Data Management

Chapter 2 CASE

Forondo Artist Management Excellence Inc.

Case Description

Martin was very impressed with your project plan and has given you the go ahead for the project. He also indicates to you that he has e-mails from several key staff members that should help with the design of the system. The first is from Alex Martin (administrative assistant to Pat Smith, an artist manager). Pat is on vacation and Martin has promised that Pat’s perspective will be provided at a later date. The other two are from Dale Dylan, an artist that Pat manages, and Sandy Wallis, an event organizer. The text of these e-mails is provided below.

E-mail from Alex Martin, Administrative Assistant

My name is Alex Martin, and I am the administrative assistant to Pat Smith. While Pat’s role is to create and maintain relationships with our clients and the event organizers, I am responsible for running the show at the operational level. I take care of Pat’s phone calls while Pat is on the road, respond to inquiries and relay the urgent ones to Pat, write letters to organizers and artists, collect information on prospective artists, send bills to the event organizers and make sure that they pay their bills, take care of the artist accounts, and arrange Pat’s travel (and keep track of travel costs). Most of my work I manage with Word and simple Excel spread-sheets, but it would be very useful to be able to have a system that would help me to keep track of the event fees that have been agreed upon, the events that have been successfully completed, cancellations (in the current system, I sometimes don’t get information about a cancellation and I end up sending an invoice for a cancelled concert—pretty embarrassing), payments that need to be made to the artists, etc. Pat and other managers seem to think that it would be a good idea if they could better track their travel costs and the impact these costs have on their income.

We don’t have a very good system for managing our artist accounts because we have separate spreadsheets for keeping track of a particular artist’s fees earned and the expenses incurred, and then at the end of each month we manually create a simple statement for each of the artists. This is a lot of work, and it would make much more sense to have a computer system that would allow us to be able to keep the books constantly up to date.

A big thing for me is to keep track of the artists whom Pat manages. We need to keep in our databases plenty of information on them—their name, gender, address (including country, as they live all over the world), phone number(s), instrument(s), e-mail, etc. We also try to keep track of how they are doing in terms of the reviews they get, and thus we are subscribing to a clipping service that provides us articles on the artists whom we manage. For some of the artists, the amount of material we get is huge, and we would like to reduce it somehow. At any rate, we would at least like to be able to have a better idea of what we have in our archives on a particular artist, and thus we should probably start to maintain some kind of a list of the news items we have for a particular artist. I don’t know if this is worth it but it would be very useful if we could get it done.

Scheduling is, of course, a major headache for me. Although Pat and the artists negotiate the final schedules, I do, in practice, at this point maintain a big schedule book for each artist whom we manage. You know, somebody has to have the central copy. This means that Pat, the artists, and the event organizers are calling me all the time to verify the current situation and make changes to the schedule. Sometimes things get mixed up and we don’t get the latest changes to the central calendar (for example, an artist schedules a vacation and forgets to tell us—as you can understand, this can lead to a pretty difficult situation). It would be so wonderful to get a centralized calendar which both Pat and the artists could access; it is probably, however, better if Pat (and the other managers for the other artists, of course) was the only person in addition to me who had the right to change the calendar. Hmmm…I guess it would be good if the artists could block time out if they decide that they need if for personal purposes (they are not, however, allowed to book any performances without discussing it first with us).

One more thing: I would need to have something that would remind me of the upcoming changes in artist contracts. Every artist’s contract has to be renewed annually, and sometimes I forget to remind Pat to do this with the artist. Normally this is not a big deal, but occasionally we have had a situation where the lack of a valid contract led to unfortunate and unnecessary problems. It seems that we would need to maintain some type of list of the contracts with their start dates, end dates, royalty percentages, and simple notes related to each of the contracts.

This is a pretty hectic job, and I have not had time to get as good computer training as I would have wanted. I think I am still doing pretty well. It is very important that whatever you develop for us, it has to be easy to use because we are in such a hurry all the time and we cannot spend much time learning complex commands.

E-mail from Dale Dylan, Established Artist

Hi! I am Dale Dylan, a pianist from Austin, TX. I have achieved reasonable success during my career and I am very thankful that I have been able to work with Pat Smith and Mr. Forondo during the past five years. They have been very good at finding suitable performance opportunities for me, particularly after I won an international piano competition in Amsterdam a few years ago. Compared to some other people with whom I have worked, Pat is very conscientious and works hard for me.

During the recent months, FAME and its managers’ client base has grown quite a lot, and unfortunately. I have seen this in the service they have been able to provide to me. I know that Pat and Alex don’t mean any harm but it seems that they simply have too much to do, particularly in scheduling and get-ting my fees to me. Sometimes things seem to get lost pretty easily these days, and occasionally I have been waiting for my money for 2–3 months. This was never the case earlier but it has been pretty typical during the last year or so. Please don’t say anything to Pat or Alex about this; I don’t want to hurt their feelings, but it just simply seems that they have too much to do. Do you think your new system could help them?

What I would like to see in a new system—if you will develop one for them—are just simple facilities that would help them do even better what they have always done pretty well (except very recently): collecting money from the concert organizers and getting it to me fast (they are, after all, taking 20 percent of my money—at least they should get the rest of it to me quickly) and maintaining my schedule. I have either a laptop or at least my smartphone/iPad with me all the time while I am on the road, thus I certainly should be able to check my schedule on the Web. Now I always need to call Alex to get any last-minute changes. It seems pretty silly that Pat has to be in touch with Alex before any changes can be made to the calendar; I feel that I should be allowed to make my own changes. Naturally, I would always notify Pat about anything that changes (or maybe the system could do that for me). The calendar system should be able to give me at least a simple list of the coming events in the chronological order for any time period I want. Furthermore, I would like to be able to search for events using specific criteria (location, type, etc.).

In addition, we do, of course, get annual summaries from FAME regarding the fees we have earned, but it would be nice to have this information a bit more often. I don’t need it on paper but if I could access that information on the Web, it would be very, very good. It seems to me that Alex is doing a lot of work with these reports by hand; if you could help her with any of the routine work she is doing, I am sure she would be quite happy. Maybe then she and Pat would have more time for get-ting everything done as they always did earlier.

E-mail from Sandy Wallis, Event Organizer

I am Sandy Wallis, the executive director of the Greater Tri-State Area Concert Halls, and it has been a pleasure to have a good working relationship with Pat Smith at FAME for many years. Pat has provided me and my annual concert series several excellent artists per year, and I believe that our cooperation has a potential to continue into the foreseeable future. This does, however, require that Pat is able to continue to give me the best service in the industry during the years to come.

Our business is largely based on personal trust, and the most important aspect of our cooperation is that I can know that I can rely on the artists managed by Pat. I am not interested in the technology Pat is using, but it is important for us that practical matters such as billing and scheduling work smoothly and that technology does not prevent us from making decisions fast, if necessary. We don’t want to be billed for events that were cancelled and never rescheduled, and we are quite unhappy if we need to spend our time on these types of technicalities.

At times, we need a replacement artist to substitute for a musician who becomes ill or cancels for some other reason, and the faster we can get information about the availability of world-class performers in these situations, the better it is for us. Yes, we work in these situations directly with Pat, but we have seen that occasionally all the information required for fast decision making is not readily available, and this is something that is difficult for us to understand. We would like to be able to assume that Pat’s able assistant Alex should be able to give us information regarding the availability of a certain artist on a certain date on the phone without any problems. Couldn’t this information be available on the Web, too? Of course, we don’t want anybody to know in advance whom we have booked before we announce our annual program; therefore, security is very important for us.

I hope you understand that we run multiple venues but we definitely still want to be treated as one customer. With some agencies we have seen silly problems that have forced them to send us invoices with several different names and customer numbers, which does not make any sense from our perspective and causes practical problems with our systems.

Project Questions

2-59. Redo the enterprise data model you created in Chapter 1 to accommodate the information gleaned from Alex Martin, Dale Dylan, and Sandy Wallis’ e-mails.

2-60. Create an E-R diagram for FAME based on the enterprise data model you developed in 1-52. Clearly state any assumptions you made in developing the diagram.

2-61. Use the narratives in Chapter 1 and above to identify the typical outputs (reports and displays) the various stake-holders might want to retrieve from your database. Now, revisit the E-R diagram you created in 2-60 to ensure that your model has captured the information necessary to generate the outputs desired. Update your E-R diagram as necessary.

2-62. Prepare a list of questions that you have as a result of your E-R modeling efforts, and that need to be answered to clarify your understanding of FAME’s business rules and data requirements.

Needs help with similar assignment?

We are available 24x7 to deliver the best services and assignment ready within 3-4 hours? Order a custom-written, plagiarism-free paper

Get Answer Over WhatsApp Order Paper Now