Journal of Information Systems Education


This database project focuses on learning through knowledge integration; i.e., sharing and applying specialized (database) knowledge within a group, and combining it with other business knowledge to create new knowledge. Specifically, the Tiny Tots, Inc. project described below requires students to design, build, and instantiate a database system for a hypothetical national retail marketing chain. The project also requires the students to test, via queries, several profit improvement hypotheses and, based on their analysis of query results, propose a set of recommendations for improving profits at Tiny Tots. Designing, instantiating, and using a database provides a learning opportunity for students to integrate the basic database techniques (entity-relation diagrams, normalization, scripting, joins, etc.) into a sensible whole and, through teamwork, to diffuse that knowledge throughout the group. Proposing, documenting, and defending their profit improvement recommendations encourages students to integrate their database knowledge with that learned in marketing (price elasticity and supply chain management), accounting (cost accounting and income statement analysis), management (personnel evaluation and compensation analysis), finance (capital budgeting and credit card analysis), and operations management (fraud detection and working capital control). Such knowledge integration is critical to graduating IS students since they will be expected to apply their specialized knowledge to a wide variety of business problems. This project is most suitable in an information systems capstone course or a graduate level database course.



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