Data gathering, Sorting, and processing
Data can be defined as raw and unused information stored for processing. Data could also be referred to as a large collection of information, facts, or statistics. Data could be a collection of figures, words, images, sound, and video or a mixture of some. Data is of four types: discrete, nominal, ordinal, and continuous. These four types of data are grouped into quantitative and qualitative data.
Data can be gotten, collected, or gathered through the following methods or processes. Gathering data could be from a primary source (personally and first hand collecting data from the source) or a secondary source (collecting data already compiled by someone else)
- Interview: this is a primary method of gathering data. It involves meeting people directly (person to person) and asking them for their opinion about a certain situation. It could be a speaking group of people or random persons. It is collecting databases on their ideas and opinion about a particular topic. Every individual is asked the same set of questions. The interview could be unstructured or structure. It could be done online or offline.
- Questionnaire: this method of collecting data involves printing out sets of questions, distributing them to different people, and collecting reports from them. A questionnaire could be distributed to a category of people or a section is provided on the paper where the individuals state their category. The question structure could be in a closed question structure or an open question structure.
- Experiments: this makes use of the technique of observation and stimulation. In this method of data collection, results may be collected from the same set of people under different scenarios and situations.
- Observation: this is the method of processing data using one’s human senses. You make decisions and collect results base on what you see, feel and hear, especially what you see and feel. Observation is also a primary way of collecting data.
- Survey: this method of data collection uses a research tool to collect results from a predefined group i.e. is the respondent to the survey question. It could be online or a survey and could take the form of a questionnaire or interview.
For data to be useful (information) it has to be properly processed (sorted, arranged, and presentable). Data must have the following quality for it to be effectively and easily processed. It must be;
- Accurate and precise
- Complete and comprehendible
Data processing is converting data into a useable form or making raw data fit for use with the use of the computer or any other processing tool. The method of processing data depends on the bulk of data, its use after processing, and the type of data to be processed. Data could be processed, manually, mechanically or electrically. The electrical method of processing data which involves programming is the best method of processing any type of data. The methods of processing data involve;
- Real-time processing: this falls under the electrical method of processing, it is done instantly. As data is collected, it is processed on the spot. This method is fast and reliable and requires the internet as quick access and feedback from storage is required. This method of processing data is used in banks, airports, credit cards real-time fraud detection, and e-commerce order processing.
- Distributed processing: this is when data is processed from these different data processing tools, using one common server. These different processing tools are connected to each other and task is disturbed among them. Example of distributed data processing
- Multi-processing; this is like distributed data processing but different tasks can be carried out at the same time. All data processing tools are linked together but different servers are used. Examples include processing data with a laptop. Different part of the CPU is used for processing different types of the data but still one programming tool.
- Batch processing: this is processing a heap of data in sequence. This method is used information required is to be displayed in a sorted format. Batch processing first collects data until it is filled, and then processes them in bulk.
- Online processing: this is sometimes mistaken for real-time processing. It makes use of an internet connection and data is processed as it is received. The difference between real-time and online processing is that it is processed directly from one point and information is stored directly stored back in the storage unit of the processing tool.