2.4 Information management (Collecting, storing and retrieving ( (For…
2.4 Information management
Collecting, storing and retrieving
If you wanted to join a swimming club, you could fill in a form on its website. This information would be stored in its members’ database and a search to find all the members who have joined in the last seven days would bring up the email address you supplied. (Another example would be adding a new member to a cycling club membership database).
A database store allows information to be collect via a form, stored as records and then retrieved and sorted using queries.
Information needs to be collected, stored and, if it is going to be easily used, available for retrieval.
Manipulating and processing
This is the stage where information is processed for analysis.
The swimming club could produce a graph showing how many members joined for each of the preceding months. (e.g. producing a graph from a table of data).
Analysing At this stage the information is looked at so that pattern can be identified. In the above graph there was a large increase in members in July, with virtually no members joining in September.
This information is useful on its own, but if these dates link with other events, such as a June campaign to get new members, this information would suggest the campaign was successful.
Information needs to be kept securely in order to protect it. Sensitive or confidential information could be protected from access by others by encryption.
Information needed to run the business could be backed up so that it cannot be lost. For example, the swimming club would need to keep members direct debit information securely, possibly on an encrypted hard drive. (Another example would be a surgery or hospital storing patient records on an encrypted hard drive).
Once information has been processed, it may need to be transmitted within or outside of an organisation.
A student’s school report is created by collecting information from tutors, then analysed by one tutor who looks for patterns such as high achievement or poor behaviour, and then the report is sent home to parents.
The swimming club newsletter may have monthly articles that need to be collated before newsletters are emailed or printed and posted to members.
Impact on individuals and organisations
Processing information places responsibilities on individuals and organisations.
Extra security has costs, such as extra servers, anti-virus software and back up locations.
However, these costs are offset against the benefits gained by processing information, which includes the impact of the knowledge gained.