TESCO data and information storage 1500 words

Assignment 3

Question 1

Part 1

Describe, with examples, the way in which data/information is gathered, analysed and used for making decisions within your area of responsibility, or your organisation.

Brief Overview of TESCO

Tesco is the largest grocery and merchandising retail chain outlet in the UK with branches extending outside the UK. Tesco which originally specialized in the sale of food and drinks has expanded its offerings to electronics, clothing, financial services, insurance, dental plans, software amongst other budding services. Due to the range of services it offers, it makes use of a vast amount of information relating to its services, products, customers, sales, strategy, business plans, inventory records, supplier information and so on. Tesco has a number of stores of varying sizes across Europe and operates through the use of a robust internet platform that offers a secure payment facility for transactions ranging from financial services, consumer goods and telecommunications services to customers (TESCO, 2008).

  1. Methods used to collect and record information

Tesco deals with numerous types of information which include details of customers, products, orders, transactions, suppliers, and so on. No matter the means of collection, all relevant information is entered into the system electronically (Clive, Hunt & Phillips, 2008).


Transaction Information

As the store attendant in TESCO, collection of transaction information is captured electronically through the use of bar code readers and a database.  When customers arrive at the till, products are passed through the bar code reader. The system would automatically bring up details of the products being sold, update the inventory and calculate the total amount to be paid by the customer. Sales information is stored in the database and analysed for sales patterns and trends.


TESCO’s online portal is also used as a platform for receiving customers’ orders online. Tesco outsourced the generation of its online information (images) to Brandbank. This company was responsible for creating the images for the TESCO website and replicating the in store experience using the website (Brandbank, 2009).


The supermarket website is linked to a database of information containing product descriptions, prices, customer records, delivery details and other relevant information needed for completing an order online; TESCO is renowned as being the first company to complete a successful online grocery in the UK (Clive, Hunt & Phillips, 2008).


Apart from electronic means of collecting information, forms could be given manually to customers to collect information on pertinent details. Information could also be collected through verbal means by asking questions, online surveys, and by listening to customers on the telephone. There may also be the need to discuss with customers through face-to-face encounters in order to obtain the information needed.


Supplier Information

Information is also retrieved from suppliers electronically on supply details, product descriptions, contact details and the prices of goods they have in stock. This information is necessary for TESCO to contact suppliers, inform them when certain products fall below a pre-determined stock level and request for information on products. All supplier information is stored electronically to ensure that they can be easily retrieved (Clive, Hunt & Phillips, 2008)


  1. Any constraints on the collection of, or access to, data

Typical constraints faced during the collection/process of gaining access to customer data include:


  1. Maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the data collected. The company must ensure that customer information relating to financial transactions and other personal details like addresses are not compromised, entered incorrectly and altered in any way that affects service delivery and security (Angell,2005)
  2. The digitization of business and customer information implies that all relevant information has to be stored electronically, centralized and maintained for accessibility, preservation and ease of use
  3. The company deals with a huge amount of data; there’s an imperative for organising and categorising all product/service-related data both online, in store and within the business to ensure that information can easily be accessed by both customers and staff. For a company that sells thousands of products, there’s a need for categorization and development of product images to ensure that customers and staff know exactly where each product is located online and in store (Brandbank, 2009)
  4. Confidentiality/privacy laws also limit the ways in which data can be collected, accessed and use. The use of RBAC (Role based access control) measures and other security approaches ensures that different staffs have access to only information they are authorized to see and this would depend on their level within the organization (Angell,2005)
  5. Availability of the IT infrastructure is also necessary to ensure that information is always accessible as and when needed. For example, current sales information should always be available not just to update the inventory but to have an idea of which products are popular amongst customers and in which locations. It ensures that marketing projects are more targeted, hence yielding more positive results. Availability of computer systems, servers and network infrastructure also implies that customers and staff can gain access to the website, intranet, email and other facilities needed for day to-day business operations and making decisions.




  1. How sources and validity are checked
  • Tesco uses a Content Management System to manage and compile product information from its many suppliers. This system ensures that the quality of data and information on the website is maintained and validated by selecting only key people to update the data instead of multiple people, as was the case before. This would reduce the probability of storing duplicate and invalid information (Hadfield, 2006)
  • When customers make purchases online, they are responsible for creating their own accounts and updating their personal information. This means that a customer can log onto TESCO’s website, provide a password and make purchases and payments through a secure portion of the website; this way, the validity of the financial information regarding any transaction is verified and protected. Customers are responsible for ensuring the validity of their information.


  1. Methods used to analyse data and qualitative information

Analytical examination of the sales data is conducted to establish trends, patterns, relationships so that it can be used to predict demand and set business targets


  • Categorization/Classification of data makes for easy analysis and comparison of sales and customer information
  • Graphical/Pictorial representation of the data are useful for analysis; Spreadsheet applications are also used for analyzing data
  • Use of intelligent systems and data mining techniques to examine customer purchase patterns and predict future behavioural trends  (Berry & Linoff, 2004)


  1. How information is used to make decisions
  • Information can be used to make decisions in a variety of ways. If the information exists in electronic format, frequencies, graphs and charts can provide a graphical means for displaying information which is invaluable to management decision making. For example, sales data that is presented through the use of graphs provides useful information on sales trends, locations and other types of information that may be useful for developing effective marketing strategies
  • Through the use of sales information, customers’ preferences can be analysed against certain criteria such as purchasing power, location, age group, etc. Information on popular products and customers’ preferences can also be noted for designing marketing strategies (Berry & Linoff, 2004).
  • Information on the prices of competitors operating within the same consumer market can be used to provide bargain options for customers and set competitive prices. This constitutes a customer retention strategy that can lead to increased profits for the organization.
  • The implementation of Management Information Systems can also provide a holistic view that provides management with information from all relevant departments for effective decision making (Berry & Linoff, 2004)



Question 1

Part 2


From the information gathered for Assignment 1 part 1 select some statistical information and present it visually in an appropriate and effective manner.   You may use computer applications if you wish.


The diagrams below illustrate a representation of the predicted sales reports for the month of April 2010 for entertainment; clothing and electrical goods based on previous purchase trends.


The statistical projection for the month of April based on previous sales of entertainment goods are illustrated as follows:






The Projected Total Clothing Sales for April 2010 based on statistical information are as follows:







The Projected Total Sales of Electrical Goods for April 2010 based on statistical information is as follows:


Vacuum Cleaner44£2008800



Question 2


Give three examples of key information that is recorded to meet your organisation’s requirements – some of these may be legal requirements, of course.  Explain how the information is stored, and what controls there are on access to this information.  Which, if any, of these records are included under Data Protection?


Customer Information


Tesco collects information supplied by customers during registration, when completing profile forms and from their use of the services available on the website. Details of payment cards used and financial transactions are also stored (TESCO, 2004).



  • This is information containing customers’ personal details such as name, address, email and relevant financial information. This would be needed to complete purchases online


  • Transaction Information and delivery options
  • Customer’s Preferences and purchase patterns


Supplier Information


  • Suppliers’ Products
  • Supplier Contact Information
  • Product description from suppliers


Product information / Inventory Information


  • Product descriptions
  • Prices
  • Special Offers/Discounts
  • Number available/stock levels



How Information is stored



  • Information is stored in a central database which is accessible through business applications (Hadfield, 2006)
  • Information is also stored in a content management system for upload to websites (Hadfield, 2006)
  • Intranet information and shared documents are  stored on the intranet for internal access



Which Records are Included under Data Protection?


  • Personal information containing details of names, addresses, telephone number, email and other personal information
  • Financial information such as purchase history, card payment details and other sensitive information (TESCO, 2004)



















































Angell, Ian (2005). Systemic risk re-defining digital security. Journal of information systems security, 1 (1). pp. 7-22. ISSN 1551-0123


Berry, M. J., & Linoff, G. (2004). Data Mining Techniques: For Marketing, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Computer Publishing.

Brandbank. (2009). Tesco Case Study. Retrieved January 17, 2009, from Brandbank: http://www.brandbank.com/case-studies-tesco.asp

Hadfield, W. (2006). Tesco takes Direct route to effective data management. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from Computer Weekly: http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2006/10/27/219443/Tesco-takes-Direct-route-to-effective-data-management.htm

Humby, Clive, Terry Hunt, and Tim Phillips. Scoring Points: How Tesco Continues to Win Customer Loyalty. 2nd ed. London: Kogan Page, 2008. Print

TESCO. (2008). Introduction. Retrieved January 16, 2009, from TESCO: http://www.cn.tesco.com/en/aboutus/aboutus_tob.htm

TESCO. (2004). Privay Policy. Retrieved January 17, 2009, from TESCO: http://www.tesco.com/termsandconditions/privacy.htm