Syllabus Detail

  •  Flow of data through an information system; input, processing, storage, output. 11 GEN



  • Information systems have multiple stages of data flow
  • The first stage of data flow is input
  • This is where the data to be processed is put in to the system
  • Data input can occur in many ways, such as from:
    • A keyboard
    • A mouse / trackpad
    • Scanners
    • Barcode readers
    • Touch screens (common on mobile computing systems)
    • Microphones
    • Web-cams
  • Data must be converted from an analogue to digital format if it is not already digital
  • This is because computers work in a digital format (i.e. binary)



  • Processing is the next phase of data flow
  • This is the stage where the data is prepared for the task being performed
  • The data is shaped to provide an output of useful information
  • Data processing can refer to multiple tasks, such as:
    • Sorting
    • Searching
    • Graphing
    • Calculations
    • Converting (e.g. to another format)
    • Validation (ensuring the data's validity)
    • Aggregation (combining multiple pieces of data)
    • Analyzing
    • Reporting
  • There are different types of processing types that are each suited to particular situations
  • Read The Computing Teacher's article on Processing Types here



  • Data is often stored after it has been processed, but not necessarily permenantly
  • Data can be held temporarily in memory or stored on non-volatile storage devices, such as:
    • Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
    • Solid-state Drives (SSD)
    • Optical Drives
    • Flash drives
  • Storage is useful for data that we may need to process in the future
  • Read The Computing Teacher's article on primary and secondary storage here
  • Read The Computing Teacher's article on storage capacities here



  • Data that has been processed is now ready for output
  • The data is presented in a suitable format depending on the desired result
  • For example:
    • We can hear the output for data involving sounds (such as music)
    • We can see data such as text and graphs as a visual output
    • We can feel certain outputs such as haptic feedback (e.g. mobile phone vibrations upon touch input)
    • Other data that has been output may be re-used for further processing
    • Some devices such as printers allow for data output in other physical forms
  • Multiple systems include various types of output
  • We generally think of data that has been output as information from a process that we can see, hear, feel or work with


Further Research

  1. Computer Systems - Input, Process Output from Slideshare here
  2. Output devices from ComputerHope here


Worksheet and Practice (yet to be added)

Found an error or have an enhancement? Please let us know via this contact form