Computer Science XI

Data, Information and Program

Computer is a tool for solving problems. Computers accept instructions and data, perform arithmetic and logical operations and produce information. Hence the instructions and data fed into the computer are converted into information through processing.

Data Processing Information
Basically data is a collection of facts from which information may be derived. Data is defined as an un-processed collection of raw facts in a manner suitable for communication, interpretation or processing. Hence data are  Stored facts  Inactive  Technology based  Gathered from various sources.

On the other hand information is a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn. Data that has been interpreted, translated, or transformed to reveal the underlying meaning. This information can be represented in textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, or audiovisual forms. Hence information is  Processed facts  Active  Business based  Transformed from data.

Algorithm is defined as a step-by-step procedure or formula for solving a problem i.e. a set of instructions or procedures for solving a problem. It is also defined as a mathematical procedure that can usually be explicitly encoded in a set of computer language instructions that manipulate data. A computer program (or set of programs) is designed to systematically solve a problem. For example, a problem to calculate the length of a straight line joining any two given points. The programmer must decide the program requirements, develop logic and write instructions for the computer in a programming language that the computer can translate into machine language and execute. Hence, problem solving is an act of defining a problem, understanding the problem and arriving at workable solutions. In other words, problem solving is the process of confronting a novel situation, formulating connection between the given facts, identifying the goal of the problem and exploring possible methods for reaching the goal. It requires the programmer to co-ordinate previous experience and intuition in order to solve the problem.

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