Topic 1 – Data management and Utilisation

Study Unit 1: Data and the computerised information system process

Topic 1 – Data management and Utilisation

Study Unit 1: Data and the computerised information system process – page 15


For an organisation to be competitive, data must be collected, processed into useful information, stored, and used in decision making. Many organisations have realised that timely access to appropriate, accurate data and information is the key to success or failure. A lack of access and/or timely access reduces the organisation’s ability to make timely and effective decisions. In this study unit, we will first gain an understanding of the role of data in an organisation. We will then look at the types of data input, processing, and output and typical processing systems. We will also learn about some of the methods used to process data into information.


Acronyms we will be using…

IS – information system

CIS – computerised information system

AIS – accounting information system

DBS – database system

DBMS – database management system

SQL – structured query language

UI – user interface

GUI – graphical user interface

ANSI SPARC – american national standards institute & standards, planning, and requirements committee

DDL – data definition language

DCL – data control language

DML – data manipulation language


2 Data in an organisation – page 16


– What is information at its very core?


Examples of information are

  • Numbers and letters These can be tangible such as printed material


These can be nontangible such as digital data

  • Audio and video
  • Or sound / graphics found on digital recordings


  • All of this information must relate to something that is factual and true.
  • It must have been processed in a way that meaningful to you
  • When this information is readable and useable it is called “raw data”


– What constitutes useable ‘raw data’ information? (2 marks)

Data is the raw material available for processing into information

Information is a set of facts or data organised and processed in such a way that it provides additional value beyond that of the facts themselves


Data is generated during different

  • Activities and
  • Input and
  • Process data and
  • Store data and Information


– How do we make use of this information in business?  (5 marks)

  • Activity
  • Data
  • Information
  • Knowledge
  • Decision Makers


– Give an example of an activity generated by raw data (1 mark)

Orders, supplier invoices, customer information


– Give an example of input of data (1 mark)

Punching your raw data into the CIS


– Give an example of processing data (1 mark)

Creating invoices, calculating totals


– Give an example of storing the data (1 mark)

Inputting information into a cis you now have access to the information at any time


– Give an example of the output of data (1 mark)

Printing reports, exporting to excel


– Give an example of decision making (1 mark)

Management reports


3 Input of data – page 16


Because information is obtained by processing raw data, it is essential that the raw data captured in the CIS should be accurate, complete, reliable and verifiable


3.1 Input Types – page 17


– What are the two (2) types of input – (2 marks)

  • Batch Input
  • Online Input


– Define Batch Input

Batch input involves similar source documents being grouped together (batch) and then entered in the CIS periodically, say, daily, weekly or monthly.

Batch input requires additional batch controls and procedures


Advantages – economies of scale (increased productivity and lowers hardware costs) can be achieved, data is captured at one point and not disbursed throughout the organisation


Disadvantages – the CIS is not up to date with the latest data and information


– When is batch input suitable?

When a huge number of similar source documents must be captured;

When up-to-date data and information are only required on the same frequency as the frequency of data capturing.


– Define Online Input

Online input involves data being immediately captured into the CIS at the point where the activity occurs.


Because data is captured directly and immediately any corrections to data must also be made immediately in order for the data capturing process to be completed.


Advantages – the data in the CIS is always up to date


Disadvantages – more costly because of the hardware required to capture at the point of entry where the activity takes place


4 Processing Data – page 18


!!! Raw information becomes processed data !!!!


When your raw information is captured via batch input it is where you capture a lot of similar documents together, at the same time into a batch daily, weekly or monthly.


When your raw information is captured via online input it is where the data is captured immediately at the point of the activity.


4.1 Processing Methods – page 18


– What are the five (5) Processing Methods – (5 marks)


  • Classifying data
  • Performing calculations
  • Sorting Data
  • Summarising data
  • Transforming data


– Define classifying data

Data is arranged into different groups (categories) using some of the data’s specific characteristics


– Give an example of the processing method ‘classifying data‘?

Cash sales vs credit sales


– Define Performing calculations

Arithmetical or logical calculations can be performed on data.


– Give an example of the processing method ‘performing calculations‘?

Calculating the cost per unit (cost / number of units)


– Define Sorting Data

Data is organised (sorted) in an orderly sequence based on specific criteria.


– Give an example of the processing method ‘sorting data‘?

Customer names in alphabetical order


– Define Summarising data

This process condenses the data by extracting only specific data based on criteria provided by the user.


– Give an example of the processing method ‘summarising data‘?

Extracting all the transactions for one specific supplier.


– Define Transforming data

Data is processed by transforming the format or medium of the original data into another format or medium.


– Give an example of the processing method ‘transforming data‘?

Data is converted into a graph


4.2 Processing Types


– Name the two (2) types of processing (2 Marks)


  • Batch Processing
  • Real-Time Processing


– Define Batch Processing


Batch processing occurs when transaction files (containing the captured data) are updated to the master files periodically, that is, daily, weekly or monthly.


– Give a disadvantage of Batch Processing (3 Marks)


Disadvantages of batch processing are that the master files are only up to date once the updating of transactions files has occurred


– Define Real-Time Processing


Real-time processing is the immediate update of the transaction files to the master files as the transaction occurs.


– Give an advantage of Real-Time Processing (1 Marks)


The advantage of this are that it ensures that the master files are always up to date


5 Output/information – page 22


– Name the two (2) types of output (2 Marks)


  • Batch Output
  • Interactive Output


5.1 Batch Output – page 22


Batch output occurs when all requests for information (ie reports, queries, etc) are batched together and periodically extracted from the CIS.


– Give an advantage of Batch Output (Marks 2)


Routine reports are extracted at the same time daily, weekly, or monthly which include the same parameters each time.


– Give a benefit of Batch Output – (Marks 2)


Reports are consistent between periods. The extraction can be scheduled over downtimes thereby optimising computer resources


5.2 Interactive Output – page 22


Interactive output occurs when users are directly connected to the CIS and can request certain information and receive it immediately


– Give a benefit of Interactive Output – (Marks 2)


Users can immediately receive information for decision making


– Give a disadvantage of Interactive Output – (Marks 2)


Computer resources are not optimally used therefore this negatively affects the performance of the cis (month end usage where everybody logs in and slows down the cis)


6 Typical processing systems – page 23


Different combinations of these input, processing, and output types are used in an organisation’s CIS. Some of these typical combinations are as follows


  • Batch input, batch processing, and batch output
  • Batch input, batch processing, and interactive output
  • Online input, batch processing, and interactive output
  • Online input, real-time processing, and interactive output


– Explain Batch input, batch processing, and batch output – (Marks 4)


A medical aid: claims are entered in batches, batches are updated at the end of the day, routine reports are generated weekly.


– Explain Batch input, batch processing and interactive output – (Marks 4)


A gym: a batch of source documents to medical aid with information on gym visits, file is processed when received (the entire batch), members can view their information online once processed.


– Explain Online input, batch processing, and interactive output – (Marks 4)


Stationery ordering: each department enters its order when needed, stationery orders are processed once a week, office manager can view stationery order information directly on the system.


– Explain Online input, real-time processing, and interactive output – (Marks 4)


Bank ATM: customer does the transaction online at the ATM, the transaction is immediately uploaded to the master file, the customer gets a receipt with a new balance.


7 Storage of Data and information – page 24


7.1 Flat File environment


In a flat file environment files are not related to one another and the users of data and information each keep their own data and information.

(Next Lesson) Study Unit 2: The Database Environment
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