Introduction to Data Processing


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In today’s class, we will be talking about the introduction to data processing. Enjoy the class!

Introduction to Data Processing

Data Processing

In this section, you shall learn about what is data and information; the difference between data and information. Attempt to distinguish between manual and electronic data processing.


The term data means any basic fact which may be input to some processing system. A processing system is one where computations, comparisons and general manipulation of data are done. The processing may be people or machine e.g. the computer.

Information, on the other hand, is the end – result of a processing system. The information is needed by management for decision making. The relationship between data and information is shown in the diagram below:

Data Processing 

What is data processing?

Data processing is the task of using a collection of basic facts to produce information, usually, it has no value in itself until it is subjected to analysis, validations and comparisons with other data produce a result (information), for example, a collection of weights of individuals do not turn useful information for decision making.

However, when the set of data is processed such as searching for an individual with a maximum or minimum weight or the weight of all concerned in the study, information is produced.

Management can decide based on each information to assign special duties to the fellow with the maximum or minimum weight. Other use could be made on such information depending upon the situation prevailing on the organization and their special needs.

Therefore, data processing is an operation on computer data which involves the entering, sorting, updating and retrieving of information using a computer.

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 describes the stages of data processing. It involves the following stages:

  • Data gathering
  • Data collation
  • Input stage
  • Processing stage
  • Storage stage
  • Output stage

The element of data processing;

Data Processing

Data is often required for various purposes. Even the same item of data may be used in a great variety of ways depending upon the user’s objectives.

Most data processing work may be viewed as consisting of data, processor and output. Usually, storage also features since both data and program instructions need to be stored.


  1. Differentiate between data and information
  2. Define data processing
Data processing activities

Data processing activities involve the following:

  1. Input: involves three steps; collection, verification/validation and coding
  2. Processing: involves classification, sorting, calculating, converting and storing
  3. Output: involve retrieving, converting and communication.
Input activity:
  • COLLECTION: involves gathering data from various sources and assembling it at one location.
  • VERIFICATION/VALIDATION: after data have been gathered, its accuracy and completeness must be checked. This is an important step that helps to eliminate the possibility of Garbage-In – Garbage-out(GIGO)
  • CODE: data must be converted into a machine-readable form so that it can be entered into the processing system. Entering data via a computer terminal and keyboard is one example of coding.
Processing activity:
  1. CLASSIFICATION: Classification involves categorizing data according to certain characteristics to make it meaningful to the user. For example, sales data can be grouped according to the salesperson, product type, customer or any other classification useful to management.
  2. SORT: This involves arranging the grouped data element into a predetermined sequence to facilitate processing. For example, an employee number can be last. Sorting can be done on numbers, letters, special characters or a combination of them. After it has been classified, data may be stored.
  3. CALCULATION: The arithmetical or logical manipulation of data is referred to as calculation. Examples include computation of students’ grade –point averages, customers’ bank balances and employee’s wages.
  4. SUMMARISE: reducing a large amount of data to a concise, usable form is called summarizing. The logical reduction of data is necessary to provide useful information.
  5. STORE: this involves the storing of data not immediately needed; data could be stored on a disk, tape or CD-ROM.
Output activity:

This involves retrieving data, printing data and data communication.

Importance of data processing

The art of management is increasing as our society becomes more competitive and more technologically advanced. The volume of data being generated is correspondingly increasing and becoming unmanageable. On the other hand, the need to make information available, timely and accurately is becoming more vital in the competitive world in which we have found ourselves. It is when a large volume of data is required to be processed speedily and accurately that Data Processing becomes indispensable.

General self-evaluation
  1. What is data processing?
  2. Describe a typical data processing cycle.
  3. Describe what is involved in each stage of data processing.
  4. Why is the computer a better tool for data processing?
  5. Discuss why data processing is important in a business organization.

Reading assignment

Data Processing For Senior Secondary School by Hiit.

Weekend assignment

  1. ……….is a basic fact that needs to undergo processing.
  2. information B. data C. output  D.  input
  3. The methodology of converting data into information is
  4. data and information B. data processing C. decision making D. None of the above
  5. The major reason for data processing is A. decision making B. conflict promotion
  6. information generation D. data manipulation
  7. In data processing, input activity involves    collection  B.  verification
  8. retrieving D.  all of the above.
  9. One of these is not data property
  10. presentation B. collection  C.  misuse  D.  accuracy


  1. What is data processing?
  2. Describe and explain a typical data processing cycle.


In our next class, we will be talking about the History of Computing.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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10 thoughts on “Introduction to Data Processing”

      1. Thank you very much………….
        It was really helpful
        I hope people we get to know this platform early and begin to learn from it..

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