Data Processing Methods:
Definition and Explanation:
Data must be processed in order to convert it into information. For this purpose, different operations may be performed on data. Therefore, data processing is defined as: "a sequence of operations on data to convert it into useful information".
The important operations that can be performed on data are:
- Arithmetic and logical operations.
- To transfer of data from one computer to another.
- Classification of data.
- Arranging data into a specific order etc.
The data processing can be accomplished through following methods:
1. Manual Data Processing
2. Mechanical Data Processing
3. Electronic Data Processing
1. Manual Data Processing:
In manual data processing, data is processed manually without using any machine or tool to get required results. In manual data processing, all the calculations and logical operations are performed manually on the data. Similarly, data is -transferred manually from one place to another. This method of data processing is very slow and errors may occur in the output. Mostly, is processed manually in many small business firms as well as government offices & institutions. In an educational institute, for example, marks sheets, fee receipts, and other financial calculations (or transactions) are performed by hand.
2. Mechanical Data Processing:
In mechanical data processing method, data is processed by using different devices like typewriters, mechanical printers or other mechanical devices. This method of data processing is faster and more accurate than manual data processing. Examination boards and printing press use mechanical data processing devices frequently.
3. Electronic Data Processing:
Electronic data processing is the modern technique to process data. The data is processed through computer; Data and set of instructions are given to the computer as input and the computer automatically processes the data according to the given set of instructions. The computer is also known as electronic data processing machine. This method of processing data is very fast and accurate. For example, in a computerized education environment results of students are prepared through computer; in banks, accounts of customers are maintained (or processed) through computers etc.