Data Handling Applications (Surveys (When the data is inside the computer…
Data Handling Applications
Data Handling is basically where data is input and stored on a computer. The data is then processed in some way to turn it into useful information. This information can then be output and used.
Computers can find stored data very quickly
Data can be organised in different orders quickly
Passwords can be applied to computers
Computer data can be moved via flash memory
Copies of data can be made very easily
Data can be printed out easily
Computer data can be edited (changed) very easily
Before we had computers, student's reports had to be written by hand. This created problems such as :
with no spell check spelling errors were common
any mistakes meant re-writing the report
hugely time consuming
Modern school reports are entered and stored in a database (like Microsoft Access). This gives many advantages when compared to writing them by hand:
If a mistake is made you can simply delete it and re-type.
Database software include spell checkers which help make sure the reporys area grammatically correct.
Pre-Written comments can be stored in the database and then selected from a list. The teacher can just select the comment that best matches the student instead of writing one from scratch. This is much quicker and easier.
Databases can be password protected. This means that personal student data is safe from unauthorised viewing.
Data stored in the database can be displayed on reports. Reports can be re-designed to look very professional and include school logo's etc.
Schools keep records about how well students are performing in their classes. These records are shared with both the student and their parents each term.
The details that would be recorded include:
Subject (like ICT, English etc)
Before computers,book details were recorded on cards which were stored in organised filing drawers. This paper-based system posed problems including:
cards could get mixed up or placed in the wrong drawer
It took lots of time to find the details of each book
manually checking the cards meant that sometimes overdue books were missed
large libraries might have thousands of paper-based book records. These took up a lot of room to store.
These days, libraries use databases to keep track of their books. Storing book and borrower records on a database give certain advantages including:
Databases can be set up to warn you when books become overdue. This means that the Librarian can contact the borrower to request the book's return.
One computer database can store the details of many thousands of books. This means that all of the old filing drawers can be removed leaving physical room for more books.
Very quick to search for the details of a book and match to who has borrowed it.
One database can handle the same amount of work as many librarians.This saves on employment costs.
Libraries need to keep track of the following
Name of the borrower
Address of the borrower
ID number of the borrower
Date the book was borrowed
Which books are currently on loan
Date the book is due to be returned
Clubs and societies often have many members. Records need to be kept about these members for details such as :
Expiry date of membership
Membership fee's paid (Y/N)
Computer databases (e.g. Microsoft Access) are often used to store these details and this offers a number of advantages compared with storing the data on paper:
Databases can be copied very easily
Databases can be password protected. This helps stop unauthorised viewing of member's personal details (like address and phone numbers etc)
Member data can be changed easily. Old records (like address) are just deleted and replaced with the new records.
Moving the Database
If you need to move the database to a different location you just copy it to a portable storage device (e.g. flash memory) and take it with you.
Member data can be searched very quickly. This is very useful if the club has hundreds or thousands of members
Databases can be linked with Word Documents to make it easy to create letters to be sent to all of the club's members.
Surveys are often carried out on paper and are filled in by shading circles or ticking boxes.
The paper-survey's data can then be scanned into a computer by using an Optical Mark Reader (OMR).This eliminates typing the data by hand
Surveys are often used by businesses / organisations to find out what people want or do.
When the data is inside the computer it can be used in a number of ways:
Searched - specific data can be found quickly
Analysed - via graphs or charts
Sorted-e.g. ordered by date
the findings of the survey can be published as a report
The benefits of using a computer to handle survey data are as follows:
Fast Results Analysis-data analysed quicker
Time/Money Savings-fewer people are needed to carry out the survey
Less Errors-input errors are minimal
Faster-results of the survey
Before we had computers, this type of information was often stored in an address book like the one in the image to the right. This sometimes caused problems like:
Hard to update
You had to cross old entries out and replace
Hard to search
If you have a lot of contacts
Easy to lose
paper address books are quite small and easy to misplace
Modern address lists are stored on computers or mobile phones and this offers a number of advantages including:
Computerised address books can be easily copied in case anything happens to the original.
Computerised address books always have search facilities which are much quicker than looking through pages of a paper book.
If a contact changes (e.g. a new phone number) you can easily edit the contact. On a paper address book you have to cross out the old entry
Family data can be placed in one group, friends in another group. This makes finding contacts quicker.
Address lists are used to store details about friends,family or business contacts
The details that we might store include :
Telephone Numbers(home,work and mobile)