Data Handling Applications
Data handling is concerned with how data is inputted, stored and output in computer systems. It didn’t long take long from when computers were invented for businesses and organisations to appreciate the potential benefits that ICT could bring to a business.
Surveys and questionnaires are highly useful data gathering tools for any business or organisation and have been used long before the invention of computers. They allow the collection and compilation of both qualitative and quantitative data. Whilst surveys are incredibly useful, they can also be massively time consuming in all stages of the process, due to the volume of data the needs to be processed. Advances in ICT have made Â massive difference to the way that surveys and questionnaires are designed, conducted and analysed.
The ability to design surveys using word processing
The ability to conduct surveys over the internet / on computer
The ability to produce statistical analysis automatically.
Mailing Lists & Electronic Newsletters
Mailing lists are a great way of keeping people informed about an area of interest that they have subscribed to. Mailing lists were original expensive and time consuming to run, with letters being printed on a printing press and being sent through the post to hundreds, if not thousands of people.
ICT has allowed the following improvements to mailing lists:
Automated subscribe and unsubscribe systems
Automated mass mailing via email to subscribers
Societies, such as the Scouts association, Duke of Edinburgh award and other organisations need to store information about their members. This information can include:
Membership type (member, leader, assistant, coordinator)
Membership status (active, expired,suspended)
This data used to be stored on paper, which was a slow and unreliable process. In the last 25 years this data has steadily moved to electronic format, such as using a spreadsheet or database software. More recently there has been Â a massive movement towards online membership management, for example the eDofE system, Â or the online scout membership database.
Advantages of electronic records include:
Easy adding / editing of data Ability to search and sort data
Ability to use mail merge to produce many individualised letters from one template.
Easy backup and storage Security – you can password protect and encrypt files / databases for added security
A school would typically keep data on student academic performance in a computerised database.
This would allow the school to easily track how students were doing as the year progressed, as well as making the creation of printed reports very easy (compared to hand writing every report)
A typical school report database might contain:
Pupil information (name, contact details, etc.)
Staff information (name, bank details for pay, etc.)
Timetable (rooms, times, subject, staff, classes, etc.)
Pupil attainment (marks, grades, comments, etc.)
Pupil behaviour (dates, incidents, notes, etc.)
Administration data (letters, forms, etc.)
Financial records (wages, fees, etc.)
Exam entries (times, dates, pupils, results, etc.)
Rather than use lots of different systems to manage this information, many schools use a School Management System (sometimes called a School Information System, or SIS). This is a system that manages all of a school's data in a single, integrated application.
Having all of the information in a single system allows schools to more easily connect data together.
For example, when viewing a pupil's record, the user could follow a link to the pupil's class, and from there a link to the pupil's teacher, and from there a link to the teacher's other classes, and so on.
These connections between sets of data allow complex tasks to easily be performed such as:
Sending letters to all parents of pupils who scored below 50% in their last English test Printing personalised timetables for IGCSE pupils (even though they have all chosen different options) Monitoring the progress of pupils in multiple subjects, over a number of years
Libraries often contain many thousands of books, magazines, CD-ROMs, etc. In fact, some of the largest libraries (e.g. The British Library in the UK) contain well over 100 million items - that's a lot of things to keep track of!