We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Data Processing?

Mary Elizabeth
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Used specifically, data processing may refer to a discrete step in the information processing cycle in which data is acquired, entered, validated, processed, stored, and output, either in response to queries or in the form of routine reports; the processing is the step that organizes the information in order to form the desired output. Used in a more general sense, data processing may also refer to the act of recording or otherwise handling one or more sets of data, and is often performed with the use of computers. The word data is commonly used to mean “information” and often suggests large amounts of information in a standardized format. Data may consist of letters, numbers, equations, dates, images, and other material, but does not usually include entire words.

Processing Data and Information

One of the key points about the term data processing is that it is used by some synonymously with the term information processing, while others make a distinction between the two. In most cases, however, the word data is used to mean the original form of the output, while information is meant to define data that has been organized or altered in some way. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in their publication Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Edition, have an entry for “Data Entry and Information Processing Workers.” Here, a distinction is being made between “data,” which is raw material, and “information,” which has undergone some processing: the two are being treated as distinct, with data preceding information.

Computing Data

In computing, data processing can be used to refer to the use of a software application to organize some type of input data in order to create a desired output. The result might be anything from a multimedia file to an image, or a text file. Usually, entering words as one thinks of them is not considered as data entry, so writing a story using a word processor would not qualify as a true form of processing data; however, entering receipts and expenditures for the month in a spreadsheet program and printing a report would.

Programs designed to process data are plentiful, and their capabilities range from basic to very in-depth. One example of a program that can easily process data is Microsoft Excel®, which is essentially a spreadsheet that can be used to organize data, especially mathematical equations. The program can be used for very basic processing or, if the user is familiar with the program, it can also be used for more in-depth outputs. Other types of processing programs include programs used to organize accounting data to determine losses or gains, seismic data used to predict earthquakes, and business statistics to help businesses run more efficiently, just to name a few.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for EasyTechJunkie, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.
Discussion Comments
By ashybadashy — On Feb 12, 2011

@behaviourism, I can totally see where there used to be a great need for many people when it came to manual data processing. I am sure the invention of computers have quelled this some, but I think you are exactly right in that there still has to be people to know what has to be done with the data, and how the data is supposed to look after processing. Computers can only do so much!

By momtocfd — On Feb 11, 2011

A good example of the difference between data and information, if one exists, with "processing" being what turns data into information can be seen in accounting. The journal entries that record transactions would be the data, and the financial statements would be the information. The processing that takes place in order to compile all the journal entries into useable information for the financial statements would be the "data processing."

By behaviourism — On Jan 12, 2011

Large amounts of data processing used to be done manually, leading to many data processing jobs in businesses. These days it is a highly streamlined process, but many people still are needed to help ensure information gets saved by programs correctly.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.