Input and Output Methods

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Input, Output, Storage Media and PerformanceInformation is only as good as the data from which it is derived from. Incorrect or faulty data will wreak havoc if not identified promptly. Operators must ensure that the data being entered for evaluation is accurate and complete. This paper will discuss preferred methods of data entry derived from multiple sources. This paper will also discuss different ways of outputting data, whether through physical or visual means, for a few common uses of data in the business environment. Lastly, the use of different storage mediums and different computer performance characteristics will be discussed.

Data is the basic building block of information. In and of itself, data is meaningless until it is analyzed with other data points. The accuracy of data input for analysis is critical. There are right and wrong ways of entering data accurately. Suggested data entry methods for printed questionnaires, telephone surveys, bank checks, retail tags and long documents are discussed below.

Printed questionnaires come in many forms handwritten and bubble forms being the most popular. Scanning the questionnaire and utilizing optical character recognition (OCR) software is an alternative solution. OCR software analyzes the light and dark areas of the scanned image in order to identify each alphabetic letter and numeric digit (PC Magazine, 2009)Input of data from telephone surveys is best accomplished with the use of an integrated voice system that recognizes the touch tone responses. The downfall of this method is that human interaction is difficult when assistance is needed. In addition, this system would not work with rotary dial phones.

The best input method for bank checks would be magnetic ink character recognition (MICR). MICR is a magnetic scanning input device that magnetizes the numbers at the bottom of the check. This system reads the numbers at the bottom of the checks and will automatically make adjustments to the proper accounts. This method allows banks to process large amounts of checks quickly and accurately.

The best input method for retail tags would be a bar code scanner. Bar code scanners are optical scanning devices that recognize the bar code pattern on merchandise and enter the data directly into the system. The bar codes have specific codes that apply to certain types of merchandise.Long documents would best be processed with a computer scanner so that the information on the document can be copied exactly and stored easily on the computer for reading or printing.

Data output is also important as the input method used. The best method of output varies dependent upon the product. Below, methods of output for hand held computers, color photographs, resumes, memorandums, statistical reports and company annual reports are discussed.

Screens are the most common output method for handhelds, and they vary widely in size, resolution, and readability. The most common type of screen used by hand held computer is the LCD screen. LCD screens offer high quality video display in a small form factor and require less electrical power to operate, extending the battery life of the hand held computer.

The best output for color photographs would be a high-resolution CRT monitor and a plotter. For viewing the image on a computer the CRT would provide the best resolution over a flat. The image would look its best on one of these monitors. For printing a plotter would provide the best quality.

The best output for a resume would be a laser desktop printer. The reason for this is because most of the time resumes are created at home and printed from there. Many people do not have access to the printers found at out jobs. In addition the laser produces the best quality of document and a resume is an important document.

The best output for memorandum would be an email. Memorandums are typically short in length and require quick action. Email is able to disseminate the memorandum...
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