The Data Processing Cycle

The data processing cycle, simply shows the way computers process information. It consists of the following functions:

  • Input
  • Processing
  • Output
  • Storage
PROcessing cycle

The Data Processing Cycle

Input Function

Input is the process of getting data into the computer using input devices. Your choice of input device, depends on the nature of your input. For example if your input is a voice recording, then you would need a microphone so that the audio file can be recorded on the computer. Examples of input devices would be a keyboard or a mouse.

Processing Function

This is what you may have heard people refer to as the ‘thinking’ that the computer does. With the aid of computer programs, data input to the computer is manipulated to produce results that will satisfy the user’s needs. The computer programs mentioned above, performs numerical comparisons and arithmetic operation on the captured data to create the desired results. This is all done in the processor.

Output Function

After processing, the results are sent to an output device to be viewed by the user. The results are now called information because it is organised so that the user can understand. Examples of output devices are printers and the computer screen.

Storage Function

If the information or data is needed for a later date, it is stored. When necessary, it can be retrieved from the storage media and viewed. Examples of storage devices are: CD’s and USB drives.

Complete the short quiz below to practice your knowledge.

The Data Processing Cycle

This quiz tests your knowledge on the information presented above.


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