Data Processing refers to the conversion of data, usually by use of a computer, into a more comprehensible or user-friendly form for the sake of interpretation, enabling its users to make more accurate conclusions.
The following are five examples of emerging industries in which data processing is of paramount importance. These are industries that have been growing rapidly over the last few years and are likely to grow into mega-industries in the near future. Each one of these industries relies heavily on a data-based system.
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency used instead of normal or conventional currency. It is the use of encryption to regulate the generation of currency units and to verify fund transfer independent of banking institutions. It can be considered as the first successful digital currency, after many failed attempts. All cryptocurrency transactions are recorded in one massive database called a blockchain. Something else you need to know about cryptocurrency is that besides replacing cash as a medium of exchange, it eliminates the use of financial institutions and encourages peer to peer transactions.
Now, imagine a process whereby thousands or millions of financial transactions are being made without an oversight institution like a bank? Miners, who verify cryptocurrency transactions, are individuals. Do you begin to see why it is of extreme importance that the whole system of cryptocurrency and the blockchain database have accurate, analyzed records that can be verified and interpreted? There are no checks to sign, no money to exchange. In a system like this, clear, precise, easy-to-interpret data is of immense value for the following reasons.
- Miners, who verify transactions in the blockchain, require processed data that outlines the entire transaction.
- One cryptocurrency transaction is visible to the whole blockchain network, making it necessary for that data to be in clear, comprehensible form.
- Many processes happen in one transaction, including encryption, codes and passwords to represent other processes. This further illustrates the need for data processing in the system.
- Data privacy: One major feature in the cryptocurrency system is the ability to make a transaction in a concealed manner, without any physical paperwork. In the system, information is stored in a different, coded format, making it a basic requirement for original data to be processed into the required format.
- The whole system is computer-generated, meaning that the process in itself relies on data processing.
Social Media Marketing or Content Marketing
The internet has been around since the early nineties, but it took many years for people to understand how important it is as a virtual network that allows people to communicate, socialize and transact, and is the largest data storage system known to man. It took even longer for entrepreneurs to learn that they can use the internet to do business with anyone, regardless of their location.
But trading online requires identifying your potential buyers. Social media marketing and content marketing (through blogs and videos and websites) cannot be effective without data processing.
Please note that while social media marketing may involve only informing people of a product, content marketing focuses on posting interesting and relevant material online with the intention of attracting potential, or targeted, buyers.
- Data processing is necessary to identify your target market and make an informed decision on who your target buyers are, based on processed data like their habits, their interests etc.
- Data processing will help you know if the people you are targeting are responding to your marketing efforts. You need to know the web traffic level of your website or YouTube video views. All this is made possible by data processing.
- Are your marketing efforts resulting in profits or losses? In online ads there are impressions (how many people saw the ad), clicks (how many people were interested enough to click on your ad), and sales (how many people not only clicked but were interested enough to buy?) How much did you spend on the ad in comparison to sales made? Again this displays data processed from primary data to give a clear view in order to enable you to make conclusions and ultimately make wise decisions and corrections where necessary.
- Some online marketing methods like YouTube videos and eBooks and are good and common examples of processed data used to entice and interest potential or targeted buyers by attracting people’s curiosity or with popular topics and trends.
An Application (App) is a small application software that can be used especially on Smartphone, tablet, computer etc with inbuilt functions of a specific nature. It could be a desktop app, mobile app or web app. Mobile apps are the most common. Apps, especially mobile apps, have become extremely common. An app creates a customized way to connect with a specific group of people. Bankers, online stores, social sites and almost every major business or social organization has an app these days.
Apps are good examples of devices that are dedicated to data processing, or in some cases are used to present processed data. For instance, some loan apps use processed data to gauge the applicant’s eligibility for a loan using borrowing history, repayment history, money usage, etc. Some major online businesses use apps to process sales, analyze buyers’ data and advertise their products.
Online dating is one industry that has been growing immensely with time. It involves connecting people looking for love through online profiles that potential suitors can search through in the hope of finding their perfect match. In the last ten years, this industry has grown tremendously. There are thousands of people who met online and ended up as a couple, some going as far as marriage. This platform helps connect people who would probably never have met in the first place due to location or social circle limitations. So what does this have to do with data processing?
Users key in their data, creating profiles on templates by inserting appropriate information as required. This creates a database of perhaps a thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand or more from which potential suitors can browse through by searching their appropriate preferences. The data can be used to show required preferences by selection. A computer makes this almost impossible task an instant, one-click accomplishment.
Surveys and Opinion Polls
Some years back, most employers, company executives and other organizations would not have considered surveys as a thing to be taken seriously. Since the mid-2000s, the survey and opinion poll, especially online surveys and online polls, have grown immensely. This is now a multi-million dollar industry and still growing. Opinion polls have been used and funded by politicians, media houses, government organizations and non-governmental organizations.
Surveys are extremely important. They simply refer to data collection by way of the questionnaire, either face to face or online. The answers to the questionnaire are used as raw data which is then fed into computers (if it is not already an online survey) for analysis. Conclusions can then be made from the outcome.
In the last few years, major politicians and media houses have used surveys to find out people’s opinions concerning development, areas of concern, etcetera. Opinion polls have been used to gauge candidates’ influence at certain points in the campaigns and to note the geographical areas that they need to concentrate on to make an impact.
Surveys or polls have been used by smart online marketers and major online and brick and mortar businesses to gauge consumer preferences, customer response to different products, favorite products and to gauge the competitors’ influence. Major companies have used information gained from surveys to launch better products, make improvements to existing products and do better marketing. Politicians have been elected to office simply by learning what the electorate is concerned about through opinion polls or surveys.
Surveys or polls are a great example of data processing. Data collected from surveys is then processed through computers and sorted and analyzed in order to make accurate conclusions of people’s preferences and reaction to different situations, products, policies etcetera. This information can then be used to make adjustments and changes where necessary.
The Process of Data Processing
Data processing is a process that begins with raw data, which is then converted to form meaningful output that is more readily usable or understandable. The most effective and modern way is the use of computers for the process.
- Data is collected from the source and then fed into the computer. This is primary or raw data. It must be very accurate in order to give accurate results.
- Data entry is the stage where data is fed into a computer through a keyboard or electronic transfer for processing. Data entry is a sensitive process, especially for manual data and it requires verification before and after it is fed into the computer to ensure there are no errors. A computer will process the data as fed, and cannot detect raw data errors.
- The computer can then be used to process the raw data and give an output that depends on data type and processing method or program type.
- Storage is the final step. Data may be stored in different formats, depending on data type and requirements. Storage ensures quick access when the data is required.
In conclusion, based on above fast-rising industries, the importance of data processing is evident. Conversion and processing of raw data to reflect a more comprehensible, clear representation in order to make conclusions that can then be used to make the proper judgments, improvements or adjustments is what makes data processing not only of absolute importance but a basic necessity among these and other emerging industries.