are they calculated (refer to CPM/PERT).
  35. On a decision table, what is the difference between the setup of actions and conditions?
  36. Referring to a decision table, what is a rule? What is a null rule?
  37. Given a series of Ys and Ns, can a person tell how many rules the decision table has and which rule is given? How? (Assume conventional setup of the decision table).
  38. How do you determine how many rules you will need for a given decision table? What method is used for filling in the rules for each decision?
  39. What is condensing (on a decision table) and how is it done?
  40. When is it appropriate to use more than one decision table?
  41. What is CASE technology? Explain some of the aspects of CASE technology that the text discussed using the text book example software or using a software package you have looked at.
  42. If you were designing a business package of the kind you looked at with MYOB, what features would you require, how would you set the package up from the user point of view and from the internal processing point of view.
  43. How can data be made ready for the new system? Does it make a difference if you are going from a manual system or converting from an existing computerized system? Explain.
  44. Why does an analyst want to interview top management, department heads, supervisors and clerks etc.? What information is being looked for from each level?
  45. In doing an analysis, why is it good for an analyst to spend time with clerks watching them do their job?
  46. Explain the documentation that a programmer should prepare to document a program.
  47. Explain what documentation should be available for a system that is in production. What is the purpose of each? Discuss the specifics that should be included in each type of documentation.
  48. Be prepared to describe and fully explain all the areas on each documentation form or layout sheet that has been presented in your text or in class
  49. What is a data base? What is a data base management system?
  50. What is a relational data base?
  51. What is the difference between a systems flowchart and a data flow diagram? When is appropriate to use each of them? Explain how they relate to the different stages of systems analysis and design.
  52. Explain the symbols in a DFD? What do they stand for and how are they used? What are some of the rules or standards used when drawing a DFD?
  53. Explain the symbols in a systems flowchart? What do they stand for and how are they used? What are some of the rules or standards used when drawing a systems flowchart?
  54. Be prepared to draw either a data flow diagram or a systems flowchart.
  55. Be prepared to interpret either a data flow diagram or a systems flowchart.
  56. What is the difference between batch processing and on-line processing? When is each appropriate? Give examples.
  57. What is the difference between random batch processing and sequential batch processing both in the handling of the transactions prior to the processing and the actual processing itself? Discuss this in the context of an update and in the context of other kinds of processing.
  58. Explain the value of control totals. Give several examples of different types of control totals that could be kept for different jobs.
  59. Explain the different kinds of controls that should be considered when designing a system?
  60. In doing on-line processing, explain ways of keeping track of the transactions that are processed?
  61. Explain the value of grouping transactions in batches for input to the edit program or the update program. Explain how a batching system of this type works. Explain the controls involved and why they are important.
  62. When errors are discovered in an edit program where the transactions have been batched, explain ways in which you can correct the errors. Use both sequential processing and random processing in your explanation.
  63. How are errors caught in other ways then batching and how are these errors corrected and entered back into the system? Consider both batch processing and on line processing.
  64. What is link or string testing and how does it differ from the testing you do on a single program?
  65. What information should be included in the programming specifications given to a programmer?
  66. Explain what should be kept as back-up so the master file can be recreated. Is any special processing involved? Deal with both sequential processing and random processing.
  67. Explain how information can be backed-up in an on-line system. If the master file was destroyed, how could it be recreated?
  68. What is an audit trail? How is it used? How is it set-up? When should audit considerations be incorporated into the system? What things can an auditor do to satisfy themselves that the system is valid?
  69. Explain how updating an indexed sequential file randomly is different from updating a sequential file and why they are different? What considerations does the analyst go through in determining the kind of file to keep the master on and the type of updating that should take place?
  70. Explain how a record is added when you are randomly updating an indexed sequential file and how that record is added to the file whey you are doing sequential processing of a sequential file. How is the processing different and how is it the same. Answer the same question for a change and then for a delete.
  71. What happens to a master record on a sequential file update when there is not a transaction of the same id? Is it the same processing for a random accessed indexed file when there is a master that does not have a transaction with the same key? Explain.
  72. Discuss some of the human considerations that must be considered in designing a system.
  73. What is a variable length record and when are they used? What is an alternative to using variable length records?
  74. Explain the techniques for creating good screens and good menus for a screen? Be specific on the design of the screens and menus, the design of the progression through the screens and backing out of screens, the handling of errors and the processing that is done.
  75. In designing files, what must the analyst consider to insure the best design for a particular application? Deal with fields, record layouts, storage media, organization and access etc. What are the differences between designing files for a traditional data processing system and a database system using a relational database?
  76. In a payroll system, what are the main objectives of the system and what must the analyst consider in designing the system?
  77. What is the value of a systems flowchart? What should accompany the systems flowchart in the documentation to make the flowchart more understandable?
  78. What is a data dictionary? What is its value? What kind of information is kept in a data dictionary? What different categories of documents are included in the data dictionary? How is a data dictionary related to an understanding of the processing?
  79. A logic tool must be able to show three types of logic, what are they?
  80. In an inventory system, what the things that must be accomplished and what are the objectives of the system? What must the analyst consider in designing the system?
  81. What is the systems life cycle?
  82. Why is important that the systems analyst understand accounting?
  83. What can be created using Powerpoint. For what purpose would an analyst use Powerpoint?
  84. How do you document a file? What information should be included in the documentation and what forms should be used. relate to the data dictionary.
  85. What is an RFP? Explain considerations in evaluating a manufacturer's proposal for a computer system (software not hardware).
  86. What are alternatives to in-house programming? Discuss each alternative and give the pros and cons.
  87. Explain what an analyst must go consider in determining the file organization and access for a master file.
  88. Discuss and evaluate some different kinds of data capturing techniques.
  89. What is a system? What is a subsystem?
  90. Discuss plans for system implementation and the things that must be considered in implementing a system?
  91. When buying a software package, what should the analyst consider and do to make the purchase as successful as possible?
  92. What is a fourth generation language? What are some of the advantages of a fourth generation language and what does it mean to the company to have files that are accessible through a fourth generation language?
  93. When an how is an evaluation of a system done and what things are considered in doing the evaluation?
  94. Discuss maintenance of a system. What is scheduled maintenance and what are the advantages of having scheduled maintenance?
  95. Discuss the difference between different kinds of controls and be able to explain how they help, how they can be implemented and their importance to the system.
  96. What are the characteristics of a well designed system?
  97. If a company is considering computerizing for the first time and does not want to hire a programming staff, what should they consider first, hardware or software and why?
  98. What is an order entry system and how does it work? What are the considerations involved in developing an order entry system?
  99. What is involved in the detailed analysis of a system and what is the next step?
  100. What are the choices for converting from an existing system to the newly designed and tested system? What are the pros and cons of each?
  101. Explain cost considerations in the analysis and design stages?
  102. What kinds of management presentations must an analyst do and at what stages during the analysis and design would they be appropriate?
  103. When designing reports, why is it a good idea to involve the end user and secure their agreement on the final design?
  104. What is the role of the user in systems analysis and design? Discuss the team approach. If you are using a team to do systems analysis, who should be on the team and why?
  105. Define and explain: - remote or off line entry, on-line entry, interactive, real time, sequential batch, random batch
  106. Define: electronic data processing, management information systems, decision support systems, expert systems Explain the role and appropriate use of each and the progression from one to the next in a business environment.
  107. What has been the effect of the microcomputer on business information systems?
  108. What should the person running a small business think about if they want to computerize the business? What should be considered in selecting hardware? What should be considered in selecting software? How should they go about getting software and maintaining it?
  109. What are the different kinds of files and what purposes do they serve (i.e. master, transaction, table etc.)?
  110. Discuss the things that are important in a software package and make it easy for the end user to use?
  111. What is an automated office?
  112. How are spreadsheets used by businesses? How can their use be incorporated into systems design?
  113. What is the difference in role for the analyst working on a system for a large company and the analyst working on a system for a small company with no computer staff.
  114. What is prototyping? How is it used as a design tool? What software makes prototyping a viable alternative for the analyst to consider?
  115. What is the value of SQL? How can it be incorporated into a system?
  116. Explain how MYOB works? In other words how is information kept, what kinds of transactions are allowed, how are transactions processed?
  117. Did you find MYOB user friendly, easy to figure out, easy to use. Discuss its strengths and weaknesses.
  118. What kind of small business situation could make effective use of MYOB? When would MYOB be inappropriate to a business? What kinds of compromises would a business have to make to use it?
  119. Explain what a general ledger is and the interface between the general ledger and the other elements of MYOB - A/R, A/P and Inventory.
  120. Be prepared to take the description of a business and its information needs and analyze whether MYOB would be an appropriate choice for the company.
  121. Analyze MYOB as a package for a small business - what do you see as its strengths and weaknesses - in what business environment would you be comfortable recommending it?
  122. Describe the design process (designing output, input, files and processing) and explain why things are done in this order.
  123. Explain the process of designing files. What makes a well designed system of files?
  124. When designing a query in Access, what are the two query modes that are available? Explain why Access supports both?
  125. What can Access queries be used for?
  126. Explain the kinds of things that you can do in Access that make it viable for system development.
  127. Explain the concept of relationships in Access and how relationships are developed. What benefit do relationships provide for the developer.
  128. When using Access to create a report containing information from many tables, what steps must the developer follow? Be specific about what should be done before creating the report and the creation of the report itself.
  129. Explain the relationship between Visual Basic and Access.
  130. Is Access an appropriate tool to use to Prototype a system? Explain.
  131. How can updating be done using Access.
  132. What are the possibilities for developing macros or code to handle processing outside the basics providing by Access. How can this be done?
  133. Explain the concept of the primary key versus other keys to tables in access.
  134. When using SQL, if the same name appears on multiple tables how can SQL be coded to deal with this problem.
  135. Be prepared to write the SQL code for a variety of different selection criteria.
  136. Explain the steps to design and enter code into two Access tables and relate them on a field they have in common.
  137. Discuss the ease of use of the tools you would choose to use for Web page development.
  138. Discuss the use of HTML to create a Web page? Why is it important to know HTML even if you are using a package for development?
  139. Discuss some of the broad concepts of e-commerce. What impact do you feel the Web will have on the way we do business?