Business and Administration Unit 3

You should use this file to complete your Assessment. • The first thing you need to do is save a copy of this document, either onto your computer or a disk • Then work through your Assessment, remembering to save your work regularly • When you’ve finished, print out a copy to keep for reference • Then, go to www. vision2learn. com and send your completed Assessment to your tutor via your My Study area – make sure it is clearly marked with your name, the course title and the Unit and Assessment number.

Section 1 – Understand the purpose of information technology in a business environment 1. In relation to your current business environment (or one that you are familiar with), identify at least two different types of information technology that may be used when completing work tasks. • MS Excel (a spreadsheet is a document which is divided into rows and columns to record such things as items in inventory, income and expenses, debits and credits.

Spreadsheets are designed to ease the management of numbers and calculations,they calculate totals, averages, percentages, budgets, and complex financial and scientific formulas. • A database is a collection of data which has been organised so that a computer program can quickly select desired items. This could be something as straightforward as a list of names in alphabetical order or an ascending list of numeric stock codes. Ideal for use with telephone contacts or staff details.

• MS Word processing (Standard word documents: Use for the creation of most documents such as letters, memos, minutes, etc. ) 2. What are the benefits to businesses (and others) of using information technology for doing work tasks? The benefits to businesses and others of using information technology for doing all work tasks are that’s it is a fast accurate, efficient flow of information which is the life blood of any business, the two important aspects to information exchange using I. T are sending and receiving emails and using internet to find out information.

It has helped make communication quicker cheaper and more efficient, you can communicate with anyone in the world, people from different cultures can now communicate with each other it has also brought cost effectiveness, this in turn increases productivity which helps a rise in profits which means better pay and work conditions for all. Your business can also stay open 24hrs a day so people can order from the internet. It can also help your workforce with extra learning at home you can also search the web for more business and extra workers.

Many attendees at a meeting may be invited quickly in one go rather than people having to be called individually. Quotes and brochures may be easily sent via email to prospective customers. Everyone who works for the business can access notes and information on customers via databases. The internet can be used to quickly find information by staff. Section 2 – Understand how to manage electronic and paper-based information 1. Explain the purpose of agreeing objectives and deadlines when researching information. If possible, refer to specific examples from research tasks you have worked on to support your answer.

The purpose of agreeing objectives and deadlines when researching information are that research is important in business, as it provides information that will inform business decisions. If information is not collected, then this can lead to poor quality decisions being made. If research into these areas is not done properly then it can result in businesses spending too much money or gathering the wrong type of information for improving customer services. It also helps to have objectives and deadlines for what the research is to achieve.

To research and report information you need a number of different and transferable skills such as persistence and the ability to make a judgement about what is and what isn’t relevant. To avoid wasting time, holding other people up or preventing a deadline, it is important to agree exactly what you have been asked to do before you begin your research. In most cases verbal explanations are sufficient but in others you may need to put the terms of reference into writing. Points you may want to consider: – What is the specific purpose of gathering the information?

– What format should it be displayed in? – What should be the limits of research? – How in-depth does the information need to be/how much detail is actually needed? – Where do I find the information/who can I speak to? – How much time do I have to find the information? – How confidential is the information? – Are there any cost factors? You need to ensure that you know all of these points before starting the research task because if you don’t know what you need to do when the deadline is and who it is for there is more chance of you making a mistake and missing deadlines. 2.

Identify the different ways of researching, organising and reporting information. There are many different ways of researching, organising and reporting information once you have been set the task. It is useful to know the different ways so that you can choose the most appropriate and suitable method for you and the task in hand. Ways of researching information: – Lists of internal telephone users/names/addresses/e-mail addresses – Using the Internet – Using the company intranet system – Using books from the library – Newspapers/magazines – Flyers/pamphlets/leaflets/posters – Fax numbers of clients and suppliers.

– Office/computer suppliers – Travel agencies – Employment agencies – The Job Centre – Solicitors – Accountants – Banks – The local tax office – Relevant local authority departments – Car hire firms – Garages – Restaurants and hotels – Electrical/plumbing specialists The list is endless; there are so many ways in which we can research information but we have to ensure that we are gathering the information from the right sources else the information becomes irrelevant. Ways of organising information: – Check that you are not digressing from the point or researching in the wrong area.

– Write down your initial terms of reference and keep referring back to it – Keep a checklist of what you have done and what you still have to do – Put your research information in order either as a summary or list of key points Ways of reporting information: – Written report – PowerPoint presentation – Refer to source material if using information from somewhere else (this allows others to look into more detail if they want to know more about a specific point) – In a letter – Via email – Verbally whilst face-to-face with the manager or person who set the research task.

– In a spreadsheet (could be a financial research task) 3a) For your own organisation (or one you know well), describe the procedures that need to be followed when archiving, retrieving and deleting information. Your answer should cover procedures for both electronic and paper-based information. All organisations need to store and retrieve a wide variety of information on a daily basis. There are two different types of systems used to do this. – Paper-based filing is when files are stored in filing cabinets, ring binders and filing rooms.

– Electronic filing is when files and information are stored on the computer. There are a lot of benefits to storing data and information on the computer such as; documents can be scanned and saved using special software that indexes them so they are easy to find and the amount of space that is available on most computers is incredible. This saves on resources, costs to the company and also time, as it is so much easier to retrieve information from your computer. The rules relating to security apply to both manual and computerised filing systems.

Files stored on a computer can be password protected and filing cabinets/rooms can be kept locked; only authorised persons with a password can gain access. Information should be regularly updated to ensure it is accurate. It should be accessible so that time is not wasted trying to locate it, as this could hold others up. When information is stored or retrieved it should be tracked so that everyone knows where that information is should they need to locate it. 3b) When following the procedures outlined in Question 3a above, are there any legal requirements to consider?

Security is important so that confidential information is not accessed by anyone who does not have the authority to view it. If confidential information is made accessible to unauthorised persons serious action could be taken against the person who disclosed the information as it would breach the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). It is important not to leave confidential files and information on your desk unattended, to discuss confidential information you have access to or give any of this information to anyone who is unauthorised to have it as this too breaches the DPA. 4.

Why is confidentiality critical when managing information? Confidentiality is necessary for the best interests of the organization, and it is critical to the functioning of a company, because any unauthorised or accidental disclosure of eg. trade secrets (formulas, patterns, devices or other compilation of information) may destroy their confidential status and may cause a considerable economic loss for the business concerned. If not protected, competitors could use this information without having to bear the costs or risks and the owner of the trade secret would certainly lose the competitiveness built on this information.

With electronic records, it is easy to access, transfer, copy, or send large amounts of private data. An interesting case related to Ford Motor Co. An engineer of the company copied thousands of Ford’s documents onto an external drive and went to work for a competitor. It was estimated that Ford suffered more than $50 million in losses. The reasons for protecting confidential information are also closely linked to human dignity and respect for persons. Eg. personal data are generally recognized as property of the person.

Generally, permission from the owner is required to share or use their information. Choosing to disclose private, sometimes embarrassing facts in order to seek a benefit is a basic trust issue (selling the customers’ data to third parties). Section 3 – Understand the purpose of producing documents that are fit for purpose 1. Identify at least two reasons for producing documents that are fit for purpose. Parts of your role as an administrator will involve you producing work for other members of your team or your line manager. When requested to complete documents for others it is vital that you know what is required.

You will need to consider the following: – What is the purpose of the document? – What needs to be included in the document? – What is the required layout of the document? – What is the document going to look like in respect to quality? – What standard does the document have to be created in? – What is the deadline for the required document? When you are asked to produce documents, you are primarily given basic information and expected to research the rest to fill out the document to the intended purpose. If you are unsure of why you are creating the document, you will find it difficult to achieve the outcome.

It is therefore vitally important that you agree and confirm what needs to be in the document as well as how it should look and when it needs to be completed by. Most organisations have their own set format of how they layout documents. You need to make sure that you are following these guidelines, as you will be representing your company to external organisations and customers. 2. Use the table below to describe some of the different types and styles of documents that are produced in a business environment, and then explain when these different options may be used.

|Documents |When they are used | | |We will use Spreadsheet for storing, calculating, filtering, | |Spreadsheets |verifying, sorting, displaying, creating graphic charts etc . Its | | |use is much extended now days to show large amount of data. We can | | |use spreadsheet electronically or be printed for show. | |Letter |A formal letter is a type of correspondence from an organisation to | | |a client or other contact. Business letters normally have a standard| | |structure and should include business heading, address of the | | |recipient, date the letter was written, salutation, ending and | | |signature of the sender.

| | | | | | | | |The minutes of a meeting are a summary of what was discussed and the| | |decisions made. The minutes should follow the same structure as the | |Minutes |agenda. Someone at the meeting is given the task of taking the | | |minutes, which means making notes and writing them up. | | |Emails are widely used for formal business purposes, as well as for | | |informal notes to friends. Because anything said in an email is | |Email |legally binding, many organisations insist that business emails | | |follow the same conventions as business letters.

A business email | | |should always end with a signature. | Section 4 – Know the procedures to be followed when producing documents 1. In most organisations, time is taken to agree the purpose, content, layout, quality standards and deadlines for the production of documents. What are the reasons for doing this level of planning? The audience of a document is the group of people for whom it was written. Documents should be designed to meet the needs of the expected audience. The purpose of a document can be to:

• Inform – letters, memos, emails, texts, invoices, agendas, newsletters, user guides, illustrations, charts and diagrams all provide information for the audience. • Query (i. e. to ask questions) – order forms, surveys and questionnaires capture information from the audience. • Advertise – letters, emails, leaflets, posters and web pages can be used to promote goods and services. • Record – letters, emails, news items, minutes and reports can all give an account of something that has happened. A document can only communicate information if it is written and presented in a way that makes sense to the reader.

You should ask ‘Will my audience understand what I am trying to tell them? ’ If we don’t establish and agree on purpose, style, content quality standards and deadlines, It will be pointless to produce a document because we will waste our time and fail and we will duplicate work by having to produce another document again. 2. Businesses will spend time checking finished documents for accuracy and correctness. a) How is this done? When you have finished creating a document, you should review and check it very thoroughly before making it public or submitting it for assessment.

Most applications that handle text offer a number of tools for checking the suitability of the language you have used. You should have the automatic spelling and grammar checker switched on as a matter of course when you are using a text-based application. Even if you are good at spelling you will still make typing errors. Make sure that the spell checker is set for UK English spellings. If you use the spellchecker, you will still have to use your own intelligence to decide between the alternatives offered. If you have imported a document, or have not been using the automatic checking tools, you can check a whole document at once.

When a whole document is checked the readability statistics can be displayed, along with other useful information, such as the number of words in the document b) Why is this done? You check for accuracy and correctness because it makes it easier for someone to understand you. When you use correct grammar, you make it easier for people to understand your ideas. Correct spelling helps people know what word you are using 3. Explain the purpose of following confidentiality and data protection procedures when preparing documents.

Confidentiality is very important in preparing documents because this involves a lot of private data, thus in order to protect the users and the owner, confidentiality must be observed. Data protection is also significant to assure that nobody will be able to get the data and spread it to anybody else. 4. In business environments, there is often a requirement to use notes as the basis for text and documents. a) Compare the different types of documents that can be produced from notes and include a description of the format of each document.

REPORT – Used to inform others of an event or a particular subject that has taken place . Title, introduction, body of report, a conclusion, consistency of format is essential i. e. using the same paragraph spacing and font style/size throughout content of report, and as it is a professional looking document and normally viewed by professionals and not just internal customers. MEMO – Used to send quick communication to internal customers or to inform customers of a notice. The format will include To… From…Ref…Date…and then the relevant information being communicated.

AGENDA – Will include apologies for absence, minutes of previous meeting, matters arising, any other business, date and time of the next planned meeting. b) Explain the procedures to be followed when preparing text from notes. Documents you may need to produce can come from different sources and whether you are typing information from your own notes or from someone else’s notes you need to have clear details of what information needs to be communicated and in what format. You need to check the purpose of the document so that you know what type of document is most appropriate and to help you understand why you are creating the document.