The Software Toolkit Approach for Public Administrators

The Software Toolkit Approach for Public Administrators

Anne Permaloff (Auburn University at Montgomery, USA) and Carl Grafton (Auburn University at Montgomery, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-87828-952-0.ch010


Almost any governmental task employing a computer can be accomplished more efficiently with a variety of tools rather than any single tool. Basic tools for inclusion in the software toolkit are word processing, spreadsheets, statistics, and database management programs. Beyond these, presentation graphics, optical character recognition (OCR), and scheduling software can be helpful depending upon the job at hand. This chapter concerns computer applications and information technology in government. It could have been organized by public administration task such as human resource management or budgeting, but each governmental function uses several software tools that are not unique to that function. Thus a human resource manager uses word processing software and probably a spreadsheet and a database management program. The same could be said of someone involved in budgeting. This example suggests that a tool kit approach that concentrates on software type is a more useful way to organize this subject matter. Topics covered in this chapter include: word processing and desktop publishing, spreadsheets, statistics packages, database management, presentation software, project planning software, graphics for illustrations, optical character recognition, network applications, and geographic information systems. Since most readers are likely to have substantial word processing experience, it would be unproductive to devote much space to word processing per se. The same applies to searching the Web. At the opposite extreme, Web page creation programs are too complex to discuss here. <BR>

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