Organising and dss   steps in designing a spreadsheet solution
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  • 1. Steps in designing a spreadsheet solution
    • Analysis
    • Design the solution
    • Implement the solution and test it
    • Refinement and Maintenance
    Task Example
  • 2. Analysis
    • Attempt to identify and understand the problem
    • How will the numbers get into the spreadsheet? Will the user type them into the appropriate cells or should a dialog box be used?
    • How should the output be displayed?
    • How many decimal places should be displayed in the answer? How should the numbers be formatted for display?
    N.B. Never make assumptions! Ask as many questions as are needed to completely understand what the client wants!!! Steps
  • 3. Design the solution
    • Draw a pen and paper model of the spreadsheet
    • Identify your sources of data
    • Plan the user interface
    • Develop the formulae that you will use
    • Test your design solution
    • Keep the client updated by showing your plans.
    Steps
  • 4. Implement the solution
    • Build the spreadsheet
    • Test the spreadsheet (working prototype)
      • N.B. It is important to test every aspect of the spreadsheet, e.g. if you are using the IF function or LOOKUP function, all possible combinations should be tested.
    • Show the working spreadsheet (prototype) to the client for feedback.
      • Demonstrate it by using some of the test data you created.
    Steps
  • 5. Refinement and Maintenance
    • REFINEMENT
    • Improvements may be requested.
    • External factors (e.g. changes to Tax system, like GST).
    After the client agrees with the solution, there may still be work to do:
    • MAINTENANCE
    • Well designed spreadsheets and constructed are usually easy to maintain.
    • Time and effort invested up front is beneficial as changes may be difficult and costly to make
    Steps
  • 6. Modelling a pricing system for a school disco
    • TASK
    • You’re on a committee given the responsibility of organising the next school disco
    • There will be certain expenses
    • Money can be made from sales of tickets, drinks & chips
    • Work out how much to charge for these things so that a reasonable profit is made
    • Analysis
    • Designing the Solution
    • Implementing the solution
    • Refinement & Maintenance
  • 7. Task Analysis
    • ANALYSIS 1 - Pricing
    • Determine the prices for:
    • Tickets
    • Drinks
    • Chips
    • Problem:
    • Work out how to make $1000 profit to put towards equipment for the music department
    • If the prices are wrong:
    • Won’t make enough money for the music equipment
    • Make too much money, in which case the students (who you represent) will have paid too much!
    • ANALYSIS 2 - Questions
    • Spreadsheets are well suited to this task. Consider the following questions:
    • What data will be input into the system?
    • What calculations should be performed?
    • What form should the output take?
    • ANALYSIS 3 - Model (Input/Output)
    • The model should allow changes to the input to be reflected in the output:
      • INPUTS
    • Cost of the disco equipment
    • Cost of hiring the hall
    • Cost of advertising and printing tickets
    • Purchase prices of the drinks and chips
    • The total number of tickets, drinks & chips sold
    • Prices that will be charged for tickets, drinks & chips.
    Task Example
  • 8. Task Design
    • Construct a Pen & Paper model before attempting the electronic solution
    • Create a draft electronic spreadsheet from the P&P design
    • Develop the formulae for the figures that need to be calculated by the spreadsheet
    • Lock Formulae
    • Experiment and test
    Task Example
  • 9. Task Implementation
    • Once we’re happy with the design, it is time to build the spreadsheet
    • Verify the solution using all sets of test data
    • Compare it to the output expected
    • MORE TESTING
    • What if fewer students attend than originally thought?
    • What would happen to the figures
    • The expenses stay the same
    • To maintain profits, the selling prices would have to rise
    Task Example
  • 10. Task Refinement & Maintenance
    • As you build the spreadsheet, ask yourself how the model could be improved
    • Are there other inputs that could be considered or other results calculated?
    • You might consider displaying the results graphically
    • Finally, remember to document any changes you make
    Task Example
  • 11. Bibliography
    • Title:
    • Information Processes and Technology (HSC Course)
    • Authors:
    • Peter Ware, Paul Cheleski & Bill Chivers
    • Published by:
    • Jacaranda (jaconline.com.au)