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Business Systems

Raw or Input Data New variable data entering the system for the first time is called the raw or input data. This can include the data pertaining to a new product, a new employee, etc. Sometimes raw data may be in coded forms, e.g., instead of department name, a code can be assigned to the value. Stored Data A lot of data are stored in the system in computer files which may be required for processing purposes at various points in time, e.g., Employee data, Product data, Sales data, Budget data, Cost data, etc. Derived Data Derived data are the result of processing or manipulation of raw or stored data.

When several depatments use the same file, a record may have more than one record key. For example, an inventory file might be used by both an inventory manager who refers to inventory file records by item number, therefore uses stock numbers as records keys, also by an accountant who refers to inventory records by vendor code. The record key that is unique to each record is called the primary record key or just the primary key. For inventory records, for example, this wold be the inventory item number field. The data fields in the computer record that are given lower priority are called secondary record keys. For inventory records, a secondary record key would be the vendor code. Secondary record keys are not necessarily unique. They enable multiple uses to access information from the same file or, alternately, enable the same user to access a computer file in more than one way. Secondary record keys, therefore, lessen the number of computer files a company must maintain to perform its business operations.

The form of data that gives an idea of the history of an organization or the formation of a document comes under this heading. Historical data are stored on archive files. These files record data in a serial manner which means that you can retrieve data fields one after the other in a serial manner. Magnetic tapes and magnetic cartridges are normally used for storing this type of data. For example, the storage of old songs on compact audio disk is very similar to the historical data recorded on CD's. Need for Ensuring Accurate, Reliable and Timely Processing of Data Once, data is inputted and processed, they form an information. The business information so achieved should have the following characteristics. Accuracy: It is a ratio of correct information to the total amount of information produced over a period. Sometimes even 80 to 90% accuracy is enough but in some cases, 100% accuracy has to be ensured specially in the cases, where it is easier to do so. For example, bank transactions, where the data is all numeric. Brevity: When important information is accompanied with relatively useless data, then assimilation of the important information may become very difficult and thus may escape from the attention of the users. Completeness: Information should be complete so that a manager can take decisions confidently. Information received in bits and pieces may have lobe connected together to make out the meaning.

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