When you need to enter or store large amounts of data which is repeated, it is often a good idea to code it.
For example, the colours blue, green, red and yellow might be given the codes bl, gr, re and ye or perhaps be, gn, rd, yw.
There are many reasons why data is coded:
- It speeds up data entry
- It provides security especially if the codes contain a series of numbers and letters
- It reduces the storage space required for the data i.e. yw requires 2 bytes of data storage but yellow needs 6 bytes.
Problems with coding data:
- Data is coarsened e.g. emerald green and light green are both coded as 'green'
- You need to know the codes in order to enter then correctly
- Value judgements are difficult to code
Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you
Click on this link: Coding Data