ICT Systems & Information and Data

ICT Systems & Information and Data

GCSE ICT - CDsData is collected and input using an input device, typically a keyboard. The information is processed in the way the software program instructs it to, is stored on the hard disk or externally (on a CD-ROM for example) and then transferred into information that we can understand on an output device (e.g. text on a monitor).

In some cases this information can be fed back directly into the system and the cycle continues. An example of this is a temperature control system. In this kind of system a sensor will take a measurement of temperature, send this data to be processed, which may actuate a heating device. Of course the heater will alter the temperature and so the cycle starts over again. This is known as a control feed-back loop.


Information and data

There is a difference between data and information. Data can be any of the following: words, sounds, pictures, letters or numbers. On their own they do not mean a great deal. Imagine finding a piece of paper near a PC at school and on it is scribbled:

Drink food Fancy dress 17/02 19.00 pickup 11pm map (Maple) questions – 07895487512

This data, which we can store wherever or however we like, makes little sense without a context. You later receive an email:

GCSE ICT - InvitationYou are invited to a fancy dress party to celebrate my 16th birthday on Wednesday 17th February. Food and drink will be provided. You can arrive at any time after 7pm and my parents have asked if you can be picked up no later than 11pm. My road can be found on Google Maps here. I live at Maple cottage. Any problems/questions ask me at school or phone me on 07895487512.

This is information. The email has given the data a context and provides the necessary information we need to take action (hire a gorilla costume, for example).