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Data processor

Data processor definition

A data processor is a system, subsystem, or software application that manages and manipulates data.

At a hardware level, the processor typically refers to a computer's central processing unit (CPU). When talking about software or apps, a data processor refers to a program or system that takes data as input, processes it, and produces an output.

The IT term “data processor” shouldn’t be confused with the legal one. In a legal context (especially in the EU), a data processor is an entity that processes personal data.

See also: information processing

Examples of data processors

  • Database Management Systems (DBMS). MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server process data queries, store data, and retrieve data based on user commands.
  • Big Data processing platforms. Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark are designed to process vast amounts of data across distributed systems.
  • Data analytics. Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, and Google Data Studio allow users to input data, analyze it, and visualize the results.
  • Spreadsheet apps. Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and LibreOffice Calc allow users to input, manipulate, and analyze data in tabular form.
  • ETL (extract, transform, load) tools. Software like Informatica PowerCenter, Talend, and Microsoft SSIS extract data from one source, transform it, and then load it into another database or data warehouse.
  • Data warehousing platforms. Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, and Google BigQuery store and process large datasets for analytical querying.
  • Data cleaning tools. OpenRefine or Trifacta clean and prepare data for analysis.
  • Machine learning. TensorFlow, PyTorch, and Scikit-learn are platforms and libraries for processing data to build and train machine learning models.