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In today's society, the collection and dissemination of information by means of computer technology is increasing every day. The accuracy of the data is extremely important which is why it is necessary to choose the correct method to precisely process the information that is input as well as create consistent information that is extracted. In order to determine the best method, it is necessary to understand the primary functions of the various types of data and hardware.
Printed questionnaires are best computed by Optical Readers. An optical reader interprets images by scanning and formatting the information into data the computer can understand and use. Telephone surveys are usually conducted with voice recognition devices. Both methods are superior to manual collection of data and minimize potential mistakes while inputting the information into a useable form for the computer to store and be retrieved at a later date. Bank checks are encoded with MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) so that the checks can be easily read and processed rapidly. This reduces the number of errors that were being made by manually inputting incorrect information and causing revenue to be lost because of input mistakes. POS devices are used to read retail tags and calculate many things about the item, including the price or the department that should receive credit for the sale or update the inventory count. This aids in the reduction of miss-keyed items and increases the speed of the completion of the sale. “By helping track inventory, they reduce "shrinkage" and employee theft. Automatic price tracking improves price accuracy over traditional cash registers.” (Exchange.com, 2007) Long documents are best produced on a high quality, high volume printer otherwise the time spent printing would be counterproductive.
Output quality and convenience are important and different methods can render different results. A hand held computer offers ease of use because it is transportable. The LCD flat panel screen offers good resolution for the limited viewable area while wireless technology compliments the portability of the unit. Color photographs are best produced with a high end printer. Depending on the quality of the printer, the greater the number of color cartridges the printer uses, the better the color quality of the photo. Resumes produced on a laser printer and quality paper achieve a finished and professional looking document. Memorandums are best sent by email transmission. This method of communication guarantees the information will reach the recipient immediately. Statistical reports usually include graphics and charts so a laser printer would be the most beneficial method of producing this kind of document. A company annual report should be produced on a high quality, high volume printer so the integrity of the document stays consistent and all copies are as readable as the first.
Storage devices are another important attribute of information systems. A hard disk drive is a drive that is digitally encoded and stores data on the magnetic surface of the disk. A floppy disk is a data storage device that is made of a disk of thin, flexible magnetic storage device. Floppy disks were mostly used before the hard drive became popular for the PC. Now the use of floppy disks is very rare due to its limited capacity. RAM or Random-access memory, refers to data storage formats and equipment that allow the storing data to be accessed in any order at random does not have to be sequential.. Other types of memory devices, such as magnetic tapes and disks can access data on the storage medium only in a predetermined because of their mechanical design. CD-ROM is a compact disc that contains data accessible by a computer. While the compact disc format was originally designed for music storage and playback, the format was later adapted to hold any form of binary data. CD-ROMs are used to distribute computer software, including games and multimedia applications, though any data can be stored (up to the capacity limit of a disc). Some CDs hold both computer data and audio and are capable of being played in the computer and in a CD player.
Magnetic tape is a non-volatile storage medium consisting of a magnetic coating on a thin plastic strip. Nearly all recording tape is of this type, whether used for video, audio storage or general purpose digital data storage. A Flash drive is considered expandable storage and offers portability of data. As stated in the text” Expandable storage devices use removable disk cartridges to provide additional storage capacity”(Stair/Reynolds, 2006). The way a CPU is designed affects the speed of a computer. The higher RAM the quicker the response, although randomly accessing this information does not affect the speed. Wikipedia confirms that “Today it takes the form of integrated circuits that allow the stored data to be accessed in any order, i.e. at random. The word random thus refers to the fact that any piece of data can be returned in a constant time, regardless of its physical location and whether or not it is related to the previous piece of data”(Foundation, 2008).The speed of the clock is measured in megahertz. The faster the tick the faster the CPU operations can be executed. The speed at which the data on a hard disk can be accessed and transferred is measured in bits.
Accuracy of input, convenience and quality of output, storage devices and the speed of a computer using different storage devices all play a major role in determining the best information technology solution for any given situation.
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"Accuracy Of Data." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Dec 2014