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ifsm-310-hardware-evaluation-report-detailed-instructions-mini-case-study

Mar 23

IFSM 310 Hardware Evaluation Report Detailed Instructions

Mini-Case Study
Upton, Martin, Ulysses, & Clapper (UMUC) is a medium-sized financial analysis firm
specializing in conducting independent economic and market assessments for banks,
insurance companies, mortgage lenders, and government regulatory agencies. UMUC also
provides independent verification and validation (IV&V) services for assessments and reports
that were developed internally by these entities. The firm is highly respected for its
unbiased, politics neutral, objective, accurate financial and economic products and services.
You are a Senior IT Specialist & Systems Analyst at UMUC. One of your responsibilities is to
identify and recommend computer equipment for technology refreshes and new initiatives.
The Senior Manager, Revolving Debt Analysis (RDA) has come to you because it is time for a
technology refresh and there is a new initiative to conduct more complex, national-level
analysis of credit card fraud, default, and write-off data. Specifically, banks, credit card
companies, and some law enforcement entities want to see if this analysis will assist in
targeting identity thieves.
The Senior Manager explains that RDA will need to refresh 35 desktop personal computers
(PC). The new PCs will need to run complex calculations based on statistical models that use
large amounts of data. Due to the unique nature of the datasets, data models, queries,
formulas and equations and the individuality of the financial analysts and economists (many
hold a PhD), the actual compute power needs to be in the desktop machine. Your task is to
assess and identify the hardware needed that will allow the financial analysts and
economists (collectively the users) to complete their work. The Senior Manager, RDA
provided a table of requirements (see below), which shows the activities and software the PC
hardware needs to support.

Table of Requirements
ID
RDA00
1
RDA00
2

Attribute
Windows 8.1 Professional (64bit)

Type
Software

Comments
Used as standard operating system

MS Office Professional Plus 2013

Software

RDA00
3

Adobe Acrobat X Suite

Software

RDA00
4

SAS 9.4

Software

Used to create documents, presentations,
complex workbooks/spreadsheets, and to
develop local datasets and databases. Daily
activities involve using:
Access
Excel
Word
PowerPoint
Outlook
OneNote
Publisher
Lync
Used to create PDF documents; combine
audio, video, and presentation slide; develop
media from multiple types of input; and
create interactive documents and
presentations.
Used for financial, fraud, and related data
analytics work.

WorkfileContents.docx

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IFSM 310 Hardware Evaluation Report Detailed Instructions

ID
RDA00
5

Attribute
MatLab R2014b

Type
Software

RDA00
6

Stata 13 (Stata/MP) for Windows

Software

RDA00
7
RDA00
8

R for Windows

Software

MS Outlook 2013

Software

RDA00
9
RDA01
0

McAfee Endpoint Protection –
Advanced Suite
Connect to network data marts,
data warehouse, databases, and
datasets
Participate in online, real time
conferences and training
Write complex queries to run
jobs and calculations on local
and server based datasets and
databases

Software

Create, edit, and manage audio
and video files
Import, edit and manage digital
photos
Create local datasets and
databases
Develop and manage complex
multi-media documents,
spreadsheets, and presentations
Consolidate complex multi-media
documents, spreadsheets, and
presentations to develop
interactive Web-based reports

Activity

RDA01
1
RDA01
2

RDA01
3
RDA01
4
RDA01
5
RDA01
6
RDA01
7

WorkfileContents.docx

Activity
Activity
Activity

Activity
Activity
Activity
Activity

Page 2 of 6

Comments
User for programming and algorithm
development, data analysis and
visualization, and numeric computations.
Used for forecast, multiple mixed-effect and
linear models, linear and non-linear
combinations, generalized predictions, and
statistical and data tests.
Used for data manipulation, calculation and
graphical display.
Used to connect with MS Exchange for
emails, calendar, contact lists, address
books, and reminders.
Used for antivirus, firewall, email and data
protection.
Analysts and economists need to conduct
data mining, compile and analyze data, and
produce complex reports.
Used for professional development and
gather information on market trends.
This is a regular and normal work activity for
this organization’s users.
Once started, some jobs may take hours to
complete.
This is a regular and normal work activity for
this organization’s users.
This is a regular and normal work activity for
this organization’s users.
This is a regular and normal work activity for
this organization’s users.
This is a regular and normal work activity for
this organization’s users.
This is a regular and normal work activity for
this organization’s users.

IFSM 310 Hardware Evaluation Report Detailed Instructions

The Assignment & Deliverable
This is an individual assignment. You must work on your own.
The assignment is to analyze the mini-case and table of requirements to assess and identify
the hardware needed that will allow the financial analysts and economists (collectively the
users) to complete their work. The focus must be on the internal hardware components
(motherboard, CPU, RAM, bus, hard drive, connectors & ports, etc.). Do not simply visit a
PC/Workstation manufacturer’s site (Dell, HP, etc.) and select a machine. This will not be
successful. You must identify each component; determine its size, capacity, speed, etc.; and
show how each requirement will be met.
The deliverable is an MS Word document based on the template embedded in this
document. The audience for the deliverable is the Senior Manager, RDA; other RDA
managers and supervisors; and selected RDA users. The expectation is RDA will be able use
the report and work with Procurement to develop a Request for Quotation (RFQ).
Here is what you need to do:
1. Click on icon to launch the template and save it to your desktop.

2. Please do not deviate from the formatting contained in the report template.
3. Follow the content instructions in the various sections of the document to complete
your work.
4. All narrative content must be single spaced, Arial 12 point.
5. All table content must be single spaced, Arial 10 point.
6. Review and use the Evaluation & Scoring Rubric below to ensure the report contains
an appropriate level of information.
7. External research and a References page are required.
a. You must use of at least three (3) external sources. This is in addition to any
course materials from assigned readings and videos.
b. You should use scholarly, vendor, and industry materials.
c. Do not simply copy and paste information from the Web or copy information
from the readings or other sources.
d. Provide the appropriate APA formatted citations on the References page to
avoid the perception of plagiarism. This includes citing all external sources
including the vendor Web sites, assigned readings and videos, the mini case,
and other sources, as appropriate.
e. Wiki sites such as Wikipedia and authorless sites/blogs are NOT acceptable
references.

WorkfileContents.docx

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IFSM 310 Hardware Evaluation Report Detailed Instructions

f.

If you are not familiar with the APA style and citations, there are also several
links under Webliography that can assist you.
g. MS Word has a Citations & Bibliography feature located under the References
tab. Select APA in the Style field and use the Manage Sources feature and MS
Word will properly format the citations for you. When ready use the
Bibliography drop down to insert citations.
h. At all costs, avoid any hint or perception of plagiarism.
8. Be sure to check for spelling, grammar and format errors prior to submitting the
report. These are all items that will be evaluated and scored.
9. Submit the report by the due date (See the Course Schedule) in MS Word format via
the appropriate assignment folder as an attached document with your last name, first
initial in the beginning of the filename. The filename should have the following
format: Last Name_First Intial_HWER (For example: Wilson_A_HWER).

WorkfileContents.docx

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IFSM 310 Hardware Evaluation Report Detailed Instructions

Evaluation & Scoring Rubric for the HWER
Attribute

Full points

Partial points

Background

Description of the organization;
explanation of the situation that
precipitated the report; and
demonstrates a sophisticated
understanding of mini case and
course and research materials.

Purpose of This
Report

The purpose is clearly explained and
shows why the report is being written.
The purpose is complete, uses
sophisticated writing, and correctly
relates to the mini case;
demonstrating a high level of
understanding of course concepts,
analysis, critical thinking, and
synthesis.
The explanation of the evaluation
method is complete, clearly
explained, uses sophisticated writing;
and correctly relates to the mini case
and course and research materials;
demonstrating a high level of
analysis, critical thinking, and
synthesis.

Evaluation
Methodology

Report Summary

Evaluation &
Recommendation
Matrix

The summary is complete, clearly
explains the recommended hardware
from a business perspective, uses
sophisticated writing, and correctly
relates to the mini case and course
and research materials;
demonstrating a high level of
analysis, critical thinking, and
synthesis.
The matrix content is complete and
goes beyond the standard internal
hardware components. The attributes
are clearly defined and the
justification and comments are
specific to the mini case. The
requirements satisfied are fully listed.
Sophisticated writing is evident and
demonstrates a high level of analysis,
critical thinking, and synthesis.

WorkfileContents.docx

No points

Possible
Points
2

Description of the organization
and explanation of the situation
that precipitated the report
somewhat clear or lacks
completeness; or does not fully
demonstrate an adequate
understanding of the mini case
or course and research
materials.
The purpose is partially
complete, somewhat explained
or may be somewhat related to
the mini case; or may not
demonstrate an adequate
understanding of course
concepts, analysis, critical
thinking, or synthesis.

Background
is not
included.

Purpose is
not included.

2

The explanation of the
evaluation method is partially
complete, may be somewhat
clearly explained or may
somewhat relate to the mini case
and course and research
materials; or may not
demonstrate an adequate
analysis, critical thinking, or
synthesis.
The summary is partially
complete, may be somewhat
clearly explained or may
somewhat correctly relate to the
mini case and course and
research materials; or may not
demonstrate an adequate level
of analysis, critical thinking, or
synthesis.
The matrix content is partially
complete and some key
hardware components are
missing. The attributes are
somewhat defined and the
justification and comments are
not specific to the mini case.
The requirements satisfied are
partially listed. The writing does
not demonstrate a high level of
analysis, critical thinking, and
synthesis.

Evaluation
Methodology
is not
included.

3

Summary is
not included.

3

Matrix is not
included.

6

Page 5 of 6

IFSM 310 Hardware Evaluation Report Detailed Instructions

Attribute

Full points

Partial points

No points

References

More than three (3) sources other
than the course required readings and
videos are incorporated and used
effectively, contextualized,
appropriately researched and
supported, and synthesized with
original arguments. Sources used are
credible, relevant, and timely.
References page and citations are
appropriately incorporated and cited
using the APA style.

No external
research is
incorporated.

Report Format,
Spelling, &
Grammar

The report reflects effective
organization and sophisticated
writing; correct structure, grammar,
and spelling; presented in a
professional format using the
accompanying MS Word report
template.

Three (3) or fewer sources other
than the course readings and
videos are used; may or may not
be properly incorporated or used
to support arguments; may rely
too heavily on the reporting of
external sources, and/or are not
effective or appropriate; and/or
are not credible, relevant, or
timely. References page and
citations are partially
incorporated or the APA style is
not used.
Report is not well organized or
may be somewhat clear and
concise; or contains grammatical
or spelling errors; or is not in the
accompanying MS Word report
template.

WorkfileContents.docx

Page 6 of 6

Report is
extremely
poorly written
and does not
convey the
requisite
information.
Total Points

Possible
Points
2

2

20

  

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