Using Databases at Best Buy - CIS Research Paper


Databases within Organizations
University of Phoenix

Databases within Organizations
Many organizations use databases to input, access, change, and retrieve valued data. According to Philip (2008), a database is defined as the "Collection of data produced and retrieved by computer." A database program, as defined by Philip (2008), "enables the computer to generate files of data and later search for and retrieve specific items or groups of items." Within an organization, the data is usually made up of information about the organization's inventory, customers, employees, sales reports, payroll, etc.

According to CNN Money (2008), "Best Buy" is a company with about 150,000 employees. With this many locations, employees and customers, the company must make investments in database applications. Within some "Best Buy" stores, is a company called "Geek Squad", which is a business of its own. The "Geek Squad" is an organization of employees with the intention of helping customers with computer problems including software, hardware and basic user errors. This company uses a database application called "Star Phoenix", which helps the employees keep track of information pertaining to customers and computers.
"Star Phoenix" is used to input the customers information as well and the computer information. The databases contains a large list of customer and computer data from everywhere in the United States. This enables only the "Geek Squad" employees to check-in the computer, change the status of the computer from in repair to repaired, input details about the processes used to fix the computer, and check-out the customer.

Some computers must be sent out to a service center for further testing and repairs. This repair process can take about two to seven weeks to be returned to the store depending on where the computer is shipped to. The "Star Phoenix" application allows any "Geek Squad" employee to access the status and information about repairs done on the computer. This gives customers peace of mind, because they are able to call the "Geek Squad" and find out when they can pick up their computer. This database application allows the employees in the "Geek Squad" to assist costumers when needed and to help communicate across the county to other "Geek Squad" employees and repair centers.

Another beneficial feature of "Star Phoenix" is sending and receiving repaired computers for the "Best Buy" store and customers. When a computer is shipped out, it must go through the shipping process. This is started by first entering the customer and his or her computer, if the computer has had multiple problems or can be diagnosed to be sent out, the employee must send the computer to the repair center. When the employee inputs the information to send out the computer, a few document print out. One of the documents must be signed by the customer, and the others are used to label the box for shipment. After the documents are printed and the customer signs one, the employee will box up the computer and send it to the repair center the next day via UPS.

When a computer is delivered from the repair center, the employees will go into the application, "Star Phoenix", and receive the package. This lets the repair center know that they physically received the computer in the store. Receiving a package also sends an automatic phone call to the customer to let them know the computer is at their "Best Buy" store and can pick up the computer.
Although "Star Phoenix" is an accommodating application to the "Geek Squad," a couple improvements can be made within the database application.

First, this application must have a master data management strategy to eliminate duplicated and replicated data. When an employee searches for a customer based on a new phone number, they create a replicate in the system. The database contains many names, addresses, phone numbers, computer models, etc. When a customer's name is replicated, the employees run the risk of entering incorrect data. When the customer comes back to pick up his or her computer, the other employees might not know where to find it because they are looking for the wrong computer. This creates confusion and upset customers. If a master data management application were involved, this could alleviate some of the major problems within this small company.

Another improvement is who can access the information within the database. Some "Best Buy" customer service employees are not able to access the "Star Phoenix" application if a customer calls and the "Geek Squad" employees are busy. This causes the customer to either wait on the phone for an available "Geek Squad" employee or have an employee call them back. Customer service representatives should have access to the basic information within the application; this way the customer can find out the status of their computer and ensures the accuracy of information given by the customer service representative.

In conclusion, the "Star Phoenix" database/application is a very powerful application if used correctly. This application has helped customers, employees, and the whole "Geek Squad" company. "Star Phoenix" helps employees input, access, change, and retrieve valued data which in turn helps their customers.

References
"database" World Encyclopedia. Philip's, 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Apollo Group. Retrieved April 17, 2009. Available from
Stair, R., Reynolds, G. (2006). Fundamentals of Information Systems Third Edition. Retrieved April 17, 2009. Available from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/eReader.aspx?assetMetaId=40c49ad5-1e2d-46ea-bc8d-a11fbe9e78ea&assetDataId=93378648-c2ed-4323-8abc-d04e8dda5728
CNNMoney (2008). BBY Company Information. Retrieved April 17, 2009 from
http://money.cnn.com/quote/snapshot/snapshot.html?symb=BBY

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