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Information Management and Processing

Purpose of Course  showclose

The management and processing of information is an essential practice in a business environment. All organizations ranging from social groups, small businesses, non-profits, and large corporations have a need for information to be analyzed and processed. These organizations require that business analysts or other key employees demonstrate a mastery of information management and processing in order to address critical business problems such as business planning, inventory management, and organizational forecast planning. In particular, these skills are needed to perform data and information analyses and present the findings of such analyses to help guide business-related decisions.

This course will provide you with a structured introduction to the key tools and techniques used in information management and processing. If you have ever been asked to organize information, analyze data, or create a presentation to help your organization make a business-related decision, then this course will help you develop or improve these essential skills. This course will also provide you with an understanding of practical approaches and techniques, such as integrating content from various sources and constructing graphs to show data relationships that are often used to process and present information in business decision-making. You will use the standard office suite tools that most companies use. You will learn how to select the best tool to address your specific business need and how to integrate content produced from the other tools. At the conclusion of the course, you will have mastered the processes of integrating data using the standard information management and processing tools and techniques.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to PRDV208. General information on the course and its requirements can be found below.

Primary Resources: This course comprises a range of different free, online materials including several YouTube videos and readings. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. Pay special attention to Unit 1 as this lays the groundwork for understanding the more advanced, exploratory material presented in the latter units. You will also need to complete the Final Exam.

Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to study all of the resources and complete the activities found in some of the readings.

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 30 hours to complete. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit and then set goals for yourself. Each unit should take approximately 3 hours to complete. Perhaps you can dedicate completing Units 1-3 (a total of 9 hours) one week; Units 4-6 (a total of 9 hours) the next week; and so forth.

Tips/Suggestions: It will be helpful to have an office suite with word-processing, spreadsheet, database software, and presentation software. You may currently have Microsoft Office or another office suite. You may also download LibreOffice, which is explored in this course, by following the instructions to download the free software here.

Try to take careful, comprehensive notes as you study each resource. These notes will serve as a useful review as you study for your final exam.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • describe the function of information management and processing;
  • explain how to identify, validate, and secure data /information to address business requirements;
  • explain how to design and construct solutions to business-related issues, using information management tools and processes, as well as perform this task.
  • define the term information as it is used in the context of a business environment, and identify the difference between information and data;
  • define the concept of information management and processing in a business environment;
  • identify how data is turned into information and how the business environment software tools are most commonly used;
  • define the term business requirement;
  • identify a business information-management need, and develop an effective business requirement to reflect that need;
  • explain the role of the business owner (client) in data selection and validation;
  • explain how public and proprietary data and information is used;
  • identify the common functions of the word-processing tool, and explain how the word-processing tool and its various functions can be used in a business environment to help inform business decisions;
  • explain how to design basic word-processing documents using free formats, templates, wizards, and other common word-processing tool functions, as well as perform this task;
  • identify a successful presentation, and explain how the set of slides within the presentation work together to deliver an effective message;
  • identify the tool functions that allow for integration and sharing across the word-processing and presentation tools;
  • identify basic functions of the spreadsheet tool, and explain how the spreadsheet tool is used in a business environment to help inform business decisions;
  • explain how to design and create basic spreadsheet documents, including business forms and charts, using free formats, templates, and wizards, as well as perform this task;
  • compare and contrast structured and unstructured data within a spreadsheet;
  • identify how information is structured and entered into a database, and identify the business needs that require a database solution;
  • explain how to design and construct a database solution and reports in order to address a business need, as well as perform this task;
  • identify various types of databases;
  • explain the process and techniques used to create a database and how a database management system is used in a business environment;
  • explain how database content can be integrated into a spreadsheet document and how an office suite can be integrated to produce business documents to support business decisions;
  • explain how to design and construct a word-processing document with integrated presentation, spreadsheet, and database content, and perform this task; and
  • explain how to design and construct a presentation document with integrated word-processing, spreadsheet, and database content, as well as perform this task.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have a basic understanding of computers;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    be competent in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and

√    have completed PRDV003: Word Processing Using Microsoft Word.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: Introduction to Information Management and Processing  

    The first unit of this course introduces you to the concept of information management and processing and gives you an idea of the techniques that are typically used for analysis and decision-making in a business environment. In this unit, you will learn how information management and processing drives the selection of particular tools used to solve business problems such as effective communication, business and financial planning, and business analysis and reporting. Have you ever wondered or been asked to explain information as it is related to business? Or, have you ever been asked to identify the difference between data and information? This course will provide you with the answers to such questions that you may use in real-life situations. For example, during an interview you may be asked about the office suite of tools used by your previous organization. Instead of just saying we used brand X, you can talk about specific products that are common across all office suite tools. In the same interview, you will be able to explain how these tools can be used effectively in any business environment and perhaps give an example of how you would use the tools for this new position. The tools used in this course are the standard office suite tools (Microsoft Office Suite or compatible suites) that most companies use.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 What Is Information Management and Processing?  
  • 1.1.1 What Is Information?  
  • 1.1.1.1 What Is the Difference between Information and Data?  
    • Reading: The Open University’s An Introduction to Data and Information: “Section 3.3: Data and Information”

      Link: The Open University’s An Introduction to Data and Information: “Section 3.3: Data and Information” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read “Section 3.3: Data and Information” to learn about the distinctions between data and information as well as how people go through the process of turning data into information. Focus on the example, and make sure you answer the questions at the end of the webpage. You may click on “Reveal Answer” to check your response against the one provided.

      Reading this section and completing the examples should take approximately 20 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.1.1.2 How Is Data Turned into Information?  
  • 1.1.2 What Is Information Management?  
  • 1.1.3 What Is Information Processing?  
  • 1.2 How Is Information Used in a Business Environment?  
  • 1.3 The Tools Most Commonly Used for Information Management and Processing in a Business Environment  
  • 1.3.1 The Office Suite  

    Microsoft (MS) Office is the standard office suite used in the business environment. MS Office is a proprietary software package, and it is possible that you as well as some organizations may not have the complete suite of Microsoft Office tools. There are several open source office suite tools that are free and provide the same functionality as the MS Office Suite. The next few sub-subunits describe an open source office suite and its functionality that can be used in place of MS Office Suite. You may download LibreOffice for free by following the directions linked here.

  • 1.3.1.1 Word-Processing Software  
  • 1.3.1.2 Presentation Software  
  • 1.3.1.3 Spreadsheet Software  
  • 1.3.1.4 Database Software  
  • 1.3.2 Shareware Office Suites  
    • Reading: LibreOffice: “Features”

      Link: LibreOffice: “Features” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this webpage for an overview of the benefits of the LibreOffice Suite.

      Reading this webpage should take approximately 5 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 2: Information Management Tools and Business Requirements  

    In this unit, you will examine how information management tools are applied to business requirements, which are a broad range of components (e.g. Human Resources, sales, marketing, product development, etc.) used to effectively run an organization and to eliminate any potential issues; you will learn more about this topic in sub-subunit 2.1.2. Information management tools exist to drive the value of an organization by supporting organizational needs, objectives, and strategies. 
     
    More specifically, you will learn how to develop memos, graphs, and reports to support customer communications and interactions. You will focus on the application of the standard office suite tools that are used by most organizations and businesses to address business needs for planning and operations. You will learn about the key features of each tool and examine how these tools may be used to deliver valuable information to a business or organization such as writing memos, using building presentations, sales forecasts, and fund-raising projections. For example, you may be asked by your boss to write a memo to a client or to create a presentation describing a new service your organization is about to offer. In these cases, you would need to know how to use information management tools. This unit will show you how an organization would apply information management tools to achieve the desired results. You will also learn how the use of these tools can overlap. For example, after completing the memo and presentation task, your boss may then ask you to develop a spreadsheet that tracks the responses or even collect the responses in a database and produce weekly or monthly reports. This unit will also give you an overview of information management tools and how these tools are applied to business requirements.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Determining Customer Needs and Business Requirements  
  • 2.1.1 The Role of the Customer or Business Owner  
  • 2.1.1.1 Information Users  
  • 2.1.1.2 Information Processors  

    Information processors is a term used to describe business or knowledge workers who are involved in the process of data collection and storage, transformation of business systems, and dissemination. This is an evolving role that grows and shrinks with the advancement of technology and organizational process maturity.

  • 2.1.2 What Is a Business Requirement?  
  • 2.1.3 Determining Which Tool to Use  

    The secret to determining which tool to use is that there is no secret.This process should be based on the culture of the organization or target audience. Many organizations openly embrace presentations, while others prefer a detailed word document with graphs and charts. The key is to ask the customer or make an open suggestion and ask for feedback. Some professional presenters will use multiple tools (presentations, fact sheets, flyers, etc.) to deliver their message. As a business analyst, you should communicate with your boss and target audience to determine their preferences.

  • 2.1.4 How to Design a Solution for a Business Need  
  • 2.1.4.1 Templates  

    Do not reinvent the wheel. One of the advantages of an office suite and access to the Internet is the availability of templates. Templates are available to solve almost any communications challenge and with only minor adjustments, a standard template can be transformed into a custom document. The first step for any information management and processing assignment should be centered on identifying a public domain (freeware) template or an existing organizational template. Once a great document has been created, you should consider converting the structure of the document into a reusable template for the organization.

  • 2.1.4.2 Business Processes  

    As defined by Laudon & Laudon, business processesare the unique ways in which organizations coordinate and organize work activities, information, and knowledge to produce a product or service.1 This definition or some derivative of it is used as the standard to describe business processes and information technology processes which are applied in a business environment.  In both industries, business processes refers to the unique manner in which work is organized, coordinated, and focused to produce a valuable product or service.
    ______________________
    1 Laudon, K. C., and Laudon, J. P. (2012). Management Information Systems (12th ed.). Prentice-Hall, New York.

  • 2.1.4.3 Business Standards  

    Business standards are processes that are used to facilitate a constant business practice. The purpose of implementing business standards is to ensure the success of the targeted goal. Organizations develop or implement business standards to compete effectively or develop a strategic advantage. Without effective business standards, organizations may find themselves at a disadvantage. The office suite that we are using in this course represents business standards. These standards allow organizations to share data information, which results in the ability to use standard business processes.

  • 2.2 Identifying Data and Information to Address Business Requirements  
  • 2.2.1 How to Find Reliable and Accurate Data  
    • Reading: The Open University’s An Introduction to Data and Information: “Section 4.2: Finding Information: the Web”

      Link: The Open University’s An Introduction to Data and Information: “Section 4.2: Finding Information: the Web” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and read “Section 4.2 Finding Information: the Web” to learn about methods used to find reliable information from the web. Make sure to click on the “Next” link at the bottom of each webpage to read subsections 4.2.1 through 4.2.3; there are four webpages total. Focus on the example, and make sure you answer the questions at the end of the webpage. You may click on “Reveal Answer” to check your response against the one provided.

      Reading this section and completing the examples should take approximately 20 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.2.1.1 Validating Information and Data  

    One of the major challenges when retrieving information or data from an Internet source is the accuracy of the information/data. To address this challenge, we suggest that you find a second web source that confirms the information/data and list the source of the information/data within your document. This action will serve two purposes:

    1) it will allow others to validate your source of the information, and 2) it will allow you to explain any challenges to the information/data.

  • 2.2.1.2 The Role of the Business Owner or Client in Validating Data  

    As a business analyst, it is important that you obtain reliable information from the business owner or client. When preparing a report or presentation that represents data from a business owner/client, you should ask for the original source of the data and the date that the information was created. This information should be included as a footnote or reference.

  • 2.2.2 How Should Information Be Secured?  

    Securing information is a major issue in most business environments. It is possible that you are working on a document that has sensitive data about the organization that can have an impact on the public or your organization. Some believe that if the document is on one’s own computer or stored on a computer server, then it is safe. In reality, this just means that it is difficult to acquire access to the data, but it is not safe. One of the best practices for protecting a file or information is to password-protect the information.

  • 2.2.2.1 Securing Proprietary Data and Information  
  • 2.2.2.2 Securing Public Data and Information  

    Although some people may think that protecting public data and information is not important, in many cases the data/information we obtain from a meeting, Internet source, or a presentation given by a vendor may be sensitive. When using pubic data/information, you should document the sources and ask the source provider if the information can be republished. This process will protect both you (your organization) and the provider of the information. In addition, it will provide disclosure of how the information was obtained.

    • Web Media: YouTube: HelpVideoGuru’s “File - Prepare for Sharing - Privacy Issues - Microsoft Word 2010”

      Link: YouTube: HelpVideoGuru’s “File - Prepare for Sharing - Privacy Issues - Microsoft Word 2010” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this tutorial about how to prepare a file for sharing.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 10 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “PRDV208 Course Discussion Board”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “PRDV208 Course Discussion Board”

      Instructions: After reviewing the unit materials, please post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion board. Feel free to start your own related posts, and respond to other students’ postings as well.

      1.    Think of a situation in which you have had to or in which you might have to develop a weekly one page newsletter. Describe the template(s) that you would use to facilitate this weekly event.
      2.    Think of a situation in which you have had to or in which you might have to develop a weekly one page newsletter. Describe the business processes that you would use to facilitate this weekly event.
      3.    Think of a situation in which you have had to or in which you might have to develop a weekly one page newsletter. Describe the business standards that you would use to facilitate this weekly event.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  • Unit 3: Word Processing  

    This unit will provide you with an overview of the basic functions of word processing and how these functions are used in a business environment. In taking the pre-requisite course PRDV003, you have already learned about the basic tools and functions of word-processing software. This unit will also introduce you to advanced word-processing functions that you can apply in order to meet business requirements, such as the integration of tables, graphs, and pictures. You will study how to incorporate the use of templates, wizards, reuse, and shared content within a word-processing document in order to address specific business needs and problems. You will conclude this unit with a study of effective communication standards.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 Basic Word Processing  
  • 3.1.1 Entering and Editing Text  
  • 3.1.2 The Use of Templates and Wizards  
    • Web Media: YouTube: 10minutetrain’s “Working with Templates”

      Link: YouTube: 10minutetrain’s “Working with Templates” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this tutorial about how to use templates in Microsoft Word 2007. It may help to open a Word document and follow along with the tutorial.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 10 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: YouTube: SchoolFreeware’s “Working with Shapes and Drawing Tools”

      Link: YouTube: SchoolFreeware’s “Working with Shapes and Drawing Tools” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this tutorial about inserting shapes and using the drawing tool in Microsoft Word 2007. It may help to open a Word document and follow along with the tutorial.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: YouTube: 10minutetrain’s “Working with Tables”

      Link: YouTube: 10minutetrain’s “Working with Tables” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this tutorial on how to create, edit, and format tables in Microsoft Word 2007. It may help to open a Word document and follow along with the tutorial.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 10 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: YouTube: Lynda.com’s “How to Create List Styles”

      Link: YouTube: Lynda.com’s “How to Create List Styles” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this tutorial to learn how to create list styles in Microsoft Word 2007. It may help to open a Word document and follow along with the tutorial.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2 How Word Processing Can Be Used in a Business Environment?  
  • 3.2.1 Documenting Business Operations  
  • 3.2.2 Correspondence and Communications  
  • 3.3 Integrating Content into a Word-Processing Document  
  • 3.4 Business Standards and Templates  
  • 3.4.1 Reuse  
  • 3.4.2 Shared Content  
  • 3.5 Effective Communication Standards  
  • 3.5.1 How to Connect with Your Audience  
  • 3.5.2 Best Practice Techniques for Business Communication  
  • Unit 4: Presentation Tools  

    In this unit, you will gain an overview of the basic functions of presentation tools and how they are used in a business environment. You will study advanced presentation functions (e.g. templates, pictures and objects, and layout and color schemes) that you can apply to address business requirements. You will conclude this unit by studying how to create an effective story or message for a business by using a common set of presentation tools. For example, you may have been asked to create a 15-minute sales presentation to a prospective client or to give an organizational overview for new employees. Or, perhaps you are asked to describe a problem to your boss and present a set of alternatives in a meeting. In all of these situations, you will need to know how to effectively use presentation tools. This unit will show you how to effectively use these tools to enhance your presentation.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 Presentation Basics  
  • 4.1.1 Creating Slides  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.1. In particular, focus on the sections “Create a New Presentation,” “Adding a New Slide,” and “Entering Text on a Slide” on pages 1–4.

  • 4.1.2 Inserting Pictures and Objects  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.1. In particular, focus on pages 4 and 12 for information on inserting clip art and graphics into a PowerPoint presentation.

  • 4.1.3 Working with Layouts and Color Schemes  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.1. In particular, focus on the sections from “Editing Slide Text” through “Indents” on pages 4–7 and “Arrange Slides in a Presentation” up to the “Glossary” on pages 9–14.

    • Web Media: YouTube: 10minutetrain’s “Working with Themes”

      Link: YouTube: 10minutetrain’s “Working with Themes” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view this video on how to format the layout of a PowerPoint presentation, including applying themes.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2 Designing Presentation Templates for Multiple Uses  
  • 4.3 Delivering the Presentation with Transitions and Animations  
  • 4.4 Creating an Effective Story with a Presentation Tool  
  • 4.4.1 Story Mapping  
  • 4.4.2 An Outcome-Focused Message  
  • 4.4.3 Delivering the Presentation Message  

    Note: This topic is covered by the YouTube video in sub-subunit 4.4.2. The first part of the video explains how spreadsheets are used in the business environment.

  • Unit 5: Integration of the Word-Processing and Presentation Tools and Techniques  

    In this unit, you will examine how the integration of word-processing and presentation tools can be used to make an organization’s informational and communications materials, such as marketing and promotional material, more effective. When you look at a brochure, have you ever wondered why you seem to recognize some of the content, or when you read an interesting article, you seem to recognize some of the words or charts used in the article? This is largely because businesses reuse information from other sources. Material used in a marketing campaign may start out as a new business development report. The content from this report can be reconfigured to create brochures, flyers, billboards, or even web content. This course will show you how to integrate word-processing and presentation tool techniques to produce business products with a variety of usages. You will learn about some common integration features of the word-processing and presentation tools and demonstrate how these tools can be integrated. This unit will conclude by showing you how specific presentation-tool features may be integrated into a word-processing document and how specific word-processing features may be integrated into a presentation.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 The Integration of the Word-Processing and Presentation Tools  
  • 5.2 Why Is Integration of Word-Processing and Presentation Tools Important for Making Business Decisions?  

    The consolidation and presentation of data is very valuable in making a business decision. Often organizations will use a variety of tools and formats to evaluate business information. These collected artifacts need to be consolidated in a representative fashion that will tell the complete business story. Data/Information integration is the process used to achieve this goal. In the Unit 5 activity, you will post your own ideas about why the integration of word-processing and presentation tools is important to the course discussion board. Take approximately 15 minutes to outline some ideas about why you think this type of integration is important.

  • 5.3 The Key Benefits for Sharing Content across the Word-Processing and Presentation Tools  
  • Unit 6: Spreadsheet Tools and Techniques  

    This unit will provide you with an overview of the basic features of the spreadsheet tool and introduces you to advanced spreadsheet features that you can apply to address business requirements. These advanced features include formulas, functions, templates, and charts. You will conclude this unit by examining how to create datasets and tables that can be used to perform advanced data and information analyses. Such analyses often help guide decision-making and achieve organizational and client needs in a business environment. Organizations are always creating new charts, graphs, reports, etc. to collect and show financial information.  For example, your boss may ask you to create an expense report that will be used to track employees’ costs for travel. This course will provide you with some other great examples of when you might need to use spreadsheet tools. If your boss came back a year later and asked you to consolidate all of the previous expense reports and show how the funds were spent based on certain categories (food, mileage, hotel, travel, etc.), then you would want to make this process efficient. This course will show you how to construct a standalone report and use that electronic data to feed future request for data or reports.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 What is a Spreadsheet?  
    • Web Media: YouTube: Julia Hamilton’s “What is a Spreadsheet?”

      Link: YouTube: Julia Hamilton’s “What is a Spreadsheet?” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view this video for an overview of Microsoft Excel 2007. This video also covers the topic outlined in subunit 6.3.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.2 Basic Spreadsheet Features  
  • 6.3 How Is a Spreadsheet Used in a Business Environment?  

    Note: This topic is covered by the video in subunit 6.1. The first part of the video explains how spreadsheets are used in the business environment.

  • 6.4 Applying Formulas and Functions in a Spreadsheet  
  • 6.4.1 What Is a Formula?  
  • 6.4.2 What Is a Function?  
  • 6.5 Designing Business Forms and Charts  
  • 6.5.1 How to Create a Business Form  
  • 6.5.2 How to Create a Business Chart  
  • 6.5.3 How to Create a Business Form Using Functions and Formulas  

    Note: This topic is covered by the video in sub-subunit 6.5.1. The first part of the video explains how to create a business form using functions and formulas.

  • 6.6 Structured vs. Unstructured Data  
  • 6.7 Creating Datasets and Tables  
  • 6.7.1 What Is a Dataset?  
  • 6.7.2 What Is a Table?  

    Note: This topic is covered by the video in sub-subunit 6.7.1. The first part of the video explains how spreadsheets are used in the business environment.

  • 6.7.3 How to Create a Business Form Using Data Sets and Tables  

    Note: This topic is covered by the video in sub-subunit 6.7.1. The first part of the video explains how spreadsheets are used in the business environment.

  • Unit 7: Integrating Spreadsheet Information and Processing with Word-Processing and Presentation Documents  

    In this unit, you will examine how to integrate word-processing documents and spreadsheets in order to make an organization’s informational and communications materials, such as with a proposal or planning document that requires graphics and data inserted within the textual message, more effective. Then, you will examine some of the common tool features that typically are integrated in a business environment. You will conclude this unit by studying how the integration of word-processing documents and spreadsheets can be useful in guiding business decisions and addressing organizational requirements and client needs. As you advance in your career, your boss may request you to create an annual report that provides details of the work accomplished for the year along with an executive summary that gives a high level review of these accomplishments. Having the knowledge and skills to achieve these results can be critical to your career, and this unit will show you how to integrate all of the spreadsheet features into a word or presentation document that will demonstrate your value to the organization.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 The Integration of Word-Processing and Spreadsheet Data  
  • 7.2 Why Spreadsheet Integration Is Important for Business Decisions  

    The consolidation and presentation of data is very valuable in making a business decision. Often organizations will use a variety of tools and formats to evaluate business information. These collected artifacts need to be consolidated in a representative fashion that will tell the complete business story. Data/information integration is the process used to achieve this goal. You will complete an activity at the end of the unit that asks you to share your ideas about why spreadsheet integration is important by posting to the course discussion board. Take approximately 15 minutes to outline some ideas about why you think this type of integration is important.

  • 7.3 Integrating Spreadsheet Tool Content into a Word-Processing Document  
  • Unit 8: Database Management, Processing, and Techniques  

    This unit will provide you with an overview of database management and how you can use database information retrieval in a business environment to manage inventories, customer information, and sales. This unit will also introduce you to the various types of databases (hierarchical, network, rational, and object-oriented) used in business environments and will provide you with an understanding of how databases may be structured to allow for information retrieval and the generation of reports. You will conclude this unit by examining how information can be acquired from a database and how such retrieval may help to guide business decisions. Have you ever wondered why businesses seem to know so much about you and your activities and can provide you with validation information that you may struggle to remember?  Businesses structure information in a manner that allows quick retrieval and consolidation. This unit will show you how to manage your business data and information so that when your boss asks you for a list of the organization’s biggest donors or clients in a certain region of the country, you can easily retrieve the data.

    Unit 8 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 8 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 8.1 What Is a Database Management System?  
  • 8.1.1 How Is a Database Used in a Business Environment?  
  • 8.1.2 What Are the Types of Databases?  
    • Web Media: YouTube: SolubleTech’s “Database Types”

      Link: YouTube: SolubleTech’s “Database Types” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this video for information on the two basic database types.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 8.2 How to Create a Database  
  • 8.2.1 Structure  
  • 8.2.2 Retrieving and Creating Reports  
  • 8.2.2.1 How to Create a Business Form/Report  
  • 8.2.2.2 How to Create a Reusable Business Report  
  • 8.3 Acquiring Pertinent Information for Business Decisions  

    Information for business decisions can be a very valuable commodity. There are many businesses that collect and sell data to organizations based on the type and quantity of data needed. Before considering the purchase of data, a business analyst should consider data that is in the public domain. The US Census collects a great deal of data on the US population that can be used to assist in business decisions.

  • Unit 9: Database and Spreadsheet Integration  

    In this unit, you will examine how the integration of database information and spreadsheets may be used to make an organization’s informational and communications materials more effective. This unit will start with an examination of some of the common features of the database and spreadsheet tools, and it will then go on to demonstrate how these features may be integrated to perform data analysis reports such as sales forecasts, product cost models, or fund raising projection. Data contained in a database sometimes need to be released into a form that allows greater flexibility and manipulation. Business organizations are often involved in what-if-analysis to understand the impact on past and future business actions. Your boss may ask you to retrieve all of the customer information for a certain spending level and do an analysis of how discounts impact their spending habits or perform an analysis on the seasonal spending habits.

    This unit will show you how to combine both the database tool and the spreadsheet tool to produce useful analysis for your organization. You will conclude this unit with an examination of the key features and functions associated with the integration of database-tool information and spreadsheet documents, and how these features may aid decision-making in a business environment.

    Unit 9 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 9 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 9.1 The Integration of Database Information and the Spreadsheet Tool  

    Take approximately 15 minutes to study the information provided in subunits 9.1 and 9.2. The similarities between data contained in a database and a spreadsheet are great. These similarities often lead businesses to the conclusion that a spreadsheet can address most business needs. Although this is true in many cases, the best practice for handling transactional data is to use a database. This transactional data can be used to generate reports by using the database tool or by extracting the data into another form (spreadsheet) for reporting. One of the chief benefits of this practice is to allow other users to have access to the data without relinquishing control. The extracted data can be configured to update automatically from the database if needed or just used as a snap shot in time data set.

  • 9.2 Why Integration Is Important for Business Decisions  

    Integration of data from a database to a spreadsheet, or the reverse, is an important feature of data analysis that can assist the organization in making or evaluating business decisions. An organization that wishes to evaluate recent trends in the business transactions can extract data from a database to a spreadsheet and manipulate the data as part of the evaluation process. This extracted data can give the business analyst an opportunity to evaluate the effect that certain conditions have on the transactions and the resulting impacts. Organizations can also create data in a spreadsheet tool and integrate this data into the database to evaluate the potential results or to update the database with transactions that were executed outside of the database environment. Having the ability to move data between these two tools provides a business analyst with the capability and flexibility to evaluate data in multiple operational modes.

  • 9.3 The Key Features for Sharing Content across the Database and Spreadsheet Tools  
  • 9.3.1 The Database Tool  

    Take approximately 30 minutes to review the following information and practice the steps. The question many database users ask is “how do I convert database information into a spreadsheet?” To complete this process, you export the data from a database structure to a spreadsheet. One reason that many users want to do this function is to have the ability to distribute the data to someone else who may not have access to the database tool. As a system owner or steward of the data, you may also feel more comfortable sending someone a simple spreadsheet containing exactly the data that person requires rather than to send the person the whole database and then say, “run the individual query.”

    In any case, it is very easy to export data from a database to a spreadsheet. You can either export the contents of a table, or the result of a query. Here is how you go about doing this.

    Click on the table or query that contains the data you want to export.
    From the “File” menu, click “Save As/Export.”
    Select “To an External File or Database.”
    Choose a location for your spreadsheet (or double click on an existing one).

    You now have a spreadsheet containing the data from your query that you can email to anyone you like. Sub-subunit 9.5.1 will provide more detailed steps to achieve this goal. 

  • 9.3.2 The Spreadsheet Tool  

    Take approximately 30 minutes to review the following information and practice the steps. Many business analysts are more comfortable using a spreadsheet tool to create and manipulate data and will use this tool to prepare data that will be later loaded into a database. Users who select this option should be aware of a few steps that are required to ensure that the process is executed smoothly. Here is how you go about doing this.

    Create a new, empty database.
    Prepare data for import.
    Import the data.
    Specify where you want to store the data.

    You now have a database file containing the data from your spreadsheet file. Sub-subunit 9.4.1 will provide more detailed steps to achieve this goal.

  • 9.4 Integrating Spreadsheet Tool Content into a Database Table or Report  
  • 9.4.1 How to Populate a Database Table from Spreadsheet Data  
  • 9.4.2 How to Create a Database Report with Integrated Spreadsheet Data  
  • 9.5 Integrating Database Content into a Spreadsheet Document  
  • 9.5.1 How to Populate a Spreadsheet from a Database Table  
  • 9.5.2 How to Create a Spreadsheet Business Form with Integrated Database Data  
    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 9 Example”

      Instructions: Once data is in an excel spreadsheet form, it can be manipulated into any of the standard functions of a spreadsheet. To demonstrate this feature, we are going to create a spreadsheet business form using the integrated database data. We will use the same process as outline in sub-subunit 6.5.1.

      To demonstrate this feature, perform the following steps.

      Enter the data in this table (PNG) into a database.
      Export the table by using the process described in the sub-subunit 9.5.1 video. Select the data and create a pie chart. Save the exported data and pie chart file as “Unit9Example.”
      Using the information in the “Unit9Example” file, create a balance sheet for the members of an investment club called “Top Notch Investments.”

      Completing this activity should take approximately 30 minutes.

  • Unit 10: Consolidating the Tools of Information Management and Processing  

    In the final unit of this course, you will further develop your knowledge and skills by incorporating all four office suite tools to create materials for the purpose of guiding a business decision. You will examine how the integration of word-processing, presentation, spreadsheet, and database features can be used to make an organization’s informational and communication materials more effective. This unit will demonstrate how the features and functions associated with all four office suite tools may be integrated to address a business need such as planning, executing, and reporting of a business project involving customer satisfaction and responses. Career growth is important to you and your next large assignment may be just around the corner. For example, your boss may ask you to manage an event for the company, such as an industry conference or any large off-site event that will include both employees and clients. In this case, you will want to know how to manage all of the information required for this event. This course will show you how to structure your information across all of the tools that will maximize use and consistency to make this event a success. You will learn how to pull precise information from one tool and insert it into another. You will learn how to update information in one tool and have the information automatically update across all other tools. Using our example about organizing an event, you will learn how to track the activities of the event and participants and provide valuable information to your boss both during and after the event. All of these new skills will make you a very knowledgeable and valuable employee.

    Unit 10 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 10 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 10.1 Why Is Tool Integration Important for Creating Documents to Aid Business Decisions?  

    There is no better example to illustrate the importance of tool integration for creating a document to aid business decisions than an annual corporate report. These documents represent both the forward strategic direction of the corporation as well as the past performance. The objective is to use words, charts, graphs, and tables to explain past and future activities of the business. To see how effective these documents use these tools, follow the link below to view some recently published annual reports.

    • Reading: AnnualReports.com’s “Annual Corporate Reports”

      Link: AnnualReports.com’s “Annual Corporate Reports” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and study the five annual reports on the webpage. Click on each company name on the main page, and then select the link to the PDF of the report. You will notice that each document uses a variety of components, such as a combination of words, charts, graphs, and tables, to explain various business conditions. You may click on the right or left arrow on the Annual Reports homepage to view additional annual reports, or use the tabs at the bottom of the page to select an industry or specific company that interests you.

      Studying these reports should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 10.2 The Key Features for Sharing Content across All Four Office Suite Tools  

    To demonstrate how much you have learned in the previous units, follow the steps below to create a presentation document simply by cutting and pasting information from the website provided.

    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “My Congressional Representation”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “My Congressional Representation” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and complete this activity. You will use the presentation tool to make a slideshow about your Senators and House Representatives. Please note that if you do not live in the United States, you may still complete the activity by supplementing the information of US Senators and Representatives with your own government officials.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 2 hours.

  • 10.3 The Integration of Word Processing with Presentation, Spreadsheet, and Database Content  

    In most cases, word processing and presentation documents are the integration points for business data and information. Information in the form of charts, graphs, and tables can be integrated into a word processing document in order to deliver a more impactful message.  An example is how the US Department of Treasury is using this technique to tell the story of the “TARP: Bank Investment Program”.  These same business artifacts can be inserted into a presentation or uploaded to a website. In order to become effective at integrating these various forms of information, a business analyst must become familiar with how other similar organizations are using these integrated tools. A good practice is to review websites, brochures, and other published documents to stay current on best practices in your industry.

    To facilitate your continuous learning, please review the US Government Publication website to see how various state and federal agencies are creating publications by integrating information.

    • Reading: USA.gov’s “US Government Publications”

      Link: USA.gov’s “US Government Publications” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and select each of the topics listed below. Review the documents for ideas and examples of how other organizations are preparing information by integrating content.

      Education: Review the “Student Loans: Avoiding Deceptive Offers” (PDF) document for ideas and examples of how other organizations are preparing information by integrating content.
      Consumer Protection: Review the “10 Holiday Tips” (PDF) document for ideas and examples of how other organizations are preparing information by integrating content.
      History: Review the “Our Flag” (PDF) document for ideas and examples of how other organizations are preparing information by integrating content.
      Health: Review the “Recommended Immunizations for Adults” (PDF) document for ideas and examples of how other organizations are preparing information by integrating content.

      Studying these examples of publications should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Final Exam  
    • Final Exam: The Saylor Foundation’s “PRDV208 Final Exam”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “PRDV208 Final Exam”

      Instructions: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

      Note: This exam assumes you have obtained a basic understanding of information management and processing and its application in a business environment. Questions presented in this exam are based on a working knowledge of the features and functions of an office suite of tools (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database) as described in Units 3, 4, 6, and 8, as well as an understanding of how these tools can be used to address specific business requirements. The exam evaluates your knowledge of specific tool features as well as the integrated use of several features across multiple tools as described in Units 5, 7, 9 and 10.


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