Data Processing | Meaning, Properties, Cycle & Importance,

In this lesson, you will explore the concepts of data and information, discern the distinctions between them, and differentiate manual from electronic data processing.   Meaning of Data: Data refers to fundamental facts that can be input into a processing system, where computations, comparisons, and general data manipulation occur. This processing can be carried out […]

In this lesson, you will explore the concepts of data and information, discern the distinctions between them, and differentiate manual from electronic data processing.

 

Meaning of Data:

Data refers to fundamental facts that can be input into a processing system, where computations, comparisons, and general data manipulation occur. This processing can be carried out by either people or machines, such as computers.

 

Information:

Information is the result of a processing system, essential for decision-making by management. The diagram below illustrates the relationship between data and information.

 

Data Processing:

Data processing involves using a collection of basic facts to generate information. Initially, data may lack value until subjected to analysis, validation, and comparison with other data to produce meaningful results (information). For instance, a collection of individual weights only becomes useful information for decision-making after processing, like identifying the maximum or minimum weight. Data processing on a computer encompasses operations like entering, sorting, updating, and retrieving information.

 

Properties of Data:

  1. Collected/Captured
  2. Prepared
  3. Presented
  4. Precise
  5. Complete
  6. Accurate
  7. Purposeful
  8. Assigned

 

Data Processing Cycle:

The data processing cycle consists of the following stages:

  1. Data gathering
  2. Data collation
  3. Input stage
  4. Processing stage
  5. Storage stage
  6. Output stage

 

Elements of Data Processing:

Data processing involves data, processor, and output, with storage being a common feature since both data and program instructions need storage.

 

Data Processing Activities:

Input Activity:

  1. Collection: Gathering data from various sources and assembling it at one location.
  2. Verification/Validation: Checking the accuracy and completeness of gathered data to prevent Garbage-In – Garbage-Out (GIGO).
  3. Coding: Converting data into machine-readable form for entry into the processing system.

 

Processing Activity:

  1. a) Classification: Categorizing data based on certain characteristics.
  2. b) Sort: Arranging grouped data into a predetermined sequence for easier processing.
  3. c) Calculation: Arithmetical or logical manipulation of data.
  4. d) Summarize: Reducing large amounts of data to concise, usable forms.
  5. e) Store: Storing data not immediately needed on disk, tape, or CD-ROM.

 

Output Activity:

Retrieving data, printing data, and data communication.

 

Importance of Data Processing:

As society becomes more competitive and technologically advanced, the art of management is crucial. The increasing volume of data necessitates efficient and accurate data processing for timely and valuable information in the competitive world.

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