A data collection system is exactly what it sounds like, and can be created in several different ways. Examples of a data collection system is a library book checkout system, a telephone address book, your e-mail address book, a database, an accounting system, a file cabinet and a calendar system or day planner system.
A data collection system is any type of system that obtains data and organizes in some fashion so that it is available to be viewed and analyzed. Sometimes the organization is a simple as putting the names in your telephone address book in alphabetical order, and sometimes its as complex as the governments databases of information from the military.
However, they all contain the same goal, to organize data in a method that allows you to extract the data you need without having to read every bit of data in file or collection. The system of collection and organization is what the different systems listed above all don’t have in common.
We use the phrase “database” regularly without understanding how different databases can be from each other and how complex they can be. A database is the end result of a data collection system. If you are old enough to remember when library books has a card in them that you had punched or marked when you checked out a book, you remember a data collection system. After you checked out your book they marked in the book when it was due and took the card and marked when it was due.
They then filed that card in a file container, usually by date of when the book was due. Now computers are used to check our books so you have a computer based data collection system. So the organization allowed you to know what books were due to be returned on what day. The cards could have been organized alphabetically, as the name of the book was on the top of the card. However, that would be of little use to the library, because you would have to go through all twenty-six letters of the alphabet and look at each card to determine if when the books were to be returned. Therefore, the organization was best suited to be in numerical order from one to thirty-one, allowing the librarian to determine which books were due on any given day of the month.
What Businesses Use a Data Collection System?
All businesses use a data collection system, and in today’s world most of them have a computer based data collection system. The collect and organize the names and addresses of their customers, the maintain the data of sales, receivables and employee time worked. They all organize and use the information differently but the collect it, organize it and use it; that is the essence of a data collection system.