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c 

 are plain facts. When data are processed, organized, structured or presented in a given context so as
to make them useful, they are called 
 .

 is raw material for data processing. Data relates to fact, event and transactions.


 is data that has been processed in such a way as to be meaningful to the person who receives
it. It is anything that is communicated.

For example, consider the following:- ³Amal´, ³65´, ³Y´, ³Kerala´, ³M´. They do not convey any
meaning except that of a few English words/ alphabets, a number and the name of a State. But the same
data are arranged as given below, and then it would be information, ie, ³the person name Amal is aged 65
years, he is married and lives in Karnataka.

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Information is:

ë £rocessed data

ë It has a form

ë It is meaningful to the recipient

ë It has a value

ë It is useful in current or prospective decisions or actions.



    


 

ë Data are facts but information, though based on data, is not fact.

ë Though information arises from data, all data do not become information.

ë Data are the result of routine recording of events and activities taking place. Generation of
information is user driven which is not always automatic.

ë Data are independent of users whereas information is user dependent.

ë Data is the lowest level of knowledge and information is the second level.

ë Data by itself alone is not significant. Information is significant by itself.



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The information produced from the raw data should have certain qualities or attributes. These are to be,

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The information must be accurate. Accuracy is the ratio of correct information to the total amount
of information produced over a period. If 1000 items of information are produced and 920 of
these give a correct report of actual situation, then accuracy is .92.

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It is another important characteristic. Information must be available at the correct time. Even if
the information is highly accurate it is of less use if arrived late.

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Information provided must be complete, to be meaningful for its users. Completeness means, a
better integration of related facts. Incomplete information will not help us to make decisions.

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There is a tendency to provide large volume of information. This becomes difficult to understand
and interpret. Conciseness means that information must be as brief as possible.

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Value of information relates to how effectively it is used- how it contributes to human action and
decision making. The various utility factors that facilitate use of information are-

1.    - The form in which information is presented must match the requirements of user.
Information can be presented in various forms such as graphs, tabular reports, plain text and so
on. A business manager might appreciate a graphical presentation of marketing achievements
rather than a plain text of figures. A graph would convey the trend mush more clearly than
specific value.

2.    - Information must be made available when it is needed. Information, which is


available too early or too late, cannot be effectively used.

3. £  ± The value of information increases as it becomes easily accessible. The storage
media and accessing mechanism must be carefully chosen , so that relevant information can be
made available quickly and with little effort.

4. c  ± It means the decision making potential of information. Value of information is
greatest if it helps the decision maker, make an effective decision at the right time with minimum
cost, time and effort.


 
Based upon its intrinsic nature and organizational use information can be classified in to two.

1) £   
 - It cuts across all organizational divisions and provides
information about a few divisions or the entire organizations.

2) ü   
 - it relates to functions or divisions or such small area of
responsibility.

Based on who uses it and what impact its use produces in the organization, planning information
can be classified into three.

a) _  
 - It contains information about population changes, natural
resources, new technologies, new products, competitors, political, legal and economic
changes, and so on. It is required by the top level management for long term planning.

b) 
 ± It is required for short term planning by middle-level managers,
sales analysis and forecasts, cash flow projections etc. are examples of tactical
information. It impact is short term and affects only a department etc.

c)    


 ± It relates to short period that may be a few hours to a few
weeks. It may be about current stock levels, work schedule for next shifts etc. The
information can be generated from current actively data arising from internal sources.

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Based on the source of information, it can be classified into external and internal.

External information originates from outside of the organization. Internal information originates
from the inside of organization.

    


 

Based on the information¶s flow within an organization it can be classified in to vertical


and horizontal information up or down the organization hierarchy is called vertical flow of
information.

When information flows from peer to peer at the same level, the flow is called horizontal.

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Data processing is the act of handling or manipulating data in some fashion. Regardless
of the activities involved in it, processing tries to assign meaning to data. Thus, the ultimate goal
of processing is to transform data into information. Data processing is the process through which
facts and figures are collected, assigned meaning, communicated to others and retained for future
use. Hence we can define data processing as a series of actions or operations that converts data
into useful information. We use the term 'data processing system' to include the resources that
are used to accomplish the processing of data.

ü      is any process that uses a computer program to enter data and
summarize, analyze or otherwise convert data into usable information.

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Data processing consists of three basic activities: Capturing of input data, Manipulating the data and
managing the output results.

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The procedure of recording the data in some form is called data capturing. Data is
captured before it can be processed. Data may be recorded on source documents. Data can
also be given directly to the computer through input devices.

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The process of applying different operations on data is called data manipulation. The
following operations can be performed on data.

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The process of organizing data into classes or group is called classifying.

ë ü  
The method of applying arithmetic operations on data is called calculations.

ë _  
The process by which data is arranged in a logical sequence is called sorting.

ë _   
The reducing of large amount of data in a more concise and usable form is called
summarizing.

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Following activities are involved in data managing output result

ë _ 
Retaining data for future use is called data storage.
ë  
Accessing or fetching the stored data is called retrieval of data.

ë ü  
The transferring of data from one location to another location is called
communication.

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Copying or duplicating data is called reproduction of data.

Classify Sorting Summar


ing izing

Data
storing Output

Data Commu
Input nication
Reprodu
ction

Business data processing is a major application of computers. In business data processing huge
quantity of data forms input and the processing results in collapsing the data into a small
quantity of meaningful information to users. Such data processing systems need the facility to
handle a number of files simultaneously for input- output operations.

The series of   ,  ,  , and   activities is very often called the 
 
  .

_ 
Information processing cycle of computer can be well described by the following points: (1)
input, (2) £   (3) output and (4) storage

1.   -entering data into the computer


2. £  -performing operations on the data.
3.   -presenting the results.
4. _ -saving data, programs, or output for future use.

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is collection of related data, having valid and implicit meaning and is designed
to meet the information need of an organization.

A       consists of programs that enables users to create and
maintain a database. The DBMS is hence a general- purpose software system that facilitates
the processes of 
                 databases among
various users and applications.

  
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   a database involves specifying the data types, structures, and constraints for the
data to be stored in the database.
ü    the database is the process of storing the itself on some storage medium that is
controlled by the DBMS.
Ä    a database includes such functions as querying the database to retrieve
specific data, updating the database to reflect changes in the mini world, and generating
reports from the data.
_    the database allows multiple users and programs to access the database
concurrently.

Other important functions provided by the DBMS include à  the database and
j  it over a longer period of time.
£rotection includes both system protection against hardware or software malfunction, and
security protection against unauthorized or malicious access. A typical large database may
have a life cycle of many years, so the DBMS must be able to maintain the database system
by allowing the system to evolve as requirements change over time.

The database and DBMS software together is called as  .





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The people whose jobs involve the day-to-day use of large database is known as
³actors on the screen´.

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One of the main reason for using DBMSs is to have central control of both the data and
the programs that access those data. The person who has such central control over the system
is called the @    @   (DBA).

In a database environment system, the primary resource is the DBMS and related
software. Administrating these resource is the responsibility of the database administrator
(DBA). The DBA is responsible for authorizing access to the database, for co-coordinating
and monitoring its use, and for acquiring software and hardware resources as needed. The
DBA is accountable for problems such as lack of security or poor system response time.

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Database designers are responsible for the data to be stored in the database and for
choosing appropriate structures to represent and store this data. These tasks are mostly
undertaken before the database is actually implemented and populated with data. It is the
responsibility of database designers to communicate with all prospective database users in order
to understand their requirements.

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End users are the people whose job requires access to the database for querying, updating, and
retrieving reports; the database primarily exists for their use. There are several categories of end
users.
ë ü      occasionally access the database, but they may need different
information each time. They use a sophisticated database query language to specify their
requests and are typically middle/ or high- level managers or other occasional browsers.
ë "        make up a sizable portion of database end users. Their
main job function revolves around constantly querying and updating the database, using
standard type of queries and updates ± called canned transactions- that have been
carefully programmed and tested. The tasks that such users perform are varied.
ë _      include engineers, scientists, business analysts, and others who ,
simulation, and test data generation. In many cases, applications to meet their complex
requirements.
ë _     maintain personal databases by using ready-made program packages
that provide easy-to-use menu-based or graphics-based interfaces.

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Workers behind the scene are those who work to maintain the database system environment but
who are not actively interested in the database itself. The categories are as follows:
ë DBMS         
ë          

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A database system is composed of four components;

‡ Data

‡ Hardware

‡ Software

‡ Users

which coordinate with each other to form an effective database system.

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  - It is a very important component of the database system. Most of the organizations
generate, store and process 1arge amount of data. The data acts a bridge between the machine
parts i.e. hardware and software and the users which directly access it or access it through some
application programs.

Î  - The hardware consists of the secondary storage devices such as magnetic disks
(hard disk, zip disk, floppy disks), optical disks (CD-ROM), magnetic tapes etc. on which data is
stored together with the Input/Output devices (mouse, keyboard, printers), processors, main
memory etc. which are used for storing and retrieving the data in a fast and efficient manner.
Since database can range from those of a single user with a desktop computer to those on
mainframe computers with thousands of users, therefore proper care should be taken for
choosing appropriate hardware devices for a required database.

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 - The Software part consists of DBMS which acts as a bridge between the user and
the database or in other words, software that interacts with the users, application programs, and
database and files system of a particular storage media (hard disk, magnetic tapes etc.) to insert,
update, delete and retrieve data

c  Users are those persons who need the information from the database to carry out their
primary business responsibilities i.e. £ersonnel, Staff, Clerical, Managers, Executives etc. On the
basis of the job and requirements made by them they are provided access to the database totally
or partially.

The various types of users which can access the database are:-

‡ Database Administrators (DBA)

‡ Database Designers

‡ End Users

‡ Application £rogrammers

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ü    

In the file processing approach, each user defines and implements the files needed and software
applications to manipulate those files. Various files are likely to have different formats and
programs may be written in different languages and same information may be duplicated in
several files. The existence of same data in multiple places or the replication of the same data or
duplicate data existence is known as Data redundancy.

Data redundancy leads to

o wasted storage space,

o duplication of effort (when multiple copies of a datum need to be updated),

o a higher likelihood of the introduction of inconsistency.


Database design stores each logical data item at one place to ensure consistency and
saves storage. But sometimes, controlled redundancy is necessary to improve the performance.
Database should have capability to control this redundancy & maintain consistency by
specifying the checks during database design.

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A DBMS provides a security and authorization subsystem, which is used by DBA to create user
accounts and to specify restrictions on user accounts.

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‡ Data should be restored to a consistent state at the time system crash and changes being made

‡ If hardware or software fails in the middle of the update program, the recovery subsystem of
DBMS ensures that update program is resumed at the point of failure.

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‡ DBMS provides a variety of user interfaces for the users of varying level of technical
knowledge.

‡ These includes query language for casual users, programming language interfaces for
application programmers, forms and command codes for parametric users, menu driven
interfaces and natural language interfaces for stand alone users etc

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‡ A database always has certain integrity constraints to be followed.

The constraints that can be enforced are

i) The type of the data field must be specified for each data.
ii) The width of the data field must be specified i.e., the number of characters
iii) A record in one file must be related to records in other files.
iv) Another type of constraint applies the uniqueness of data.

‡ These constraints are derived from the meaning of the data and of the mini world.
‡ Some constraints can be specified to the DBMS at the time of defining data definitions and
automatically enforced.

‡ Database does not allow violation of constraints at the time of updating the database.

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In spite of the advantages of using a DBMS, there are few situations in which such a system may
involve unnecessary overhead costs that would not be incurred in traditional file processing. The
overhead costs of using a DBMS are due to the following:

ë High initial investment in hardware, software, and training.


ë The generality that a DBMS provides for defining and processing data.
ë Overhead for providing security, concurrency control, recovery, and integrity functions.

Additional problems may arise if the database designers and DBA do not properly design the
database or if the database systems applications are not implemented properly. Hence, it may
be more desirable to use regular files under the following circumstances:

ë The database and applications are simple, well defined, and not expected to change.
ë Multiple-user access to data is not required.

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1. Based on Number of Users

ã Single User systems - support only one user at a time and mostly used with personal
computers.
ã Multi User systems - support multiple users concurrently.

2. Based on Number of Sites


ã Centralized ± data is stored at single site.
ã Distributes ± database and DBMS software stored over many sites connected by network
ã Homogeneous ± use same DBMS software at multiple sites.

3. Based on Cost
ã 6ow-end systems under $3000
ã High-end systems, over $100,000