The development of a computer-based information system includes a systems analysis phase which produces or enhances the data model which itself is a precursor to creating or enhancing a database (see Christopher J. Date “An Introduction to Database Systems”). There are a number of different approaches to system analysis. When a computer-based information system is developed, systems analysis (according to the Waterfall model) would constitute the following steps:
- The development of a feasibility study, involving determining whether a project is economically, socially, technologically and organizationally feasible.
- Conducting fact-finding measures, designed to ascertain the requirements of the system’s end-users. These typically span interviews, questionnaires, or visual observations of work on the existing system.
- Gauging how the end-users would operate the system (in terms of general experience in using computer hardware or software), what the system would be used for etc.
Another view outlines a phased approach to the process. This approach breaks systems analysis into 5 phases:
- Scope definition
- Problem analysis
- Requirements analysis
- Logical design
- Decision analysis
Use cases are a widely-used systems analysis modeling tool for identifying and expressing the functional requirements of a system. Each use case is a business scenario or event for which the system must provide a defined response. Use cases evolved out of object-oriented analysis; however, their use as a modeling tool has become common in many other methodologies for system analysis and design.
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