Advantages of ICT Over Manual Methods of Processing Data
• Repetitive Processing – Computers can carry out the same or similar tasks (e.g. mail merge, payroll) over and over very quickly and with a high level of accuracy.
• Speed of Processing – A computer system can process raw data very quickly to produce information.
• Data Storage Capacity – Traditionally, a company’s information would be stored on paper in filing cabinets which takes up expensive storage space. A computer system can store the same amount of data in a fraction of the space. Other advantages include the ability to backup data easily and increase security by password protection or encryption.
• Speed of Searching – Another big advantage of a computerised data storage system over a paper based system is that searches are virtually instantaneous.
• Speed of Data Communications – Data can be sent from one side of the world to the other in a matter of seconds via the internet (e-mail) compared to days using traditional post (‘snail mail’).
• The Ability to Produce Different Output Formats – Information can be output from a computer system, either on-screen or printed, in the form of graphs, charts, reports, pictures, sound etc.
Factors Affecting the Efficiency of Data Processing Systems. • Input (GIGO) – Even the most advanced data processing system will give inaccurate information if the data input is not accurate.
• Hardware – The system must incorporate suitable hardware for the system to work efficiently (e.g. a barcode scanner in a shop or library, a plotter in architect’s office or a powerful processor and graphics card in a CAD/CAM system.
• Suitability of the Operating System – The right choice of operating system is vital for a system to work efficiently (e.g. a real time control system for air traffic control, a real time transaction for ticket sales or a batch processing system for payroll or billing)
• Software – There are a number of problems that may arise when selecting appropriate software especially if the software is to be developed for a specific purpose: o Possible changes in circumstances during development
o Time taken to implement the software
o Compatibility of the new software with current hardware and data o Financial Costs
o Insufficient testing resulting in ‘bugs’
o Poor communications with the user – the solution may not meet the user’s requirements
4.1.5 Capabilities & Limitations of ICT 20
Ogmore School AS ICT Theory Notes
o The ability of the user – will they need any training
o Maintenance problems (perfective, adaptive and corrective) o Technical support.