Business Systems Analysis: 751426

Business Systems Analysis

SP2 2018 Systems Design Assignment


This document extends the instructions on the course website. Read the instructions on the course website in addition to this document.

This assessment consists of

  • A case study that requires you to apply your learning from the systems planning module.
  • An ethical analysis which requires you to apply one of the readings provided on the course website.
  • A conceptual development section that requires you to consider how systems planning tasks impact on a systems development project.
  • A learning reflection section.

The feedback sheet lists the assessment criteria. Look for it on the assessment’s webpage. Take note of which sections carry the most marks.

Note that this document’s word count is 3969 without any answers, so

  • Don’t worry if the final word count seems high.
  • Also, there are some diagrams in this assessment so don’t worry if the final word count seems low.

Draw the diagrams by hand, photograph, and insert the photographs in this file. If you prefer, you can use Word’s drawing tools (or some other drawing or modelling software) but you may find working with pen and paper is faster, easier to amend, less cumbersome, and more reliable with respect to layout.

When referring to the exemplars on the course website, read the old assessment specifications carefully because the assessments differ every study period.


In the previous study period, students spent an average of 29 hours on this assessment.

  • Pace yourself accordingly.
  • For best results
    • Do not attempt to complete the whole assessment in one session.
    • Work slowly and carefully.

In addition to the instructions on the course website

  • Do not overlook the ‘Why?’ questions.
  • Read the case study carefully.
  • Keep track of the hours you spend.

Make assumptions where necessary. Scope for assumptions has been deliberately included in this assessment because it is often necessary to make assumptions openly when dealing with a client who is under-informed with respect to information systems. Label assumptions clearly. Here’s an example from a previous study period,

Assumption: As the passengers of Titanic II may be from any nation, we have assumed a currency converter is required for the ticket-purchasing function.

Case study: Nexus Distribution

From the systems planning assignment

Nexus Distribution is a small film distribution agency that focuses on limited release art-house films. It has been in business for a decade and has an existing information system for administering its business processes. Joy Moody started Nexus with her long-time professional contact Deane Jackson. Joy has a leadership and marketing role and Deane manages operations. Louise Taylor and Elizabeth Page are spotters who attend film festivals (eg Sundance, Cannes, Sydney, Toronto, London, etc), identifying films that align with the Nexus Distribution focus, bidding for, and often signing, those films. This team of four work closely to sign 15-20 films each year, optimising the distribution of each film so that returns for Nexus and for their clients (the film-makers and the theatres) are maximised.

The existing information system consists of three databases.

  • Catalogue
  • Distribution Network
  • Travel

Louise and Elizabeth do most of their work while travelling and they communicate with Deane via email, text messaging and phone calls. Louise and Elizabeth attend only the largest film festivals together; usually they work independently of each other. When they are at a film festival, they work highly irregular hours and, in addition to the tasks outlined above, their work includes socialising with, and occasionally entertaining, potential and existing clients. Clients are entertained when the film they have made is of such high quality that more than one distribution agency is competing for its distribution rights. In these cases, Elizabeth and Louise take the clients out for dinner or to a bar in order to build robust working relationships and to create an opportunity for uninterrupted discussion of why and how the client’s interests are best served by Nexus. Louise and Elizabeth are consummate networkers; they are confident, good-humoured and charming in all social circumstances, building relationships with and between people working at all levels of the international art-house film industry.

However, the communication practices between Nexus staff are not up to date and this has led to inefficiencies and wastage of Louise and Elizabeth’s talents and efforts. As their time at film festivals is expensive (flights, accommodation, registration fees, entertainment costs, etc) it is desirable that their time is not wasted. For example, a new film may be shown at several film festivals simultaneously; if Elizabeth has already seen it at Toronto and passed on it (or bid for it and signed it), when Louise is at the Venice film festival, she does not need to waste her time viewing that film and can focus on other films. There are many other instances in which their communication practices fail to optimise the (mostly asynchronous) day-to-day collaborations between Louise, Elizabeth and Deane.

While Louise and Elizabeth work on building Nexus’s catalogue, Deane builds its distribution network (in addition to his significant administrative role). This entails signing various distribution service providers (both independent and chain) to the Nexus distribution network. A distribution service provider might be a VOD (Video on Demand) provider, a chain of theatres, an independent theatre, etc. Deane spends about half of his recruitment effort approaching providers that do not already screen art-house films. The other half is spent on providers which already adopt an art-house focus. While it is a key facet of the Nexus business model, building the distribution network does not consume anywhere near as much effort, money and time as spotting films. Deane estimates that for every dollar spent on building the distribution network, a hundred are spent on spotting films.

Deane is directly responsible for accounting, travel arrangements and reporting. Also, he is indirectly responsible for contracts, which he outsources to a legal firm specialising in contracts for this type of work.

Joy’s role is largely centred on vision and leadership. However, prior to starting Nexus she built a reputation in film marketing and her practical skills in this area are an essential ingredient in Nexus’s success. Every time a new film is signed to Nexus, Joy, Deane, Louise, Elizabeth and the film-makers have a four hour meeting. Occasionally, these meetings are in person, but more often they are held online. These meetings can be hard to schedule because participants are very busy and in different time zones.

During these meetings, in order to design the film’s marketing strategy, they leverage Louise or Elizabeth’s observations of the film, Deane’s knowledge of the Nexus distribution network, Joy’s marketing expertise and the client’s vision. A marketing strategy includes artistic vision, media, release windows and release schedule.

Artistic vision is primarily driven by the client and Joy with input from Louise or Elizabeth. It is actioned by Deane, who reviews the artists who have worked with Nexus in the past, considers the artistic vision, and prioritises the artists according to how well their unique talent, reliability and experience match up with the marketing strategy’s artistic vision. After the meeting, Deane approaches the artists one by one to discuss their availability and to eventually establish a contract.

Media (film, video, television, DVD, VOD, etc) is negotiated between Joy, whose mission is to optimise returns, and the film-maker, whose mission is exposure. With input from Louise and Elizabeth, who have viewed more films than anyone else in the meeting and who therefore have the most comprehensive view of the international market, a binding consensus is reached and documented.

Joy and Deane, who aim to maximise the size of the audience, are largely responsible for determining release windows and schedule, however the client’s needs are taken into consideration. This is achieved by application of market intelligence and expertise. In most cases, a film is screened in theatres on a schedule that will maximise the audience (eg avoidance of major cultural events, avoidance of similar films, knowledge of forthcoming films, etc). Also, films are screened in theatres (primary distribution service providers) prior to being released via secondary distribution service providers (eg VOD service providers, DVD runs, etc). The duration for which the film is screened in theatres depends upon various factors (audience, the film’s performance in other markets, the agreement between Nexus and the film-makers, the agreement between Nexus and the theatres, etc). For most films, the theatrical release date is preceded by four weeks of postering and trailers, wherever possible working with the film-makers in order to leverage the social profiles of those who worked on the film (eg the actors and crew). For highly anticipated films, these four weeks may extend to six or eight and may require Deane to schedule interviews for the film-makers or actors with local media.

Although the existing IS meets Nexus’s administrative needs, the ongoing daily communication problems and the difficulties of scheduling and running online meetings need to be addressed. Deane thinks Nexus needs its own app so that database updates can be done by anyone at any time and he has contacted your workplace, IT Foundry, to enquire further. You have been allocated the task of systems planning for the development of an app for Nexus.

Also, although they are very talented, experienced and respected in their fields, the entire Nexus team are inexperienced in systems analysis and design. They are confident you will come up with relevant ideas, they anticipate your suggestions and they expect you to catalyse and drive all technical aspects of the project. These clients are very much open to suggestion.

From the systems analysis assignment

The preliminary investigation you wrote up for the Nexus project enabled you to develop a basic understanding of the business context. Your scope lists captured the project’s key elements and made a positive impression on Joy, Deane, Louise and Elizabeth. They have approved the project’s progression to system analysis and you have scheduled a meeting with them.

After this meeting, the following requirements are known:

  • Louise and Elizabeth must be able to enter data into the Catalogue database from their smartphones
  • Louise and Elizabeth must be able to query the Catalogue database with their smartphones
    • For example, when they are planning their viewing schedule Louise and Elizabeth need to be able to check whether a film has already been viewed and signed (or passed on)
  • Dean must be able to enter, access and amend data in the Travel and DistributionNetwork databases from his smartphone and from his desktop computer
  • Louise and Elizabeth must be able to view future travel itineraries and hotel bookings on their smartphones
  • Louise and Elizabeth must be able to enter, access and amend information on their relationships with clients or contacts from their smartphones
    • For example, a new client or contact’s name; if they are a filmmaker (a director or a producer), which film and how were they involved with that film; if they’re not a filmmaker, what their business is and why the relationship is important to Nexus; whether the client or contact was made by Louise or Elizabeth; when and where the client or contact was made; their entertainment preferences; etc
    • A new database will be needed for this relationship data
  • Joy must be able to view summaries of recent business activity from her smartphone and from her desktop computer
  • Joy wants to be able to tailor these summaries on an ad hoc basis
    • Examples include recently established client relationships; recently signed films; Louise or Elizabeth’s notes on the recently signed films; recently planned travel; an annual overview of the film festivals attended by Louise and Elizabeth; when and where these festivals are held, etc.
  • The whole team must be able to schedule and conduct meetings on smartphones (Joy, Deane, Louise and Elizabeth) and desktop computers (Joy and Deane)
    • Scheduling must account for Louise and Elizabeth’s travel itineraries and for whichever time zone they will be in at the time and date of the meeting
    • No one from Nexus will be involved in scheduling – the system will automatically find the four best dates and times
      • These dates and times will be sent to the client (their contact details will be in the new relationship database or, if necessary, the app will alert Deane and he will look up the contact details in his paper file, enter the details and, accordingly, the app will update the relationship database)
      • The client will choose which of the four dates and times is best for them
      • The app will make the booking, alert all participants, update their calendars and, on the day, provide an alert 15 minutes before the meeting starts
    • It must be possible for a client to call in to these meetings (Skype, phone, any other method)
    • Meetings must be voice recorded for future reference
    • A new database will be needed for the meetings data

You make a start on systems analysis. You realise more detailed information will come to light over time, which may require you to amend your current analysis.

New information

The systems analysis you wrote up for the Nexus project enabled you to develop detailed models of the Nexus information system. These models addressed the key requirements and made an extremely positive impression on Joy, Deane, Louise and Elizabeth – so much that Joy and Deane insisted on taking you out for dinner and you had a great time swapping stories from your respective industries. They have approved the project’s progression to systems design and you have scheduled a meeting with them.

Recall: you can make assumptions in this assignment (as noted above). Also, you can use the course forum if you have any questions.

  1. Design a user interface storyboard for Joy to request a summary report.

Not sure how to make a storyboard? Storyboards show the way that tasks flow in the user interface and the way information is presented in the user interface. Here are some examples for your consideration:


  1. Design a user interface storyboard for  to add a new client/contact to the relationships database.

53. Design the alert that will be sent to meeting participants 15 minutes before a meeting commences.

44. Design the screen for online meetings.

35. Create an ERD for the process of adding a new film to the Catalogue database.


A table is provided in Appendix One. The data is in 1NF.

  1. Normalise the table to 2NF.

Appendix two: Catalogue in 2NF

  1. Normalise the 2NF tables to 3NF.

        Appendix three: Catalogue in 3NF

  1. Create an ERD for the customer order process.


Note that UML will be assessed in detail in the exam.

You review the system architecture checklist.

  1. Which items on the system architecture checklist are relevant to the Nexus information system?

The report system for Joy

The film section and the festivals

The clients and the traveling plans

  1. Prioritise the items that you identified in question 9. Briefly explain (one or two sentences) these priorities.

The reporting system for joy, this has the highest priority since it addresses a larger data base as compared to the other functionalities. It has to draw its information from all the other databases and generate a simple report on everything happening.

  1. Consider cloud computing. Are you going to recommend any cloud computing capabilities for the Nexus information system? Why?

Yes, this will be one of the best ways to have all their data, due to security and accessibility of the data, the application will be retrieving the information from their cloud storage and then automatically be backed up there securely.

  1. Is a corporate portal an appropriate approach for the Nexus project? Why?

No, its not necessary since the team is comprising of a small group that need effective communication, the exchange of data to and from.

Ethical analysis

Reflect on your experiences as a student or in your career. Identify an ethical issue that you encountered at some time in your past.[1]

  1. Describe the ethical issue. Do not describe how it was resolved.

There are so many ethical issues that one has to face in relation to my field especially regarding personal information of most of the clients one has to interact with. This has been an ethical matter that I have faced severally. When handling a client’s computer or other related devices, one comes across very important information that gets you in a conflicting situation. Some information that has ever crossed my mind was some company files that had been interfered with. The files had come into my attention and I was in a position where I either had to share this information but by doing so I had accessed someone’s personal information without their permission. There are several other ethical challenges one can encounter apart just information.

  1. To analyse the ethical issue you described in question 13, which is better: the ethical decision-making process from O’Boyle (2002) or the one from Reynolds (2015)?

The ethical decision-making process from O’Boyle (2002)

  1. What are your reasons for rejecting the other approach?

The other approach does not clearly analyse my case as well as the ethical decision-making process from O’Boyle (2002). It leaves out some very important concepts of my case that fundamental for my decision-making process. This is because the process lacks inclusiveness of all my thinking steps.

  1. Apply your chosen approach to the ethical problem you described in question 13.

For the ethical situation explained in the previous question the application of the ethical decision-making process form O’Boyle (2002) is best applicable for the analysis of the issue. The six-step process clearly helps in generation of a clear path of how to address the ethical issue. The first step being the recognition of the fact that a problem exists. After coming across the manipulated information that had brought several conflicts within the office I had to acknowledge the existence of a problem. This is the application of a moral perception and personal knowledge of the moral good. The second step is based on the application of logical thinking which enabled me to state the facts clearly of what was wrong. The existent of mismatched data was evident and logically explainable from the information that was at my hand. This takes one to the next step Moral resolution and personal ability to think analytically, the tackling of the complexity of the problem at hand so as to clearly come up with an individual opinion on how to address the issue. Personally, how do I feel about the issue and how I wish to address the problem. With a clear mid set on the nature of the problem and its complexity, I was able to move to the next step which involved the Moral assessment and personal ability to assess one’s freedom (assessment, including being aware of the double-edged sword of new technologies) the ability of me accessing this information that was clearly being manipulated and deleted from existence but due to the ability of technology to recover any lost data or revert any manipulations on data got me to this point. Embracing this fact gave me the chance to see the magnitude of the whole situation. It also gave me ideas of how am supposed to approach the matter. With an incorporation of the effects of advancement of technology and the explicit understanding of the problem, it was possible form me to progress to the next level which is the fifth in the ethical decision-making process. Moral decision and personal knowledge of one’s duties (decision, including personal duty and obligations) really motivated my decision on how to address the issue that had greatly challenged me. Finally came the final step in resolving the issue which comes in in the sixth stage of the ethical decision-making process. Moral action and personal willingness to follow one’s intellect (free will used to take action). With this step I had to come clean and highlight the issue with the concerned arty and how to respond to the issue, manipulation of the data and me stumbling into the data as completely wrong but morally doing the right thing is and was the ethical move I had to play.

  1. Reflect upon the processes in Reynolds (2015) and O’Boyle (2002).
    1. Would an analysis be more robust if it had included some aspects of both approaches? For example, if you were to apply O’Boyle’s approach (2002), would your analysis be more robust if it included some aspects from Reynolds (2015)?

The analysis would have been more robust since more aspects of the case would have been analysed due to the extra analytical provisions found in the others approaches such as that f Reynolds (2015).

  1. In your explanation, clearly describe which features of O’Boyle’s approach and which parts of Reynolds’s approach are preferable.

Several parts are preferable from Reynolds process such as the identification of the affected parties, this would have enabled me know the magnitude of the issue, also the consequences identification process would have greatly helped in the case. This shows a combination of both approaches would have led to an in-depth analysis of the whole case and a better evaluated decision-making process.

Conceptual development and risk identification

So far, this assessment has supported the development of skills required in professional practice, including ethics. Now, it supports the development of professional expertise.

  1. What is the overall purpose of the systems design phase of a project and how does it differ from the systems analysis and systems planning phases?

System design is completely different from both system analyses and system planning. System design is the actual process of coming up with the projects end product, how the system will look like and how it will operate. From the case study, for instance, the system design handled different functionalities and gives a clear break down of how these small activities will build up to meet the actual main functionality. For instance, adding of a client as seen from the previous question. System designs shows how the system completely happens as from the login to the app point to the point of how the function ends. On the other hand, system analysis is the understanding of the system but not the operational implementation of the system and for system planning, it is the actual planning of when all these actions are to meet pl

Consider the case study above and the design you prepared. You may have completed the tasks with a lot of care. If so, your design is likely to be effective in supporting future project activities.

Consider a situation in which the design is careless.

  1. With respect to the systems design tasks completed above, identify problems that may arise for the following stakeholders. Your answer should have six unique problems (two per stakeholder).
    1. Nexus

Additional functionalities will rise as the system is development phase. These functionalities will need to be incorporated hence possess a major challenge for the development o the application. The other main challenge is a slight miscommunication and the entire project is wrong. This is easily possible due to the interrelation nature existing between the apps functionalities.

  1. Nexus’s customers or the wider community

A use interface that can be easily adapted by both users for ese of use by the customers as well as the clear demarcation of the different administrative right to allocate each user of the system.

  1. Your own future work tasks (systems analysis tasks)

Communication between the customer who needs the system and the actual problem that the system needs to solve. Most companies main challenge comes in at this point. And possess the main problem, a slight miscommunication may result to the wrong deliverables.

The other task in relation to system analysis is the overcharging or under charging of the system due to the un accounted for functionalities that may arise in the process of development.

Select four of the problems from question 19.

  1. With reference to these four problems, what are your conclusions about the importance of attention to detail with respect to system design?

Note: future assessments will ask you to reflect on the answer you give.

The main conclusion is the clear communication between the client and the developer. This ensures that the given instructions clearly point out what the software needs to offer. With this it is possible to void the development of the wrong functionalities which may end up ruining the entire project. From this it is evident that the system functionality specification is one of the most essential parts.

Learning reflection– to be completed by all students[2]

Think about the tasks you completed in this assignment and reflect upon any knowledge you have gained from completing these tasks. Consider the UniSA Graduate Qualities.

  1. Name two learning outcomes.

Note: although the Course Objectives on the Course Outline can be informative, please consider your personal learning experience. As you have a unique history, you will have unique learning outcomes; that is, someone who knew a lot about defining a project’s scope before starting this course cannot identify it as a learning outcome from this assignment; they will identify some other learning outcome. Also, (if applicable) do not repeat the learning outcomes from your previous assessments.

Personally, I have earned a lot from the learning experience as well as the project covered above, first, I have got a clear idea of how to breakdown a problem into smaller functionalities so as to deliver a quality system this is a new skill acquired from the course. Understanding these small units makes it possible to meet the main goal of the project. The other most important point is understanding the clients’ needs. This is the whole basis behind software development, you do not want to develop a software that does not meet the clients’ needs since it completely means that the whole work is wrong. With this in mind software development becomes so much fun and simple to implement.

  1. For each of your learning outcomes, name one relevant UniSA Graduate Quality.

Example: “As noted above, my first learning outcome is _____________. This learning outcome correlates to _____________. My second learning outcome is _____________. This learning outcomes correlates to _____________.”

As noted above, my first learning outcome is communication effectiveness in software development, this learning outcome correlates to one of the main UniSA graduate qualities one is expected to possess in the outside world. We have seen the magnitude of this in relation to one’s field. The second learning outcome is system understanding and breakdown abilities which correlates with self-management and development, this is the basis and the foundations as to how working effectively I achieved.

  1. In your previous answer, you correlated two learning outcomes to two Graduate Qualities. Focusing on these two Graduate Qualities, and addressing each one separately, explain how this assignment’s tasks enabled you to further develop these qualities.

Mastering the skills of operation, this involves the understanding of one’s field. This quality is one of the most important qualities for a graduate that revolves around the understanding of what is expected of a graduate in different fields. In my field its getting my head around all software development skills. With the experience gained from handling the above project, it is possible for me to say that the skill of software development is being mastered and not to forget to add the continued exercise perfects this skill.

Learning reflection – to be completed by students who worked in teams in the systems planning and systems analysis assessments

In your previous assessments, your teammates reviewed your teamwork abilities on SparkPLUS. Read and consider the peer reviews your teammates gave you.

NOTE: the reviews on SparkPLUS will be read in conjunction with your answers.

  1. According to your teammates, what are your weaknesses? Make a short list.


data normalization

  1. According to your teammates, what are your strengths? Make a short list.

Storyboard designs and functionality breakdown then implementation of the mini-functions

  1. What is the most important thing on the list of strengths? Why is it the most important thing?

Function breakdown. This is the most important of all my strengths since it enables me handle any sort of task. My ability to see the bigger picture and go ahead to accurately break it down sees me through all sorts of challenges. In software development, this is one of the most important skill that can help you deliver all kinds of software based solutions and ensure they met the required functionalities.

  1. What is the most important thing on the list of weaknesses? Why is it the most important thing?

Communication, I hardly know how to effectively communicate but I have been working on this, working with my teammate has improved my communication skills since we have had to interact over and over while working on different projects, this has also led to me realizing how communication can impact your progress especially in this career line.

  1. What is the least important thing on the list of strengths? Why is it the least important thing?

I can hardly point out anything that can I can categories as a least important thing in my strengths.

  1. What is the least important thing on the list of weaknesses? Why is it the least important thing?

For weaknesses as well, there is no particular weakness that can be categorised as least important since all the weaknesses affect my performance and ability to deliver and require my added attention so as to perfect them. With this in mind I get to perfect these weaknesses since they all mean some drawback to some level.

  1. Was it harder for you to review your peers or to read the reviews they gave you? Why?

It was hard to review my pears as compared to read the reviews they gave on about me. It was hard to know at what point should you point out their weaknesses and how to address them without being hard on them but on the other hand, I took the reviews as an improvement course. People take reviews differently and respond to them in different ways as well.

  1. How can you benefit from the reviews you received?

I got a number of reviews and learnt some things I had no clue about me, I got to recognize my leadership skills from the positive reviews I had received in relation to putting the team together and pushing them to deliver quality work among other sections. I also learnt some of my short comings and how I had to work around them since some of the reviews had recommendations on how to improve. It was a nice learning experience and personal realization forum for the entire learning process.

Not for assessment

How many hours did you invest in this assessment? This information will be provided to future students in this course.

Put your answer here.

48 hours +

Thank you for the time and effort you have invested. I look forward to reading your submission.


Kian, L.A. and Eastman, S.D., 2017. Ethics and Information Technology. In Ethical Challenges in Oncology (pp. 313-323).

Kruse, S.L.K. and Wells, M.G., 2016. Optionality of ERD Relationships: Project for the Introduction to Database Course. In Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference ISSN (Vol. 2473, p. 3857).

Reynolds, G 2015, Ethics in Information Technology, Thomson (chapter 1).

O’Boyle, E J 2002, ‘An ethical decision-making process for computing professionals’, Ethics and Information Technology, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 267-277.

Tilley, S & Rosenblatt, H 2017, Systems Analysis and Design, 11th edition, Cengage Learning.

[Add more references of your own. Don’t know how? Check the online study help.]