In a broad sense, information is structured, processed and organised information designed for the benefit of the human mind. Information, in particular, can be considered as the conscious knowledge of an individual, group or organization about a specific subject. The information thus refers to facts, figures, data, images, sounds, or any form of information perceived by an individual that assists him or her in taking some sort of action. It gives context to previously processed data and helps in decision making, specifically as regards to action taken.
For instance, a particular customer’s sale in a restaurant is discrete data; this becomes information only after the restaurant has been able to identify the top or bottom most best selling dish. Such information is not available to a customer prior to this exercise. But after this exercise has been carried out, the customer can now see complete definition of the best selling dish, and therefore can choose the same from among the list of dishes available at the restaurant. We see clear implication here of two processes/ processes – Discrete and Continuous Data Processing Cycle. Discrete process is a process whose elements are not changed (transformed) on being a fact (here, the customer’s sale). Continuous process on the other hand, involves transformation of a fact into information and the information is transformed multiple times (from discrete data to Ordinal data, for example).
The concepts of Discrete and Continuous Data Processing Cycle are very important to data processing science. To understand them better, let’s discuss in detail their working and their role in organizations. While discrete data processing cycle takes a certain amount of time (as it has to deal with too many facts at one time), Continuous processing cycle makes use of big computers for large scale processing. Big data, as mentioned above, can be processed faster and thereby increases the speed of information transfer. In short, by mastering the techniques of information science (discrete and continuous data processing), you will be able to make your business grow faster.