HOW CITIES SHOULD APPROACH DATA PROCESSING,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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Although certain benefits can be achieved through clerical mechanization alone, the most important benefits to cities will come through the application of the new data processing equipment to entirely new ways of handling information. In order to achieve these benefits, cities must understand both the nature of data systems and the equipment available for improving them. All data systems consist of five basic activities--whether they are automatic, semi-automatic, or merely manual systems. These activities are input, storage, processing, output, and communications. The ideal system toward which cities should work is one in which environmental type data gathered by all departments is filed in unified, central records describing persons or parcels of real property. These centtral files would replace many existing files--not be created in addition to them--since they would be available to all departments for functional use in their normal operations. Eventually, these central files should be based on even larger areas, covering more than one city--such as county, metropolitan area, or an entire state.