Source Data Automation (Getting closer to the action):
Data Entry Trend Going Direct:
The trend in data entry has been toward decreasing the number of transcription steps. This is accomplished by entering the data as close to the source as possible. For example, in most sales departments, salespeople key in order directly to the system. In many accounting departments, bookkeepers and accountants record and enter financial transactions in to the system from their PC or VDT keyboard. However, in many data entry situations, key entry transcription can be eliminated totally. This is known as source data automation.
Until recently, data entry has been identical with keystrokes. The keystroke will continue to be the basics mode of data entry for the foreseeable future, but the need for key driven data entry has been eliminated in many applications. For example, you have probably noticed the preprinted bar codes on grocery products. At supermarket checkout counters these bar codes have eliminated the need for most key entry. Checkers need only pass the product over the laser scanner. The price is entered and the shelf inventory is updated as well. Data entry is an area in which enormous potential exists for increases in productivity. The technology of data entry devices is constantly changing. New and improved methods of transcribing raw data are being invented and put on the market each month. These data entry methods and associated devices are discussed.
- They are able to enter data directly into the processor, intermediate data recording is not required.
- They may be located at or near the data source and this can be faraway from the processor.
- They create direct and interactive relationship between people and computers.
Scanners: Making Hard Copy Soft:
Scanner are basically input devices that are capable of recognizing marks or characters. Thus they are used for direct data entry into the computer system. The following are the characteristics.
- They eliminated some of the duplication of human effort required to get data into the computer. Human beings do not have to key the data.
- The reduction in human intervention improves accuracy and timeliness of the information processed.
- Since scanner are direct data entry devices to they demand high quality of input documents. Documents that are poorly typed or have strikeovers or removals are normally rejected.
- With these devices, form design and ink specification may become more critical then is the case when people key the data form the forms.
- Most of these devices are not economically feasible unless the daily volume of transactions is relatively
The two major types of scanner are optical scanners and magnetic-ink character recognition devices.
i. Optical Scanners:
As the name implies, the technique used in these devices for the recognition of marks/character is involves a light source and light sensors. These devices are capable of interpreting handmade marks and characters, machines printed characters, and special bar code. Thus the common optical scanner devices are:
- Optional mark recognition (OMR)
- Optical character recognition (OCR)
- Image processing
- Bar-code readers
(a). Optical Mark Recognition (OMR):
These scanner are capable for recognizing a pre-specified type of mark made by pencil or pen. for example many student might have appeared in objective type testes like PPT or medical test, where they had to mark their answers to questions on a special test-scoring sheet by darkening a square or circular apace by a pencil to indicate their correct choice out of the various alternatives. These answers sheets are directly fed to a computer for grading with the use of an optical mark reader. The use of OMR is not limited to the grading of objective type tests. In fact, any input data that is of a choice or selection nature can be recorded for OMR input.
Who is responsible for introducing the concept of stored program?
a. Blase Pascal
b. John Von Neumann
c. Herman Hollerith
d. Charles Babbage
The binary equivalent of decimal 4 is:
The actual technique used by an OMR device for recognition of marks involves focusing on the page being scanned and detecting the reflected light pattern from the marks. pencil marks made with a soft lead pencil (high graphite content) will reflect the light.
(b). Optical Character Recognition:
these scanner devices are capable of detecting alphabetic and numeric characters printed on page. these characters may be either typewritten or handwritten. In case of handwritten characters, special care has to be taken to ensure that the characters are of standard size, lines making up the character are connected, and no stylish loops etc. A wide range of fonts, using ordinary links, can now be accepted by OCR devices. Some OCR devices can also accept computer print-out and complete pages of typed text.
OCR devices examine each character as if it were made up of a collection of pixel. Once the whole character has been scanned, it is compared with the standard fonts the machine has been programmed to recognize. Whichever pattern it matches, or nearly matches, is considered to be the character read. If the scanned character does not matches satisfactorily with any of the fonts, it is rejected.
OCR devices are expensive and are used only for large-volume processing applications. For example, the computer-printed bolls sent to costumers by many public utilities, credit card companies, and other business, are prepared with character that can be read by OCR devices. When costumers make their monthly payments, they are instructed to return the bill or a payment with their checks. These documents are then entered directly into optical readers to update accounts-receivable records. Little or no human keying is needed. Other large volume applications of OCR devices include the reading of passenger tickets and freight bills by airlines, and the processing of social security forms and motor vehicles registrations by governments.
Image scanners allows direct entry of graphic information, as well as text-based information, via scanners. An image scanner uses laser technology to scan and digitize an image. The hardcopy image is scanned and translated into an electronic format that can be interpreted by and stored on computers. The image to be scanned can be a photograph, a drying, an insurance form, a medical record, anything that can be digitized. Once an image has been digitized and entered to the computer system, it can be retrieved, displayed, altered, merged with text, stored, sent via data communications to one or several remote computers, and even fixed. This application, known as image processing, is experiencing rapid growth. As a result, image scanners may become a must-have peripheral in most offices.
Image Processing: eliminating the paper pile: Companies and even individuals are becoming buried in paper, literally. In some organizations, paper files take up most of the floor space. Moreover, finding what you want may take several minutes to hours. Or, you may never find what you want. Image processing applications scan and index thousands, even millions, of documents. Once these scanned documents are on the computer system they can be easily retrieved and manipulated. For example, banks use image processing to archive canceled checks and to archive documents associated with mortgage loan servicing. Insurance companies use image processing in claims processing applications.
Images are scanned into a digital format that can be stored on disk, often optical laser disk because of its huge capacity. For example, decade's worth of hospital medical records can be reduced to optical laser disks that fit easily on a single shelf. The images are organized so they can be retrieved in seconds rather than minutes or hours. Medical personals who wish a hard copy can simply print the image (in a couple of seconds).
The real beauty of image processing is that the material on digitized images can be easily manipulated. For example, any image can be easily faxed (without being printed) to another locations. A fax is sent and received as an image. The content on the fax or any image can be manipulated. OCR software can be used to translate any printed text on the image to an electronic format. For example, a doctor might wish to pull selected printed text from various patient image into a word processing document to compile a summary of a patient's condition. The doctor can even select specific graphic image (X-rays, photos, or drawing) from the patient's records for inclusion in the summary report.
(d). Bar-code Readers:
Data coded in the form of light and dark lines or bars are known as bar codes. Bar-codes are used particularly by the retail trade for labeling goods and by supermarkets for labeling shelves and in stock control. They are also used for numbering books in public libraries so that when a book is borrowed or returned, it can be recorded using a computer. Bar-code reader is a device used for reading (decoding) bar-coded data. Bar-code reading is performed by a laser beam scanner which is linked to the computer. The laser beam is stroked across the pattern of bits that is recorded as the input data.
ii. Magnetic-Ink Character Recognition: Banking Exclusive
Magnetic-ink character recognition (MICR) is similar to optical character recognition and is used exclusively by the banking industry. MICR readers are used to read and sort cheques and deposits. You probably have notice the bank number, the account number, and check number in coded in all your cheques. The date of the transaction is automatically recorded for all checks processed that day; therefore, only the amount must be keyed in on an MICR writer. The MICR reader-sorter reads the data on the cheques and sorts the cheques for distribution to other banks and costumers or for further processing. Magnetic-ink character-recognition devices are faster and more accurate than OCR scanners. The special magnetic characters permit speeds that banks need to sort and process more than 500 million cheques each day.
b. Magnetic Strips and Smart Cards:
The magnetic strips on the back of charge cards and badges offer another means of data entry at the source. The magnetic strips are encoded with data appropriate for the application. For example, your account number and privacy cod are encoded on a card for automatic teller machines.
Magnetic strips contain much more date per unit of space than do printed characters or bar codes. Moreover, because they cannot be read visually, they are perfect for storing confidential data, such as a privacy codes, Employee cards and security badges often contain authorization data for access to physically secured areas, such as the computer center. To gain access, an employee inserts a card or badge into a badge reader. This device reads and checks the authorization code before permitting the individual to enter a secured area. When badge readers are linked to a central computer, a chronological log of people entering or leaving secured areas can be maintained.
The enhanced version of cards with a magnetic strip is called the smart card. The smart card, similar in appearance to other cards, contains a microprocessor that retains certain security and personal data in its memory at all times. Because the smart card can hold more information, has some processing capability, and is almost impossible to duplicate, smart cards may soon replace cards with magnetic strips. Examples are credit card, magnetic access passes, telephone cards, and ATM machine cards.