Data processing may or may not be distinguished from data conversion, when the process is merely to convert data to another format, and does not involve any data manipulation.
When the domain from which the data are harvested is a science or an engineering field, data processing and information systems are considered terms that are too broad and the more specialized term data analysis is typically used. This is a focus on the highly-specialized and highly-accurate algorithmic derivations and statistical calculations that are less often observed in the typical general business environment. In these contexts data analysis packages like DAP, gretl or PSPP are often used. This divergence of culture is exhibited in the typical numerical representations used in data processing versus numerical; data processing's measurements are typically represented by integers or by fixed-point or binary-coded decimal representations of numbers whereas the majority of data analysis's measurements are often represented by floating-point representation of rational numbers.
ProcessingBasically,data is nothing but unorganised facts and which can be converted into useful information.This process of converting facts to information is Processing. Practically all naturally occurring processes can be viewed as examples of data processing systems where "observable" information in the form of pressure, light, etc. are converted by human observers into electrical signals in the nervous system as the senses we recognize as touch, sound, and vision. Even the interaction of non-living systems may be viewed in this way as rudimentary information processing systems. Conventional usage of the terms data processing and information systems restricts their use to refer to the algorithmic derivations, logical deductions, and statistical calculations that recur perennially in general business environments, rather than in the more expansive sense of all conversions of real-world measurements into real-world information in, say, an organic biological system or even a scientific or engineering system.
Elements of data processingIn order to be processed by a computer, data needs first be converted into a machine readable format. Once data is in digital format, various procedures can be applied on the data to get useful information. Data processing may involve various processes, including:
- Data summarization
- Data aggregation
- Data validation
- Data tabulation
- Statistical analysis