Data Processing Essay

To give a thorough and up-to-date grounding in the realities of commercial applications of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s). To Examine the roles of data, information and knowledge within modern business organisations, and the roles that information and communication technologies (ICT’s) play in supporting people and groups within organisations. To provide students with a thorough understanding of how the various information and communication technologies work, the basic principles on which they are built and their role in computer based systems in the business community.

To give an insight into the historic development of computer technology and its impact on business management. Syllabus 1. DATA AND INFORMATION Introductory concepts of Data and Information (definition, representation, storage). General characteristics or attributes that add value to information. Value of information in the modern business enterprise. Role of data and information in business. Information uses and flows in management. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Paradigm. Integration of ICT’s into modern business practices.

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The Data processing cycle. 2. COMPUTERS AND ASSOCIATED PERIPHERALS Introduction to key ICT technologies. Brief history of the computer. Computer systems: Types and general categories (micro-computer, supercomputer, minicomputer, mainframe). Other categories and mobile business productivity. (PDA’s, Palmtops, Handhelds, Smart phones etc.. ) Architecture and structure of computer systems. Computer data representation. Data, fields, records, files and databases. Data and Information handling Importance (Entry, validation, verification)

Input Devices: General Categories, VDU (touch and non touch sensitive), keyboard, Mouse, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Image Recognition Systems, Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR), card and badge readers, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Point-Of Sale (POS) system, voice and sound data input, motion sensor input, Optical/Image Scanners etc. Computer Data Storage Devices: Magnetic tape, Magnetic disks, Optical Disks, USB Drives, Memory cards, Hard Drives, Floppy Disks etc..

Output Devices: Printers types and usage (Dot Matrix, daisy wheel, laser printer, Thermal printers, ink-jet printers, graph plotter, computer output on microfilm (COM), fax, VDU, voice data output. Computer Memory: RAM, Processor Registers, Cache Memory, Virtual Processing and the execution cycle. Batch, On-line, Real-time processing. PREPARED BY O. NDHLOVU – 2009 BS240 Page 2 3. COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS The Communications Model: General Layout, Need for communication, the business enterprise and communication. Distributed and centralised processing.

Data Transmission: Data transmission systems, Data Switching; Simplex, Duplex and Half Duplex transmission; data transmission equipment (Modems, Acoustre couplers, multiplexers). Computer Networks: Role of networks, distributed and centralised networks (and examples), Network topologies, their characteristics and advantages (Ring, Star, Hierarchical, multi-drop, etc). Computer Network Types: wired and non-wired. Network protocols PANs, LANs (Intranet, Ethernet, Extranet), WANs, LHNs, the Internet. 4. SOFTWARE Definition of software.

Need for software. Software types: Systems Software (Operating systems, Communications software) Utility Software (Database Management Systems) Application Software (General purpose, Specialised Software). Shareware, Open Source Software (OSS), Freeware. Webware, Groupware. Productivity and Software. Operating Systems (OS): OS enabled functions. OS Features. Choosing an OS (advantages, specifications, purpose). Applications Software: Spreadsheet applications, Word Processors and other productivity applications).

Acquisition of software (Off the Shelf, Tailored software, in-house developed, outsourced development). Licensing, Purchase and Use of Software, End User Licensing Agreement (EULA). Copyright, Trade Marks, Intellectual Property. 5. COMPUTER APPRECIATION Practical Orientation to applications software: Basic Computer Operation and File management, Word Processors, spreadsheets, Presentation tools, Accounting packages, Database Management Systems, Internet Browsers. 6.

THE ORGANISATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY The digital firm: Organisation structure and IT departments. Roles of an IT department in the organisation. IT department organisation structure: Staff Specialisations, Staff roles and responsibilities in an IT department. Control & Security in IT Departments (physical access, programmed access, backup). Safeguarding organisational data. 7. INTRODUCTION TO SYSTEMS CONCEPTS AND SYSTEMS ANALYSIS Definition of Systems. Introduction to Information Systems. IT and IS.

Systems Analysis, Systems Design, Implementation of Design. 8. INTRODUCTION TO E-COMMERCE Business conversion to electronic device usage (advances ICT). Channels of eCommerce. Types of eCommerce. The Internet and eCommerce. Business process transformation effects of eNetworks. The emergence of new business models and evolution of traditional ones. 9. PROFESSIONAL ISSUES Acquisition of Software, hardware considerations and ICT performance. Ethics and the use of ICT’s. Piracy, Fraud and Computer Misuse.