What are data and information?

Data:

  • Raw facts and figures are called data. Data is used to perform a specific operation in an organization. It gives the status of past activities and enables us to make better decisions. It is an input for any system. Example: Data may be numerical like inventory figures, test scores, etc. Data may be non-numerical like your name and address.

Information:

  • Processed data is called Information.
  • It is usually the output of a process and is meaningful.
  • It can be reproduced again and again easily. Example: The grade of a student in a particular subject in a semester precisely gives the complete information of the performance of a student.
  • It can be reproduced again and again easily. Example: The grade of a student in a particular subject in a semester precisely gives the complete information of the performance of a student.

Operations:

  • Manipulation of data is called the action.
  • In the first step, data can be captured from any source.
  • Then operations are performed on that data.
  • After operations data become information.
  • To convert data into information software is used. Example: Addition of two numbers. Perform any sorting or searching.

Data processing activities:

  • Manipulation of data to achieve required objectives is called data processing.
  • Operations carried out on data to convert it into useful information is called data processing.
  • Data-processing activities can be divided into three categories.

Data capturing

  • Data must be given to the computer before processing.
  • Data can be given to the network in the font of text using a keyboard or in some other shape using some other input device.

Data manipulation

  • The process to perform various operations on data to change its appearance is called data manipulation.
  • Data can be manipulated in the following forms.

1. Classification

  • The classification includes the division of data in the form of different classes or groups.
  • After this different division codes are assigned to the data.
  • These codes can be numeric, alphabetic or alphanumeric. Example: Students in a college are divided into different sections, and the section name is the code of a particular group/class of students.

2. Calculations

  • Data can be calculated arithmetically or logically. Example: Addition of two numbers to find the total amount or comparing two numbers to see which one is. The larger.

3. Sorting

  • This involves an arrangement of data into a particular sequence to facilitate processing.
  • Arranged data can be in ascending or descending sequence. Example: For instance, sorting the bank’s deposits according to account no will speed up processing. Sorting can also be performed on names as well as numbers. The people attending the aerobics class can be stored alphabetically by last names.

4. Summarizing

  • A large amount of data can be reduced to a concise, usable form. Example: A top management report summarizing a company’s accounting data will help to determine its profit performance. Grades of all students in all classes can be synthesized by grade point average. It helps to find the list of those students who deserve a dean’s scholarship.

Managing the output results

Output data can be stored for future use or communicated somewhere for reproduction.

2. Storing and retrieval

  • Data can be stored on some storage device, e.g. disk, magnetic tape or microfilm. This stored data can be used in the future as per the requirement.

1. Communication and reproduction

  • Data can be communicated to one or more than one destinations at the same time.
  • To deliver or transfer from one place to another a copy of the data is made and then transmitted.

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