Dawn @ Home part 1 – initial thoughts

Lesson: 5/11/12

We explored the exam board scenario for Natural Beauty with Dawn at Home – finding out who Dawn was, what she did, where she operated and so on. The scenario contains contact details and a website address that doesn’t exist (yet…) as well as a nice logo. We sort of decided what the company was called.

We thought about things like Dawn’s ICT skills and experience and decided that we probably don’t know very much about what skills and experience she has in this area. Although I’m not sure she’s ever going to touch a computer in the scenario you’ve been given.

We then explored the whole information flow, particularly for the Sales section. This is quite complex and needs some very specific outputs. It looks like the consultants will do most of the data work on the spreadsheet. We decided there are questions we don’t know the answers to:

  • what experience do consultants have with computers – what are their skill levels?
  • what ICT equipment will the consultants have? What OS? What spreadsheet software?
  • what format do the outputs need to be in?
  • how many items can people order at a party?
  • how many of each item can they order at a party?

These last two questions might be important when you’re setting validation rules at some later date perhaps?

We sort of hinted at the need for a GUI which is going to be easy to use, particularly as can’t assume that any of the consultants have very much geek when it comes to ICT use.

We also partly explored the Database aspect of this, but left some of that for a later date as it got quite complex with a certificate and stuff. We do know, though, that Dawn has an admin assistant to do some of the jobs but nothing about that persons ICT skills.

Jobs to do:

Start the specification – the very general bit and then thinking about the more detailed bit. These are on the internets.

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Summer’s here and the time is right…

…for thinking about Unit 10 exam work (not as much fun as Racing in the Street I’m sure, but, frankly, more legal).

What you could do, perhaps, over the summer is:

  1. have a think about a client you can make a spreadsheet for. Things like invoices or quote systems work well, rather like the Trumpton Times;
  2. maybe work though any of the Trumpton Times bits that you need to. These really do teach you all the advanced spreadsheet skills that you need to know about. Just remember that some of the functions are found in different places!
  3. take a check of the advanced skills checklist (which you’ll find over on That Blue Square Thing of course) and make sure you’re happy doing most of these (elements such as error checking might be best left until next term)
  4. have some fun and relax. Maybe try something new. I’m thinking of catching a concert at Snape myself…

This sort of thing will get you in the right place to really kick things off excellently in September. Promise.

Here’s a hint or two if you’re working at home:

  • to get the Developer toolbar click the Windows button > Excel options and select it
  • to get macros working click the Windows button > Excel Options > Trust Center > Macro settings > allow all (go on, you know you want to…)
  • the form controls are on the Developer tab on the Insert button (and don’t use the Active X controls because they work differently it appears)
  • controls to align things are on the Page Layout tab
  • the Name Manager is on the Formulas tab

Feel free to e-mail me if there’s stuff that’s confusing or not working right. I’ll see if I can get around to putting the Trumpton videos up on the web, I’ll see.

Talking of which, here’s Trumpton…