Management information systems revision question and answer

CPA-Quantitative-Analysis-Section-4 BLOCK RELEASE

(a) In a file set up or development process, the file‘s structure is defined and its contents identified. The four characteristics considered in defining the structure and identifying the contents in a file set up or development process are; volatility, activity, size and growth.

(i) Using the example of a payroll file, explain the terms; volatility, activity, size and growth.
(ii) Explain how each of the characteristics in (i) above may influence decisions to do with a file structure design and in planning whether the mode of access should be sequential, indexed sequential or random.

(b) Organizations use different options of human computer interfaces such as GUI, command driven or special interfaces. Define GUI and state its advantages.

Volatility – This is the frequency with which records are added to the file or deleted from it. If the frequency is high, the file is said to be volatile.
A file that is not altered is ―static‖. If frequency is low, the file is said to be ―semi-static‖.
Activity –Is the processing of a master file. Hit rate is a measure of the
‗activity‘ of the file.

Size –This is the amount of data stored in the file. It may be expressed interns of the number of characters or number of records.


Growth –Files often grow steadily in size as new records are added. growth must be allowed for when planning how to store a file.

– A file with Volatile variable (has data that can be changed with external process) is preferably
designed to be accessed using index sequential.
– This is because of speed of access; index sequential files are fast to locate than random or sequential files.
– For a file whose records are relatively permanent in nature meaning that the hit rate is low, then random file organization would be preferred.

– Files that are accessed every now and then should be designed to be accessed using index sequential method. Speed being one of the reasons for this. Since its mostly used in transaction files where the hit rate is high to enable records to be located faster.

– A small sized file can well be accessed using random method or sequential method where as a large file containing large amount of data, its data can easily be located using an index sequential method since an index file can be used to effectively overcome the problem of key searching, and to speed up the key search as well.

– The same consideration would be put in place as that of size of files.

GUI – Graphical User Interface–Is a human computer interface (HCI)based upon a graphical display. The GUI software is organized in layers including components such as windows libraries.

Advantages of GUI
– Graphical symbols are more easily recognized and memorized than text.
– Direct manipulation, for example pointing and clicking on graphical objects with a mouse, reduces learning time for users and gives them a greater feeling of control over the HCI.
– Make computer operations more intuitive and thus easier to use and learn.
– Provide users with immediate, visual feedback about the effect of each action.
– Allow users to take full advantage of the powerful multitasking

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