Data Processing Concept: The Data processing Cycle and Computer Processing Operations

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Computer Processing Image

Computer Processing Image

Computer Processing Image

The Data Processing Cycle

Data processing activities described above are common to all data processing systems from manual to electronic systems. These activities can be grouped in four functional categories, viz., data input, data processing, data output and storage.

Data Processing Cycle Image

Data Processing Cycle Image

Data Processing Cycle Image


  • The term input refers to activities required to record data and to make it available for processing.

  • Include the steps necessary to check, verify and validate data contents.


  • The term processing denotes the actual data manipulation.

  • Techniques such as classifying, sorting, calculating, summarizing, comparing, etc.

  • Converts data into information.


  • It is a communication function.

  • Sometimes output also includes decoding activity.

  • Converts the electronically generated information into human-readable form.


It involves the filing of data and information for future use.

Computer Processing Operations

A computer can perform only the following four operations which enable computers to carry out the various data processing activities we have just discussed.

Input/Output Operations

  • A computer can accept data (input) from and supply processed data (output) to a wide range of input/output devices.

  • These devices such as keyboards, display screens, and printers make human-machine communication possible.

Calculation and Text Manipulation Operations

  • Computer circuits perform calculations on numbers.

  • They are also capable of manipulating numbers and other symbols.

  • Used in text with equal efficiency.

Logic/Comparison Operations

  • A computer also possesses the ability to perform logic operations.

  • For example: If we compare two items represented by the symbols A and B, there are only three possible outcomes. A is less than A is equal to or A is greater than

  • Ability to compare is an important property of computers.

Storage and Retrieval Operations

  • A both data and program instructions are stored internally in a computer.

  • Stored in the internal memory, they can be called up quickly or retrieved, for further use.

Data Processing System

Data Processing System Image

Data Processing System Image

Data Processing System Image

The activity of data processing can be viewed as a "system". According to James O'brien a system can be defined as "a group of interrelated components that seeks the attainment of a common goal by accepting inputs and producing outputs in an organized process".

Logical Versus Physical Record

Logical Versus Physical Record Image

Logical Versus Physical Record Image

Logical Versus Physical Record Image

  • A logical record contains all the data related to a single entity.

  • Payroll record for an employee or a record of marks secured by a student in a particular examination.

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