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The Points/Extra Credit Assignment

Here are the instructions for the optional assignment. It is worth "portfolio points" for MIS Majors and extra credit for everyone. The due date is May 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM. Since this is extra credit and optional, no late assignments will be accepted under any circumstances!

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Week 3 Question: Due February 9

Answer one of the following questions as a comment on this post.

Submit your contribution by 11:00 AM on Thursday, February 9. It should be insightful (don’t just repeat back facts from the class), but it doesn’t need to be more than a few sentences. Most of all, I want to know what you think!

  1. Trump Entertainment Resorts has a similar customer loyalty program as MGM. Imagine that the two casinos have discussed sharing customer data with each other. Executives at MGM are excited about gaining access to Trump’s extensive customer data, but they are unsure that it’s a good idea. What do you think? Why?
  2. Name one key difference (there are more than one) between an ERD and a schema. For your reference, either look at the posted solution to the in-class exercise or the Relational Modeling slides.

43 Responses to “Week 3 Question: Due February 9”

  • Ariel Johnson-Peredo:

    1. Trump Entertainment Resorts has a similar customer loyalty program as MGM. Imagine that the two casinos have discussed sharing customer data with each other. Executives at MGM are excited about gaining access to Trump’s extensive customer data, but they are unsure that it’s a good idea. What do you think? Why?

    MGM may be unsure and reluctant to use the data received from Trump Entertainment Resorts because the data may suggest that MGM should target non-gaming customers in the same way that gaming customers are targeted. There is a difference in the demographic, location, and choice behind visiting these two separate resorts. The data from Trump may suggest a specific trend or pattern that typically occurs only at the Trump Entertainment Resorts. If MGM gains access to the data and uses it to target or segment specific customers it may not work the same as it did at the Trump Entertainment Resorts. Also, if Trump’s data reflects that they are doing something poorly, they could use MGM’s info to capitalize on customers that they had forgotten about.

  • Question #1.

    I think that MGM executives would be unconfident to gain access with Trump Entertainment Resorts. This is because we are talking about the Trump Organization, not any fancy resorts. But if the MGM executives want to negotiate about accessing other customer data, then the obvious solution would not a good idea. Unless if the MGM executives would offer a deal, by letting the Trump Entertainment Resorts, to gain 80% from their investment. Besides, customers’ data is a collection of data that comes within the organization or casino. Therefore, sharing its own customer data, especially with another competitor, can probably be a risky strategy as well.

  • Paul Murray:

    #2 – Though schema and ERD both have similar as well as distinct characteristics there is one key difference that stands out. The ERD deals with the “analysis” process, while the schema deals with the “design” process. The analysis process deals with modeling the problem. The design process deals with modeling a solution.

  • #2
    The ERD Model lays out the instructions of the database management system and the schema shows the design of what is implemented in the database management system and how the data interacts with the different records.

  • If MGM uses Trump’s data it could impact MGM’s profit for many reasons. One of them is because Trump’s customers might have different behaviors than MGM’s customers. Thus, identifying or targeting potential Trump’s customers could be a waste of time and money because they might not be interested in MGM.

  • #2
    The key difference between ERD and schema is that ERD uses cardinality mapping the relationship between entities and its attribute, and schema shows their relationship by creating additional tables (join two tables together associating the primary key from tables).

  • 1) I don’t think it’s a good idea for MGM to access Trump’s extensive customer data. Although it would provide MGM with new ideas and it might help find some flaws with their own system by comparing it to Trump’s system, there is a big risk. If Trump’s extensive customer data was inaccurate, MGM risks redirecting its customer loyalty program on false facts, affecting profitability and losing customers. In addition to that, the fact that one company operates in Las Vegas and the other in Atlantic City doesn’t mean that in the future Trump’s Entertainment Resorts wouldn’t decide to open a casino/hotel in Las Vegas. In this case, Trump’s Entertainment Resorts is able to attract all MGM’s customers since it has all the data it needs.

  • Moses Kim:


    I think it is a good idea for MGM to exchange data with Trump because the amount of data that MGM currently has is limited. By exchanging data with Trump, MGM could potentially double the amount of customer data it has to work with. It is possible for MGM to learn different or potentially better data harvesting techniques from Trump as well. Also, by simply exchanging data with Trump, I believe that that is not enough information to give Trump a competitive advantage over MGM.

  • Kacper Rams:

    I think that MGM’s idea to share the customer loyalty data with Trump Entertainment Resorts will be beneficial for both parties. By sharing the information about customers both resort will be able to get access to the behaviors and gaming habits of more customers. Having more information about customers may lead (but does not have to) reevaluating the casino’s strategy or adjust it in such a way that will be most efficient and effective. The threat of sharing customer data with competition is very unlikely because of the geographical location, MGM operates in Las Vegas, and Trump Entertainment Resort in Atlantic City. By such a partnership MGM can maximize the use of data to improve its operations and maximize its profits.

  • #1
    I believe that it is a good idea for MGM to share the data, as they are in similar industries and it is not uncommon for companies in the same industry to share information. Although it is just customer data, it is still important to gather as much data available to have a large pool to pull information out of. By sharing information with each other both MGM and Trump Entertainment Resorts both have access to their customers information to better tailor their programs and offerings. It may even allow them to come up with ideas to pull customers they normally wouldn’t due to geographical influences.

  • Daniel Chang:

    #1 The idea of sharing customer data with each other is a double-edged sword. First off, this is a great way for MGM to increase its customer base by; bringing potential customers to MGM and tailor its discounts/offers to lure them in, and also see how accurate its marketing scheme works and how it can be refined with different customers. The downside on this exchange is that Trump Entertainment Resorts can now see MGM’s customer data and use it to their advantage; most obvious is creating more enticing discount/offers for MGM customers and take away its competition. Another downside of exchanging information is Trump Entertainment Resorts could possibly create a survey or poll on what MGM customers don’t like about MGM casino or what it would want to see, and create a casino with a greater target market knowing exactly what its customer wants.

  • 2.) The essential differences of both the erd’s and schemas can be seen through the cardinality mapping of each. Entities of the erd become tables, while the attributes of the erd become fields when transformed in schema viewing form. In addition, the relationships within the erd can be represented by tables.

  • Lauren Gallant:

    1. While MGM will receive the data on Trump, they will also be revealing their own data. MGM could give a casino that already has great power, even more. If MGM reveals their data to Trump, Trump can then do everything that MGM is already doing, but better. Likewise, MGM could see it as a way to do everything Trump does but better. I think it would be a better idea to continue to collect data on their customers and the patterns that emerge on the MGM’s floors rather than those that exist at Trump.

  • 1. Trump Entertainment Resorts has a similar customer loyalty program as MGM. Imagine that the two casinos have discussed sharing customer data with each other. Executives at MGM are excited about gaining access to Trump’s extensive customer data, but they are unsure that it’s a good idea. What do you think? Why?

    Although joining forces and sharing information between two powerhouse casinos creates a database that stretches internationally and encompasses nearly every person to pass through Las Vegas, the data gathered creates a need for massive organizational software in order to sort, search, and build valuable information pertaining to individual guests and gamers. Whereas MGM, as we’ve reviewed in class, focuses on filling the role of “mega-resort”, their profile building software may not be as accurate with the data received from Trump, whose business model or ‘ideal customer’ definition may alter from the MGM’s plans and programming.

  • 1) If MGM trades customer data with Trump then Trump will have access to all of the trends and habits of the MGM customers. Trump might be able to derive more pertinent and profit-yielding information, which could really hurt MGM’s revenue. If Trump is successful in creating useful information from MGM’s data, then Trump could steal many of MGM’s clients with better target marketing or comp incentives. However, if MGM is supremely confident in their ability to analyze and asses data then they might be able to gain a great deal of useful information from Trump. It could be detrimental or beneficial to MGM depending on what they do and what Trump does with the data

  • Question 2
    ERD and schema are both very important components of successful database. They both help us design the database easily and successfully. ERD is Entity Relationship Diagram, it is a graphical representation of the entities, attributes and relationships. Schema are the tables, and shows primary keys and foreign keys of the tables, the relationships of primary key and foreign key. We use ERD to make schema, so schema is built on ERD. Schema helps us write SQL statement to work with the database.

  • Sarah Tuchinsky:

    Question #1:

    Sharing data with Trump Entertainment Resorts could help MGM, but it also carries risks. Giving someone information about your business is never a good idea because they can steal your ideas and try to improve upon your practices. Trump’s data is also probably not similar to MGM’s data because the resorts are located in two completely different locations in different parts of the country. Customers at these resorts would not act the same and might have different preferences. It’s better for MGM to not share data with Trump Entertainment Resorts because the risks outweigh the benefits.

  • Question #1:
    I think it is good idea for two casinos to share customers data. Both casinos can have more customers information, and to analysts the information, in order to attract more customers. Sharing data also might help find MGM system weakness by comparing it to Trump’s system. They both can learn good strategies from each other. Gamers can earns their member points in different locations.

  • Colleen Weir:

    One key difference between an ERD and a schema is that an ERD defines the business scenario and is requirement-oriented, while a schema implements the business scenario in the database managment system and is functionality-oriented. An ERD and a schema represent the process of analysis and design.

  • Alexander Schwartz:

    Question #2

    ERDs and Schemas are both crucial aspects of database. An ERD is a graphical representation of the entities, attributes, and relationships that make up a database. An ERD models the “analysis process” of a database. On the other hand, a Schema is a map of tables and fields representing the database. The entities from an ERD become tables in the Schema; attributes become fields; and in some cases relationships can become their own additional tables. These tables combine the two entities in the which the relationship is connecting. (Ex: Customer-Order table). A Schema models the “design process” of a database.

  • Magen Sheeran:

    1) Trump Entertainment Resorts has a similar customer loyalty program as MGM. Imagine that the two casinos have discussed sharing customer data with each other. Executives at MGM are excited about gaining access to Trump’s extensive customer data, but they are unsure that it’s a good idea. What do you think? Why?

    I think there is certainly obvious benefits and risks associated with sharing customer data between the two resorts. Sharing data will allow both resorts to learn better techniques and strategies to attract customers and allow them to discover areas where improvement can be made based off the others strengths. However by sharing each others data, it does not really allow for one to have a competitive edge. Perhaps Trump has a significantly higher profit yield than MGM, MGM would try to discover what strategy is making them so profitable and try to implement the same practice. I think the fact that they are on complete opposite sides of the country definitely makes a difference for the array of customers for each also.

  • #2
    The schema is a map of the tables and fields that are implemented in the database management system. The ERD is a diagram indicating the entities, attributes and relationships using cardinality and is a part of the analysis process.

  • Question #2

    One key difference between an Entity Relationship Diagram and a Database Schema involves the methods by which relationships are desplayed. In an ERD, lines with cardinality indicators and diamonds are used to show links. These diamonds give some kind of description of the relationship (“assigned,” “provides,” and so on). While these descriptions are not as important as the cardinality, they do help the casual observer to understand the links between the different entities. In the schema, the diamonds are left out while the cardinality remains. Primary and foreign keys are added and, in some instances, a new table appears when many-to-many relationships are recorded. I believe that this makes the entity’s relationships to each other a little harder to understand (at least in this phase of my education).

  • Dehui Zeng:

    An ERD is a diagram that illustrates the relationship of the entities in a database. A schema diagram is a diagram that show the structure of the data in a database. The key difference between the two is that the “relationship” in an ERD is represented by an associative table in an schema. An schema is more like an actual database. It shows how a database will be designed and how each entity (table) will link together.

  • Cathryn Zimmerman:

    Customer relationship management is the core component that sustains casinos throughout Atlantic City. Most regular gamblers typically have a preferred casino over another because they know that their frequently visited casino is going to treat them as the valuable customer they are. MGM and Trump sharing information is beneficial in the fact that they could share methods for extracting customer information and maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. This could be detrimental because sharing information about their customers will reveal who is spending the most money and this could then become a “war of the whales”. If they know they have this potential customer spending thousands of dollars down the street, then its only going to be their inclination to try and steal them. Now, stealing them would be that much easier because they could match their competitor in an effort to do so.

  • # 1 Answer: In a way I think it may be a good idea from a business standpoint because since Donald Trump has been around for a long time that the data applicable will be effective for the business. But then again, I think that business should not just automatically share consumer’s information because it’s a violation of privacy. So it depends on what is considered more ethical vs. unethical decision to make for the business to start out and gain trust from their consumers.
    # 2 Answer: As a database schema, it’s part of the “design” process and as a ERD it is part of the “analysis” process.

  • Daniel Van Norton:

    Question 1

    MGM should be cautious of exchanging customer data with Trump. One of the biggest risk is having Trump use MGM’s data to improve their own business with their gaming and non-gaming activity. This could directly impact the customers and financial strength of the MGM. Other factors such as location of the two casinos and inaccuracy in the data may affect how useful it can actually end up being. MGM would have to be sure that the data they are receiving will have beneficial results before they apply to it their daily operations.

  • Samantha Roshannon:

    When someone is asked to create a database, there are two processes that need to be fulfilled. First, a systems analysis must be conducted. This involves an analysis of the systems and the interactions within those systems. The second step is the systems design. This is the process of defining the hardware and software architectures, components and data for a computer system to satisfy specified requirements. The main difference between the ERD model and the schema is that the ERD model is part of the systems analysis and the schema is part of the systems design. The ERD model must come first in order for the schema to be designed. Also, the structure of the two figures is completely different. The ERD is a model consists of entities, relationships and attributes. They are represented by a rectangle, diamond, or oval. Finally, they are connected using the crows feet notation. On the other hand, the schema is constructed using tables. Each component has its own table. If there is a relationship between two components, a new table is formed for that relationship.

  • 1) Sharing customer data will be beneficial for both MGM and Trump Entertainment Resorts. The extent of the benefits received will certainly determine the value of this proposed collaboration. Both operate in the same industry but with two different customer bases. To protect internal data, it may be a safer decision to invest more in external research to gather similar data. MGM has tried to bring its casinos to Atlantic City before and they once owned half of The Borgata so they have had access to sufficient information on the Atlantic City customer base. It would not be significantly beneficial for MGM to acquire Trump’s data unless they are planning on establishing themselves in the Atlantic City casino industry, again. It which case, due to their past legal issues with each other, it would not be wise to allow each other access to information which can potentially provide one company with a greater competitive advantage over the other.

  • Cui Zhong:

    The schema is the actual database,it present the data in a standard framework that allows for high -performance access. The ERD is just a diagram indicating abstract concepts.The basic different is ERD will have logical and physical model. Schema will have only physical model. Furthermore,ERD is used for normalizing the database design. Schema is used for de-normalizing the database design.

  • Joseph Musumeci:

    #1. There are a few reasons why I think MGM might not think its a good idea. First, they may end up helping out Trump more than he helps them. They don’t know how his database is set up and it may be poorly done. They would therefore not be able to get much out of it,but would be helping him out a lot by showing the potential of a database. Also, they are helping him possibly steal their customers. On the same note, MGM is given the same opportunity but it is still a risk as to how it would turn out.

  • 1. Trump Entertainment Resorts has a similar customer loyalty program as MGM. Imagine that the two casinos have discussed sharing customer data with each other. Executives at MGM are excited about gaining access to Trump’s extensive customer data, but they are unsure that it’s a good idea. What do you think? Why?

    By exchanging customer data, MGM may be exposing the successful techniques that they have used in the past to lure in customers for their gaming and entertainment business. Although having access to a new database of potential customers, MGM must also weigh the risks involved with sharing THEIR data. As Magen mentioned above, it could result in losing a competitive advantage in their primary business goal: getting people to come in and gamble. It’s not necessarily a bad idea to share the data from an analytic standpoint, but caution must be taken from a business standpoint. The decision could either hurt MGM by losing customers to Trump, or help MGM by expanding their customer base from Trump’s database.

  • Tessa West:

    QUESTION 2 -One key difference between an ERD and a schema is in a schema the entities can be combined into one column unlike in an ERD. In a ERD, entities can connect to one another through key phrases(relationships). Also, in a schema entities become tables, attributes become fields and relationships can become an entity/table.

  • 1. While sharing information with Trump Resorts could result in financial success for MGM, it seems like too great a risk for them to go through with the offer. The data they acquire could prove to be irrelevant for many reasons. MGM and Trump Resorts may have different target markets, as we already know that MGM acquires a majority of its revenues from non-gaming activities. Also, the regions in which both companies have locations could be a factor, and thus render parts of the data useless. Another reason why this is a risky venture, is that by analyzing MGM’s data, Trump could assess what draws consumers to MGM and use this to steal a portion of their market share. MGM could of course take the same action towards Trump, but in the end it will come down to a race to see which company can attract the other’s customers first. The risks involved in a venture like this, with two competing companies, just seems too great to warrant the sharing of customer data.

  • An entity-relationship diagram is a data modeling technique that creates a graphical representation of the entities, and the relationships between entities, within an information system. A schema is a cognitive framework or concept that helps organize and interpret information. Schemas can be useful, because they allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting a vast amount of information. In short, the schema is the actual database while the ERD is just a diagram indicating abstract concepts.

  • Question 1.
    I think that is would be a good idea to share the information between the two casino’s because they will have a better understanding of what type of marketing schemes that work to draw in different types of customers from the customer base. Yes it might be a waste of time and money because the two casinos have different types of loyal customers. But at the same time the company wants to grow, and this will be a huge advantage for both casino’s to jump on.

  • Question 1.

    If Trump and MGM decide that they are catering to the same target market it could be beneficial to both parties to have access to eachother’s customer information. There is also a risk involved for both parties because they may be able to analyze customer’s behavior in relation to certain promotional activities pursued by the casino. This is a good situation for the consumer because it would probably spark greater competition but the casinos could be giving up more information than they realize. Also, one casino may have a much better database of customer activity than the other, making the deal lopsided in favor of the less developed customer database.

  • Stephen Johnson:

    #1 Trump and MGM sharing customer data would be very beneficial for MGM. MGM is a casino resort. They have hotel rooms which are a way to keep people in their resorts closer to the gambling action. If MGM had access to Trump’s customer data, it could potentially encounter opportunities to lure Whales and High Rollers into their casino by understanding what type of rooms and amenities that they prefer.

  • Question 2:
    ERD serves similar purpose as schema does; however, the primary difference between the two is that ERD visually shows the relationship between entities and attributes using the three key elements –entity, relationship, and attribute. ERD is a “readable” map. A schema is a map of tables and fields in the database, where relationships between the two are presented in additional tables. Schema is not as “readable “as ERD is, it rather shows what is implemented in database system.

  • Nicholas Nendel:

    1. I don’t really see the benefit to sharing information. As competitors, the two casino enterprises are trying to “steal” the other companies customers. If data on customer tendencies is desired, I believe you would be able to find out some of that data just as the general public could. Regional stats and company incomes may be available to anyone. I believe a good idea for a competing casino would be to go undercover in that casino. Play the games, use the services, and talk to other patrons. That way you can get an idea of the other company without having to share your valuable information to get it.

  • Cierra Cole:


    Both ERD and schema are important aspects in a database both showing how the data can be used. The difference of the ERD is that it uses cardinality and shows the entities, relationships, and attributes of a business. By using cardinality it can show a business what type of relationship possibility (1-to-many, zero-to-many, or many-to-many) two entities can have with one another so a business can know what to expect. And as far as a schema it shows everything in a more organized manor that is easier for everyone to understand. It takes every entity and makes it into a table, then it takes every attribute and makes it into fields in side of the table, and then the relationships connects to the next table. Basically without the ERD we would not have the schema because the ERD is almost like a rough draft of a database before it is implemented.

  • Stephne D. Cullen:

    Question 1

    I think that if MGM had Trump as a client and also had his extensive list of friends then in the long run that casino and its brother and sister casinos will make alot of money in the long run. Theu would most likely be classified as a “whale” which is someone with alot of money that is more than willing to spend it at the casinos. They would get alot of free things when they got there but they would be more inclined to spend more money at the casino, restaurents, shows and other possible event.

  • Question 1

    I think this is a good idea for MGM because this would mean they have access to more customer data. This could result in a better understanding of customer behavior for MGM. According to the article, MGM wants to expand its source of profit not just from gaming but other areas as well. Gaining access to Trump’s customer database could give them valuable information in order to achieve that goal.

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