Data processing is the how raw information is manipulated in order to produce a result. The result may lead a better understanding of a problem or a situation. Data processing is a very essential aspect of businesses all over the world. The success of a business depends on how the volumes of data generated are handled and interpreted. There are six stages of data processing.

Collection -:
For the data to be available it should be collected. Collecting data can be very time consuming and at certain time boring. It is a process that most employees will want to run away from. It may involve travelling or having to sit for a long time. A lot money also goes into data collection.

Preparation -:
After data is collected, it should be prepared for processing. Raw data cannot be processed. In today’s world, computers are the main tools of data processing. The data collected should therefore, be prepared for the computer. There should be codes assigned to each type of response or phenomenon. This is quite technical and if not well done, the results will not be valid.

Input -:
This is another time consuming process in data processing. For large companies, a lot of people are needed for several days to have this work done. The cost involves is so high and therefore, many businesses are resorting to outsource for this purpose. In that way, they save cost. The volume of data that must be entered in a day is so huge that people have set up data entry companies for that purpose. There are many others who are freelancing in this area. Data entry does not require much education. It is a simple process. What is required is speed and accuracy.

Processing -:
After the input is over, then comes the time for the processing itself. This is the time various means and methods are used to manipulate the inputted data. In the past, when computers were not available, or when they were not common, people had to do this. It was then a herculean task. However, with an advent of computers the process is now very easy. Many software programs are available for processing large volumes of data within very short periods. Some are general while some are for specific industries and processes. Computers have made data processing at this stage very easy. A click at a button is enough to produce the content.

Output and interpretation -:
The importance of data processing is to provide information that will guide future company policies. That makes output very important. When the output is available, it should be interpreted in a way that makes it useful for the company. Without interpretation the company does not benefit from the whole process.

Storage -:
The last stage in data processing is storage. The data inputted, and the result of the process must be stored in a safe manner. This will enable it to be used another time. If the process is not stored, there will not be a good ground for future comparison.