Contact Database

CITS was developed for the DTI as a Microsoft Access based system designed to manage communications (visits, meetings, mail, phonecalls) between the DTI and external contacts. If a DTI Officer is planning a meeting or visit, he/she can log it on CITS.

A list of the other other attendees can be accumulated by browsing and clicking in lists of DTI staff and of external contacts.

As the database is kept on a server, other staff can check out the event and request to join the meeting. This helps to avoid a familiar problem in large organisations, of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is up to!

CITS is also used to track in and out mail and phone calls. This means that the user can display and print a track record of any lengthy negotiation, by seeing the dates and types of communications with an individual or with a whole organisation.

CITS does not impose a strict hierarchical pattern. Contacts are initially categorised according to the organisation for which they work but people also can be associated with secondary organisations, and organisations can be inter-linked to cope with arrangements such as parent-child, guilds, or research collaborations. These linking arrangements are ideal for coping with the increasing pattern of smaller, sub-contract employment and inter-related networks of job affiliations. The user can exploit this web to find people related to people related to nauseum.

CITS provides various ancillary features:

  • CITS can print out a "pre-visit" report with basic information about any communications which lead up to a visit or meeting
  • CITS can hold separate data about every site maintained by the organisation
  • CITS stores "aliases", alternative names (eg. International Business Machines and I.B.M are aliases for IBM) - these help to provide a more free-form search process
  • CITS stores Standard Industry Classifications (SIC) codes for organisations
  • CITS stores basic information about financial issues, employees, etc.
  • CITS codes DTI staff according to their departmental affiliation. This enables users to look up, for example, all meetings where anyone from the XYZ section was involved, whether a representative of Acme Incorporated attended and who was the main sponsor of the meeting.
  • CITS provides a toolbar and continuous on-line "tooltips" hints about form control functions which change as the mouse pointer is moved around the screen.
Date: 1995

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