Computer as a Data Processor:
The main function of a computer is to process the input data according to a specific program to produce the desired output. This is the reason why a computer is often viewed as a data processing device. Various components of a computer work coherently to perform different operations to process the data according to program instructions. The word 'Data' refers to any raw collection of facts, figures and statistics. The input data to a computer may include both numbers and characters. Processing the data thus means manipulation of letters, numbers and symbols in a specific manner. The processing may include calculations, decision making, comparisons, classification, sorting, aligning & formatting etc. The processing of data results in some meaningful values, often termed as 'information'. As we see, computer takes the raw data as input and performs several operations on these data in order to produce the desired output so it acts as a processing unit for those data. The programmers write programs for various data processing tasks. Writing a program to sort a given list of names, to search for a roll number in the list of qualified candidates, preparing and formatting a curriculum vitae, doing an accounting job, are all examples of data processing. As described in Unit I, digital computers have versatile capabilities and that is the reason why they are being used by a variety of people for different purposes. Now-a-days computers have something to offer to everyone. Whether it is an engineer, a business tycoon, a graphic designer, an accountant, a statistician, a student or even a farmer; everyone is now making use of computers. Thanks to the rich set of application programs, even novice users can now make effective use of computers.