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Commercial Data Processing

Every business or industry involves handling of data, in all its various forms, which include mainly text, images, or numbers. Data is basically any raw information which can be processed.Large companies and institutions gather large amounts of data, on a daily basis. This data isn’t always helpful in the raw form, and needs to be processed. Processing data means to extract meaningful information out of data. This could include generating graphs, maintaining databases with past records, or generating bills and other documents.Processing data manually is alright for very small establishments, but would be impossibly tedious for larger organizations. Hence, computers are used to manage these large amounts of information, for many reasons, including speed, ease of use, accuracy, and little room for human errors. This computerized management of information is called ‘Data Processing’. And when it is used in commercial establishments, it’s called ‘Commercial Data Processing’.Data Processing is used in various different ways, by insurance, phone, and gas companies, and electricity utilities, but is especially useful in these fields:1. Banking Systems:In recent years, banks have made their services increasingly convenient through electronic banking. Electronic banking uses computers to carry out transfers of money. For example, automated teller machines (ATMs) enable customers to withdraw money from their checking or savings accounts by inserting an ATM card and a private electronic code into an ATM. Banks also use electronic transfers to deposit payroll checks directly into a customer’s account and to automatically pay a customer’s bills when they are due. Many banks also use the Internet to enable customers to pay bills, move money between accounts, and perform other banking functions.Internally, banks use computers to maintain records about their users and their accounts, to maintain a common database between all their branches, or simply to generate paychecks for their employees.2. Hospitals:The hospital programs usually carry out the following functions:* Admissions records* Billing* Medical records/ reports* Supplies inventoryIn a hospital, quick and secure access to a patients’ medical records is of utmost importance, so computers are frequently used for this purpose. Also, they often do the day-to-day monitoring of patients, sounding an alarm when something out of the ordinary happens. It would be impossible to have humans monitoring the health of each patient, 24/7.3. Stock Control and Order ProcessingUsing a stock control application, a supermarket can have more efficient and effective control of stock. By inputting the necessary information (the name of an item; its expiry date; the amount of stock bought and on which date; how many units of the item were sold; … etc.), the owner can quickly get information regarding the stock in the form of reports. The program can warn staff when stocks are low for a particular item, or simply keeping records of all stock bought and sold, to make the process of stock-taking easier, ie, they can check whether whatever was bought has been sold, and that no goods are lost.The system can also be used to input information when an item is being sold, to return the price, calculate total amounts, and generate bills.

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