Data Gathering

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Data Gathering
➢ used to discover business information details to define the information structure ➢ helps to establish the priorities of the information needs ➢ further leads to opportunities to highlight key issues which may cross functional boundaries or may touch on policies or the organization itself ➢ highlighting systems or enhancements that can quickly satisfy cross-functional information needs ➢ a complicated task especially in a large and complex system ➢ must be organized to ensure that nothing is overlooked and all system details are eventually captured ➢ must identify most if not all system problems, user requirements and objectives ➢ must avoid repetitive actions

➢ a search strategy is necessary to achieve the above criteria

Sources of Information
➢ System users
Usually the first information source investigated by analysts ➢ Forms and Documents
Useful sources of information for data flows and transactions ➢ Computer Programs
Used to determine the details of data structures or processes ➢ Procedure Manuals
Specify what people do in an organization, used to determine user activities ➢ Reports
Indicate the kinds of outputs needed by the users

Steps in Data Gathering
➢ Schedule initial visit to user site
➢ Gather and read background materials
➢ Establish data gathering objectives
➢ Determine what data gathering techniques to use
➢ Identify contact persons
➢ Schedule data gathering activities
➢ Assign to data gathering teams
➢ Identify deliverables

Generic Techniques
➢ Observation
➢ Searching existing and special purpose records
➢ Sampling
➢ Questionnaire
➢ Written Reports

Face to Face / Group Communication
➢ Interviews
➢ Meetings and presentations
➢ Vendor presentations
➢ Visits to other installations
➢ Data Collection
➢ External Research

Observation
➢ A simple watching or looking at how the components of the system interact with one another. ➢ Conclusions derived from this method are inferential in nature and may be inductive or deductive. ➢ Kinds of Information sought in observations:

o activities
o messages
o relationships
o influence
➢ Some Common things to observe:
o Office conditions - Noise, lighting, temperature, etc o Layout- Ample space for staff movements, Access to filing cabinets, etc o Furniture- Ample desk size, filing cabinets, etc., Standard Furniture o Workload- Regular load, Peak/Slack Periods

o Bottlenecks- Uneven distribution of workload,
o Redistribution of workload
o Pace of Work - Time and motion study
o Methods of Work - Processing sequence, Red tape, Supervision ➢ Analysts use observation for:
o gaining information about decision-makers and their environment o helping to confirm what has been found through interviewing and questionnaires o negating or reversing what was found by other methods ➢ Seven concrete elements to be observed:

o office location
o placement of the decision-maker’s desk
o stationary office equipment
o props
o trade journals and newspapers
o office lighting and color
o clothing worn by decision-makers

Time Sampling
➢ a method of choosing the time to set up observation activities ➢ allows the analyst to set up specific intervals at which to observe manager’s activities ➢ allows for a representative view of activities that occur fairly frequently ➢ advantage is cutting down on the bias that might otherwise enter in observations ➢ a drawback is that gathering data in a piecemeal fashion may not allow and event to unfold in its entirety ➢ rare or infrequent but important events may...
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