Explain Different Types of Data Processing and Advantages Disadvantages

Today we will discuss different types or levels of data processing in detail. Let us define Data processing first.


Data processing is the sequence of operations performed on data to convert it into useful information. These operations may be arithmetic, statistical or logical operations. We can
arrange or classify data. We can send and receive data from one point to another.

Explain different types of data processing
Explain different types of data processing


There are three types of data processing.
1) Manual data processing
2) Mechanical data processing
3) Electronic data processing

We may also use the term Levels of data processing. First level of data processing was manual data processing when there were no calculating devices (before the invention of calculators). Therefore all processing jobs were performed manually by hand with the help of pen , paper and mind.

In second level of data processing, machines like calculators were used for data processing. This level is called mechanical data processing

In third level of data processing , computers were used for data processing hence the name Electronic data processing. Now a days all data processing is performed with the help of computers.

Although a poor shop keeper with a small income and sale can use manual data processing even today. A person running a shop like book shop can use calculator or computer as the resources allow.

let us discuss types of data processing one by one in detail:

1) Manual data processing

In manual data processing data is processed manually. No machine or tool is used.

Types of data processing - Manual data processing
Types of data processing – Manual data processing

All the calculations on data are performed manually. This is a slow method and errors may occur. This is an old method. It was used before the invention of calculators. But data is still processed manually in many small shops.
Example: A book seller ( a small book shop ) records his daily transactions manually. He prepares bills by pen,paper and carbon paper ( no doubt, brain is the main data processor in this case ). At the end of day he will use carbon copies made on a particular date to know how many books he sold and how much income he got.

Advantages of Manual Data Processing

1. It is a low cost method of data processing since the tools required to perform manual data processing are just pen and paper only.

Disadvantages of Manual Data Processing

1. Manual Data Processing method is the slowest of all types of data processing.
2. This method is more error prone. Chances of errors in results produced by manual data processing are more than other two methods.
3. Manual data processing is a time consuming process. More is the amount of data , more is the time required to process data.

2) Mechanical Data Processing

Types of data processing : Mechanical data Processing
Types of data processing : Mechanical data Processing

In mechanical data processing data is processed with the help of  devices or machines. These machines that help the people in data processing may be calculators and type writers etc. Obviously, this method is faster easier and more accurate than manual data processing.

Example: Book seller can use a calculator to speed up his data processing system. There will be a less chance of errors in calculations. Bill calculations will be much more faster with a calculator and easier too.

Advantages of Mechanical Data Processing

1. Mechanical data processing is more accurate method of data processing, since it uses machines like calculators for accurate data processing and results.
2. Mechanical data processing is less time consuming than manual data processing. Due to the use of calculator, calculations are performed quickly.
3. There are less chances of error in calculations.

Disadvantages of Mechanical data Processing

1. It is more costly method that manual data processing.
2. It is not automated process, with the increase of data, number of calculations increases making the whole process difficult and complex.

3) Electronic data processing

It is the latest and fastest method of data processing. Data is processed with the help of computer.

Different Types of data processing : Electronic data Processing

Types of data processing : Electronic data Processing

First of all, data and set of instructions are given to the computer. Computer gives output results after processing the data according to instructions. This method of data processing is very fast and accurate. Electronic data processing is used in banks and business firms, Government offices, colleges, schools, universities, businesses and other institutes. Electronic data processing is being used in almost every field of life. Example:Suppose there are 800 students in a college. There is a manual library system in this college. If we want to know which students have not returned books since one year? We will have to search registers for 800 students’ record. But computer can do this job with in seconds.

Advantages of Electronic Data Processing

In short, we can say that:

Electronic data processing is the fastest and most efficient method of data processing 

  1. Electronic data processing is the fastest and most efficient method of data processing  
  2. Electronic data processing is less time consuming of all other methods
  3. Electronic data processing systems can process large amounts of data easily
  4. Electronic data processing can present information in more attractive way
  5. Electronic data processing will give 100 % correct results, without any errors if input and instructions are accurate.

Disadvantages of Electronic Data Processing

1. Electronic data processing is the most expensive method among all other types of data processing.
2. High setup Cost: Computer systems – Hardware and software requires a lot of money to setup and to operate further.
3. Qualified Computer personnel are required to run an electronic data processing system which results in more money requirements for employee pay roll systems.

You would also like to read:

Define data and information with examples 
Explain difference between data and information
Explain data processing cycle. What is data processing cycle?
Explain Different types of data processing. What are different levels of data processing?
What is the need / importance of electronic data processing in business?

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