Flowchart shapes – Data I/O and data storage

Data Input / Output

When dealing with data we use a parallelogram symbol. By data we mean any information which is entering or leaving the process. This is not permanently stored data. This is the data which is flowing through your logic. For example if your flowchart reads a number from a variable then this operation falls in the category of data or input. If your flowchart is generating some output which you want to print on the screen then this output is also termed as data. The symbol used for data is shown below

Flowchart Shpaes - Data Input Output

Data storage / permanent storage

There are two types of symbols you will find to depict data storage in flowcharts. The first symbol is this one

Flowchart Shapes - Data Storage

And the other symbol is this one

Flowchart Symbol - Database

The second symbol is a more universally recognized symbol for data storage or a database. Although you can use the first symbol also when you want to show a step which stores some data, but to keep things simple we would recommend that you use the second symbol to show a data storage step. You can also use the second symbol to show a step where you are reading some data from a data storage.

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