Data Processing

Data processing is a technique used to sort and process various types of data.  There are a number of different data processing methods, and each handle a unique category or type of information processing.  The method depends on the specific processing requirements, amount of data input/output, capabilities of available computers and other equipment, as well as the software.

Batch data processing is a serial form of data processing in which groups or batches of transactions are input to the system. Batch processing is different from real time processing in which data is immediately processed upon initial input.  This processing method is an efficient means of processing high volume data that accumulates over a specific period of time.  Batch processing systems rely on separate programs for input, process and output. Payroll and billing systems use batch processing to manage data.

Real-time data processing is a method of handling transactions as they occur—in real-time—as opposed to batching them. This is an application when response to input is fast enough to affect subsequent inputs and guide the process.  The benefit of real-time processing is that records are updated instantaneously.  This often helps organizations make decisions in short notice and act wisely at the precise time.  Radar systems, customer service centers and ATM machines are examples of systems that depend on real-time processing.

In addition to the two main types of data processing, batch and real-time data, there are other methods for collecting and handling data.  Online data processing is an automated method for data input and processing that continuously reports as long as source documents are made available.  An example of online processing is bar code scanning, or an e-commerce website that handles payments.   Multiprocessing is a way of computing data that encompasses more than one central processing unit (CPU) to execute and process key functions.

While these are among some of the most common ways of handling and mining data, the unique requirements of the organization and their operation dictate the most appropriate method for data processing.  The key is located in finding the best route to access and use the data to your benefit.  For more information on data entry and processing, OCR, and other custom-tailored solutions, contact ILM today.

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