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To equip learners with the knowledge and skills needed to develop application solutions that can be used to automate business processes.
Within an organisation, a range of business processes are functional at operational, tactical and strategic levels within the business structure. Some business processes are quite simplistic, especially at the operational level where routine, non-complex decisions and tasks are undertaken. However as you advance through the levels of an organisation, the strategic levels, more complex business processes and decision making is required that may need support from more automated, on-demand information systems and solutions. Providing office solutions to support a range of business functions and decision making can range from the implementation of a simple rule or macro, through to the design of a more complex piece of code or program to support different end users. This unit is designed to build upon existing skills and knowledge previously gained from using different types of application and design software. Learners will be expected to demonstrate more advanced skills in terms of data manipulation, configuration, application and implementation of software packages to enhance a given business processes or processes. On completion of this unit the learner should be able to use design application software at an advanced level of proficiency. Learners will engage with a range of software, and select the most appropriate application(s) to offer feasible and working business solutions.
Applications software: types eg spreadsheets, database, presentation, graphics, desk-top publishing, word processing
Business processes: management eg supporting decision making, problem solving; operational eg sales, purchasing, marketing; support eg accounting, technical
Supporting processes: improving the efficiency of a business process eg forecasting, decision making, predictive reasoning; automating processes eg print runs, salary slips
Supporting the user: user requirements eg accessibility, usability, clarity, help
Solutions: supporting a business process eg end user requirements, systems requirement, application to automate procedures, designing a tool, program or package that can perform a specific task to support problem-solving or decision-making at an advanced level, creating an e-Commerce function for a website to support a specific business process, designing a program for a specific end user that will support another application or process
Design: considerations eg addressing the user or system requirement; user-friendly and functional interface; consideration of user engagement and interaction with the designed solution; customization of the solution to satisfy the user and system requirements
Advanced tools and techniques: tools eg analysing data with interactive PivotTables and PivotCharts, linking Excel spreadsheets with Sharepoint, team collaboration and document management with Windows SharePoint; techniques eg creating decision-making macros, programming Access objects, building intuitive user interfaces with VBA, building ASP.net web applications
Testing: functionality: eg checking against requirements, error handling, documentation
User engagement: engagement through eg meetings, questionnaires, interviews Enhanced/improved: comparisons eg more efficient, faster results, more user friendly, improved compatibility with other systems and processes, improved management information
Heathcote P – Successful ICT Projects in Excel (Payne Gallway, 2002) ISBN-10: 1903112710
Jellen B – Brilliant Microsoft Excel 2007 VBA and Macros (Brilliant Excel Solutions) (Prentice Hall, 2007) ISBN-10: 0273714058
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