Artificial Intelligence – The intelligence exhibited by a programmed computer. The computer is employed to simulate human intelligence, human thinking processes. Examples: the computer that play chess, the computer guidance of aircraft. See also: Simulation of thinking
Computer – Complex electronic calculator. Used in marketing research for data processing. In psychology the computer is employed similarly for simulation of thinking processes (for example: what factors play a part in the solution of a (purchasing) problem?). See also: Data processing/Simulation of thinking
Computer Print-out – The information obtained from a computer via a printer, usual after the data has been processed. The print-out maybe in the form of a primitive, barely readable first draft of the research results or it may be a complete, perfectly accessible and presentable document.
Computer Science – A branch of mathematics involving computer software, programming, or problem solving in general. See also: Programming
D.P. – Abbreviation for Data Processing See also: Processing
Data – the basic facts collected in a research survey. After they have been processed and analyzed, the data should provide certain information They are the raw material of all marketing research. See also: Information
Data Analysis – General term used for any analysis that can be applied to all kinds of data. See also: Analysis
Data Bank – 1. A systematized collection of all sorts f data, in all sorts of forms. For example: annual reports, newspaper clippings, marketing-research reports, brochures.
- Stored information rapidly accessible by means of a computer.
Data Base Management – The management of data for any kind of computer-aided quantitative marketing research. See also: Data
E.D.P. – Abbreviation for electronic data processing.
Electronic Data Processing – Often abbreviated to E.D.P. Basic data is processed electronically by means of computers, which can carry out all kinds of mathematical and logical operations. Frequently used in marketing research.
“Garbage in, garbage out” – The results obtained from unreliable data will remain unreliable, even when processed or analyzed with the help of the most sophisticated statistical techniques. In other words: badly executed fieldwork will never produce high quality information.
Heuristic Programming – A form of computer programming, involving the seeking of a solution to a problem. With the aid of trial and error method, all kinds of alternatives are investigated until the ultimate possible solution is established. See also: Programming/Iteration
Information – The processed data from a research project. Basic data that have been rendered accessible, readable and usable for a third party, i.e., the client. See also: Data
Input – 1. Noun: all information fed to a computer for a processing and experimentation. The output follows the input. Output is data that have been processed and are produced by the computer, for example in the form of a print-out.
- Verb: the transfer of data from questionnaires or code books into the computer of its external memory, in order to perform the required calculations and analysis.
Iteration – Computer search for optimum (according to program) structures or relations in a large number of variables. The purpose is to establish a simple, meaningful and clearly arranged whole. See also: Multidimensional Analysis/Heuristic Programming
Machine Language – A program language appropriate for a specific kind of computer. Each computer is capable of performing a fixed series of operations. Machine language usually consists of English-language abbreviations (for example: “add price”) See also: Program Language/Programming
Magnetic Tape – Thin, plastic tape that is externally composed of a magnetized substance. It is used to store (and reproduce) information by means of a computer. It serves a function similar to that of the older punch card. See also: Punch card
Network – Computers interconnected for high-speed data transmission (sometimes using a modem). Network users can exchange data and programs as required. See also: Modem
Output -1. The execution of a computer program and the resulting output printed on paper or projected on a monitor screen. Often composed of tables, graphs, list of text, etc.
- All information produced by a computer, after processing and experimentation, following input. See also: Input
Plotter – A device connected to a computer to control a pen that make diagrams, graphs, etc. based upon data input.
Program Language – The total vocabulary of instructions that can be comprehended by the computer. See also: Machine language/Programming
Programming – To supply instructions to the computer by means of a special “computer language” (for example: Algol, Fortran, Cobol). The computer is instructed what sequence of operations must be performed. See also: Heuristic programming/Machine language/Program language
Punch Card – A cardboard equipped with a distribution in columns, with 12 positions to every column. Each position can be marked by means of a punch hole or slot or by a pencil led line. Punch cards are used to store information (that requires decoding). Punch cards were once frequently used in the processing of interviews. See also: Magnetic tape
Simulation of Thinking – The imitation of human thought by means of computer. Purpose: to (indirectly) study human thinking processes. For example: the thinking process of the housewife while shopping or of the voter during the campaign period. See also: Simulation