ART OF INFORMATION PROCESSING – CPMPREHENSIVE
Art of Information processing can be defined as a series of actions or operations that convert data into useful information. It is the act of gathering, manipulating, storing, retrieval and classifying recorded information. Art of information processing is the acquisition, recording, organisation, retrieval, display and dissemination of information. Data are most useful when well-presented and actually informative.
Table of Contents
PROCEDURE FOR INFORMATION PROCESSING
Information processing consists of those activities which are necessary to transform data into information.
These are tools devised to help in processing data such as pencil and paper, mechanical tools, such as filling cabinets, electromechanical tools such as adding machines and typewriter and electronic tools such as calculations and computer. Regardless to the type of equipment used. Various functions and activities which need to be performed for information processing can be grouped under the following.
- Collation of information
- Organisation of information
- Analysis of information
- Interpretation of information
- Communication of information
- Reproduction of information
COLLATION OF INFORMATION
Data organization either in the forms of some observations, interview, experiment or questionnaire, events transaction etc. These data are then recorded in some usable form. Data collation consists of the following processes.
- Scanning: This refers to the process of searching for information. It involves observation and looking for sources of information. The effectiveness of information processing depends to a large degree on strategies used for seeking information and resources available to conduct the search. Information Technology also performs the task of scanning.
- Selecting: This refers to what people actually decide to pay attention to as a source or sources of information. I.e. selecting of a source and using it for purpose of collecting information.
- Capture: This refers to obtaining information at the point of origin. This information processing task is performed by input computer technologies such as keyboard or a bar code reader. Eyes and ears can also capture information.
ORGANISATION OF INFORMATION
Once the information is collated, it can be organized based on different categories so that it can be meaningful to the user. Organization of information depends on purpose of information processing. This can be done under the following activities.
- Conversion: Data is converted from its source document to a form that is suitable for processing. The data is codified by assigning identification codes. A code comprises of numbers, letter, special characters or a combination e.g. 13 – A, 52p, etc. It is useful to codify data, when data requires classification of data, it is verified before processing starts.
- Sorting: This involves the arrangement of data items in a desired sequence. It is usually easier to work with data if it is arranged in a logical sequence.
ANALYSIS OF INFORMATION
Analysis is an integral part of information processing. Once data is collated and organized, it is ready for the manipulation function which converts data into information. These consist of the following activities.
- Calculating: This is arithmetic manipulation of data addition, subtraction; multiplication and division are some of the operations done in this stage.
- Summarizing: This is reducing masses of information to a more usable and concise form. E.g. one may summarize a lecture attended in one or two pages.
- Comparising: This is performing an evaluation in relation to some known measure e.g. a teacher compares the performance of students in 1st and 2ndA test.
INTERPRETATION OF INFORMATION
This interpretation involves the cognitive process of drawing a conclusion as to the meaning of information. This is a very subjective process performed by the user of the information. Information can be interpreted as positive or negative, reliable or unreliable, relevant or irrelevant, etc. The following activities may be carried out under interpretation.
- Storing: This is to hold data for continued or later use. The storage mechanism for data processing system is file cabinet in a manual system, and electronic devices such as magnetic tapes/disks in case of the computer-based system.
- Retrieving: This is to recover of find the stored data or information. Data whether in file cabinet or in computers can be retrieved.\
COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION
This is the process of sharing information. The information is worthless until it gets to the user. This involves the transfer of data and information produced by the information processing system to the prospective users.
REPRODUCTION OF INFORMATION
This is reproducing copies or duplicate of data or information. This can be done by hand or machine.