Define data and information. Explain with examples.
Data: Data is a collection of facts, figures and statistics related to an object. An object can be a person. Event or anything about which data is gathered. Data can be processed to create useful information.
Data is a valuable asset for an organization. Data can be used by the managers to perform effective and successful operations of management. It provides a view of past activities related to the rise and fall of an organization. It also enables the user to make better decisions for future. Data is very useful for generating reports, graphs and statistics etc.
Example: Students fill an admission form when they get admission in college. The form consists of raw facts about the student. These raw facts are student’s name, father name, address etc. the purpose of collecting this data is to maintain the records of the students during their study period in the college.
Information: The processed data is called information. Information is meaningful, useful and organized. It is used for making decisions. Data is used as input for processing and information is the output of this processing.
Example: Data collected from census is used to generate different types of information. The government can use it to determine the literacy rate in the country. Government can use the information in important decisions to improve literacy rate.
Define data processing. What activities are involved in data processing? Discuss in detail.
The process of manipulating data to achieve the required objectives and results is called data processing. The software is used to process data. The software converts data into meaningful information. A series of actions or operations are performed on data to get the required output or result.
Activities in Data Processing
Different activities involved in data processing are as follows:
- Data capturing
- Data manipulation
- Managing output results
1. Data capturing
The process of recording the data in some from is called data capturing. Data is captured before it can be processed. Data may be recorded on source documents. Data can also be given directly to the computer through input devices.
2. Data manipulation
The process of applying different operations on data is called data manipulation. The following operations can be performed on data.
- Classifying: A process of organizing data into classes or groups is called classifying for example; the data in a college can be classified in two groups. The data of students may be in one group and data of teachers may be in second group.
- Calculation: a process of applying arithmetic operations on data is called calculation. The common calculations are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division etc.
- Sorting: the process of arranging data in a logical sequence is called sorting. The data can be sorted numerically or alphabetically.
- Summarizing: The process of reducing a large amount of data in a more concise and usable form is called summarizing. For example, people deposit mony in banks daily. The data of bank can be summarized to show the total money deposited in a particular mnth instead of showing all deposits.
3. Managing output result
The following activities can be performed on data after the data has been captured and manipulated:
- Storage: The process of retaining data for future use is called data storage. Different storage medium are used to store the data such as hard disks and tapes etc.
- Retrieval: The process of accessing or fetching the stored data is called data retrieval. The data can be retrieved as and when required. The retrieved data can be displayed in different forms such as reports, graphs and charts etc.
- Communication: the process of transferring data from one location to another is called data communication. The data may be transferred to different locations for further processing for example, the result can be sent to the students via email.
- Communication: the process of transferring data from one location to another is called data communication. The data may be transferred to different locations for further processing. For example, the result can be sent to the students via email.
- Reproduction: the process of copying or duplication data is called reproduction of data. Data can be reproduced if different users need data at different locations.