Data Processing Concept: Variable and Fixed Length Records, Data Processing Activities

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Variable and Fixed Length Records Image

Variable and Fixed Length Records Image

Variable and Fixed Length Records

Fixed Length Records

  • All records in a file have the same number of bytes. Such a file is called a flat file.

  • All records are expected to contain essentially the same quantity of data.

Variable Length Records

  • Use of variable length records conserves storage space.

  • Quantity of information, of various records in a file.

Data Processing Activities

Data Processing Activities image

Data Processing Activities Image


  • Data originates in the form of events transaction or some observations.

  • This data is then recorded in some usable form.

  • Data collection is also termed as data capture.


  • Converted from its source documents to a form that is more suitable for processing.

  • Data is first codified by assigning identification codes. For example: - An employee may be allotted a code as 52-53-162, his category as A class, etc. It is useful to codify data.


  • Data is collected and converted.

  • It is ready for the manipulation function which converts data into Information.


  • Arrangement of data items in a desired sequence.

  • For example: A simple act of sorting the names in alphabetical order gives meaning to a telephone directory. The directory will be practically worthless without sorting.


  • Arithmetic manipulation of data is called calculating.

  • Items of recorded data can be added to one another, subtracted, divided or multiplied.


  • Compare data is to perform an evaluation in relation to some known measure.

  • Many compare current sales figures.



  • Storage is essential for any organized method of processing and re-using data.

  • Storing activity involves storing data and information.

  • Organized manner in order to facilitate the retrieval activity.


  • Retrieve means to recover or find again the stored data or information.

  • Retrieval techniques use data storage devices.

  • Retrieval and comparison of old data gives meaning to current information.


  • Communication is the process of sharing information.

  • Information is made available to the users.


  • Reproduce is to copy or duplicate data or information.

  • Reproduction activity may be done by hand or by machine.

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