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data processing


n. ~ The analysis, organization, storage, retrieval, and manipulation of data, especially through the use of computers.


'Data processing', now largely obsolete, is associated with the use of computers in a batch environment. It often connotes large, commercial applications for payroll or stock control.

(Ralston 1976, p. 425) Data processing is a widely used term with a variety of meanings and interpretations ranging from one that makes it almost coextensive with all of computing . . . to much narrower connotations in the general area of computer applications to business and administrative problems. ¶ In a broad sense, data processing may be said to be what computers do. In this context it should be compared to information processing, which some prefer to data processing because 'information' does not carry to connotation of 'number'.