A2.Organizing Principles (Andronico's vs Amazon) - Rohan Salantry

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What principles are used in the Andronico organizing system?
Define each principle and provide a specific example of resources whose
organization follows it. (2 pts)

 Andronico is an organizing system with physical resources. The
system organizes physical resources under categories based on type of resource.
For example, one can expect to find an array of different brands of beer in the
beer section. The organizing principle here is organization based on the
resource having the property of being a type of beer.  The resources have been grouped together so
that they are easy to locate. The secondary resources or the surrogate
resources are labels that indicate the broad category of the physical resources
in the category. They indicate metadata about the primary physical resources.
More specifically, the metadata type here can be classified to be a physical
index as it gives away information about the physical position of the resources
involved. Some of the resources are also grouped based on the purpose they serve.
The resources may be different in physical properties but they contribute to
tasks which belong to the same logical set. Stationary category would be a good
example to explain this form of an organizing principle. Also, the categories
are placed in adjacent positions as they can be further grouped on having
similar properties or types of purpose they serve. The categories of dairy, ice-cream
and yoghurt are located close to each other and can be logically organized as
being product categories derived from milk. The second level of metadata
although not explicitly called out is intangible information users can realize
while navigating the store. The store also follows an organizing principle of
frequency of usage in determining the physical organizing of categories. We can
observe in the map that frequently bought categories like vegetables &
frozen foods or spirits are located closer to the entrance of the store and
might be required by a wider set of customers on a regular basis. The frequency
which indicates demand dictates the physical organizing principle of the
product categories. There is also a group of categories organized to serve
customers who are looking for ready to eat items in the store. The whole
category is organized separately and does not interfere with customer
shopping.  The organizing principle can
also be seen to be governed by the variety of items under each product category
and the physical space they require to be stored. For example , wine and
spirits come packed in glass bottles and might have different requirements for
the amount of space required for physical organization as opposed to flour and
sugar category might not have too much variety and does not fall into the
handle with care and expensive category. This might explain wine and spirits
being organized at the store entrance and being allocated more physical space
than most other categories. The organizing principle of physical “distance” two
categories based on their relevance to each other appears to be in play.  The meat section is located at the farthest
point from vegetables section as a vegetarian customer may be discomforted by
the sight at the meat counter. The wine and spirits section is close to the
Beer section.


What principles are used in the Amazon.com organizing
system? Define each principle (if you haven't already done so in part 1) and
provide a specific example of resources whose organization follows it. (2 pts)

The amazon.com organizing system is a combination of
physical and digital resources with digital surrogate resources organized as an
online catalog. For example, “Prime instant videos” might point to digital
videos that are current and most watched by individuals. The video would be a
digital resource presented to the user digitally through streaming or
downloading. The metadata presents itself as a category and tells us about the
unique feature of the group of videos under the category – that they are prime
and instant. The first level of grouping into categories appears to be based on
consumer interest in visiting different type of similar digital products. The
categories are grouped based on keywords that summarize key properties of all
the categories.  Amazon being a market
place, the organizing might be to have categories appear in the order of its
relevance to the user. For example, more users might be interested in prime
videos as compared to the “watch anywhere” category. The resources being
digital in nature might repeat themselves across categories but the categories
updated with latest videos are chosen to be put first. Also, as we move across
the page, we sort of travel from digital resources to physical resources. This
might be interpreted as “spatial” organizing principle also relating to the
English language which goes by the tendency of users of reading from left to
right. The categories are also numbered based on granularity required for the
user to differentiate products. The Electronics and Computers section is
systematically organized to call out difference between buying laptops and
buying computer parts and components. The organizing principle might be to
associate function of each category other than the properties shared by its
resources. A user with a laptop and looking for an upgrade in memory might
intuitively be directed to computer parts category where as a user looking for
a web cam might be directed to the accessories category. Both are separated by
the fundamental definition of an accessory and a component. The camera being an
addendum to a computer and a memory upgrade being a computer part added to an
already existing list of similar computer parts. The digital catalog is also
organized based on relevance of categories to each other. The Cloud Player is
followed by product categories for buying a Cloud drive where as the distance
between Instant videos and Sports and Outdoor category is the maximum.

Compare and contrast the principles behind the two
organizing systems? (3 pts)

In Andronico store, physical resources are being organized.
Physical organization is made such that the resources have been grouped
together as categories so that they are easy to find. In the amazon store, the
resources are both physical and digital in nature and they are being organized
based on the type or they might be of the same type provide service to a
different set of consumers. Andronico has a simple metadata structure that
would suggest the type of resource in the category.  The second level of metadata is intangible and
is open for user interpretation. This can be illustrated by ice-cream, yoghurt
and dairy placed adjacent to each other giving the second level of metadata as
products derived from milk. The second level of metadata is not exposed to the
user. Amazon has a higher level of abstraction and is represented by two levels
of metadata. The first level is the category which represents group of
resources. The second level of metadata is the key word based category which
summarizes the contents of the category inside it. This kind of organization
makes takes the top down generalization to specialization approach and is a
step more in terms of representation of metadata. Andronico store also follows
an organizing principle of frequency of usage in determining the physical
organizing of categories. The frequency of usage and cost of items dictates the
physical organizing principle of the product categories. Amazon has organized
its data beginning with digital resources and moving towards physical resources
with high profit category of electronics and computers represented in a much more
granular way using more number of categories to represent the resources. One
more core distinction between organizing principles of both systems would be Andronico
would not have overlap of resources given that there is one level of metadata
and that the metadata adequately represents the resource attributes. In amazon
however, the product categories are based on type of service to the user and
the products are digitally represented as a catalog. Hence, products might fall
into two categories at the same time. We can observe that Appliances category
is present in Electronics and Computers as well as Home Garden & Tools
category. The second level of description allows resources to have category

Restate the principles so as to make them more similar. Can
you take the principles from your previous level to such an abstract level that
they apply to both organizing systems? (2 pts)

The principles in Andronico and amazon organizing system can
be restated with a higher level of abstraction to make them more similar. The
organizing principle of organizing resources based on resource type is common
in both the organizing systems irrespective of resources being digital or
physical in nature. For example, all kinds of juices would fall into the juice
category and in amazon, all kinds of laptops could be found under laptop &
netbooks category. Both the organizing systems directly or indirectly further
group categories into the type of service the group provides. Andronico
performs physical organization based on frequency of use and monetary benefit
each product category has to offer. The organizing principle has wine and
spirits placed closest to the entrance of the store.  A similar pattern can be seen in Amazon store
where we can see an array of Kindles being represented as a separate category
which might be because proprietary products make more profit. Also, Electronics
and Computers section might be used by a higher amount of users and might be
profitable for amazon. The physical organization of the digital catalogue can
be attributed to factors such as proprietary products, frequency of buying and
profitable products, a trait observed in the physical organization at Andronico.
The physical organization of resources in Andronico and the way the categories
are represented in a digital catalog in Amazon also have some common basis. In
both Andronico and Amazon, the categories are arranged spatially considering
their relevance to each other. Olive Oil, Pasta sauce are nearby where as in
amazon, mp3 downloads are followed by categories for desktop and laptops.