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An Investigation Into The Impact It Has Had On The Modern World With Particular Reference To Business And Social Problems.

3375 words - 14 pages

ReportIt is true to say that IT (Information Technology) has revolutionised the way in which people live today. This applies in industry, commerce, offices, and out of work activities. The impact of this revolution has benefited and it can also be argued, had a negative effect on all areas of day-to-day life.A good example of how IT has benefited organisations is in the food retail industry. Supermarkets use IT to gain a competitive advantage by the creation of customer profiles. The re-ordering of food is now totally automated. Decisions are made at all levels of the company as a result of collecting and processing data into useful information.It is very important for food retailers to know about the customers buying habits because of the fierce competition between them. Companies such as Tesco, ASDA, and Sainsburys all use I.T. (information technology) to create customer profiles. Without I.T. this would probably not be possible, very difficult at best. Data collection and the different ways supermarkets go about collecting data will be looked at. How the different levels of the company hierarchy use the data collected will also be studied, and how they can use the results to gain advantage over their competitors. How the company can ensure the customer's profiles are accurate must also be considered.The word 'data', which is plural for 'datum' means a stream of raw facts. Data has to be processed into information. Information is data that has been processed into an understandable and useful form. This in turn leads to knowledge that can be put into practical use. Knowledge can be gained from experience and study of data.There are many different ways of collecting data. One of the main ways in which a supermarket collects data is by scanning bar codes on the items as they are sold. This is possible because suppliers provide their products ready coded. The supermarket can see what was bought at what time and if the customer has signed up to a loyalty card, they can also see who has bought it. The customer is given incentives to sign up to loyalty cards by offering them free air miles or money off future purchases. This is a very worthwhile thing for a supermarket to do because the information gained can be very useful indeed. This information is used to build customer profiles.It is very important that the data is accurate at the point of collection so bar code readers are a favourite choice for supermarkets with only one error in every one hundred thousand entries. Bar code scanners are also very cheap. The only real disadvantage of using this method is that if the bar code is crumpled it is very hard for the scanner to read it. This does not happen too often and the advantages far out weigh this small inconvenience. The bar code can be entered manually using the thirteen-digit number located along the bottom of the bar code.Another way in which a supermarket can collect data is through questionnaires done on the street. If the strategists at...

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