Definition of Flow Chart
A flowchart is a diagrammatical representation of data that helps in depicting a particular process or flow of instructions of an algorithm that is basically a step-wise approach in solving a bigger task. A flowchart diagram usually represents the particular steps as boxes and the way of communication or the connection between boxes is done using arrows. With the help of this diagrammatic approach, a flowchart shows the overall model of a particular problem and finds the solution using the right approach. It is used in analyzing and designing a program or a process in many sectors.
What is Flow Chart?
A flowchart is a visual representation in terms of representing data using symbols. It is better approached by designing it in a diagrammatic approach for its easy behavior and understanding.
- It is basically used to understand a potential problem of an algorithmic process and find its optimum solution in return.
- The flowcharts, for their easy diagrammatic approach, are used in lots of fields for documentation, study, planning, improvement, communication between various mediums for finding and solving problems of complex architecture.
- A flowchart, others spelled as a flow chart use a lot of symbols or shapes to determine the steps, the basic idea of a program, and its solution and also use arrow or lines for connecting symbols to define the data flow and the sequence flow.
- A flowchart basically uses rectangles, diamonds, ovals, cylinders, and various other shapes to make a problem understand better in terms of viewpoint.
- A traditional flowchart diagram uses manually drawn charts to machine-drawn diagrams including a wide variety of steps and sequences that are used by technical as well as non-technical people globally.
- Flowcharts are also given numerous names for their functionality and usability like Data Flow Diagram or Process Flow Diagram or System Flow Diagram etc.
Explanation of the Flow Chart Components
The components in a flowchart help in depicting the solution approach of a program in an algorithm that makes users easy to understand and use. The components are described as below:
- First is the Oval shaped Terminator that represents a start node and an end node. It is used at the beginning of the algorithm to determine that the process has been started and also at the end of the algorithm to determine that the process has been terminated.
- Next is the Parallelogram shaped symbol that represents the initial data of the program that needs to be initialized for continued programming. This symbol denotes the input or output of the flow of information data of a required algorithm to be processed.
- Next is the Rectangle-shaped symbol that represents the process of the required algorithm. The symbol determines the actual data to be processed and the various actions to be taken for the particular steps to efficiently handle problems of that given algorithm.
- Next is the Diamond-shaped symbol that represents the decision taken that is required while moving forward for finding the exact solution. The decision point in the flowchart helps in taking the decision between more than two paths of the program in a given algorithm. After the decision is taken, the program will continue its steps with one or both routes after the decision point.
- Next is the Arrow or the connector points that help in the direction where the data is currently flowing through and also represent the connecting link that connects and routes it according to the shape of the symbols of the program using a right-angled line. It also represents the relationship among the shapes used.
- The circle-shaped on-page connector helps in connecting two or more flowchart diagrams on the same page and is usually denoted using numeric symbols.
- The off-page connector helps in connecting two parts of a flowchart that are on different pages and are usually denoted using the alphabet.
- A double-lined rectangle is also used in the flowchart diagram to represent a predefined process that indicates a marking line for another step of the process flow or a series of flows in which the current program is running that is defined in other parts. This shape or symbol also represents subprocesses.
- There are other various data symbols, document symbols, connecting symbols used mainly in the intermediate or advanced flowchart diagrams for the highly refined processes.
Benefits of Flow Chart
The flowchart diagram is basically used as various problem-solving techniques as it provides solution steps in the easiest manner that is well understood and well remembered. There are lots of benefits that a flow chart has. These are:
- Clarity in Representation: The flowchart tool has the great advantage of visualizing a sequence of progress that is happened in a program in a single document with clarity. The users have a better understanding of finding out the necessary steps and eradicating the rest.
- Effective Communication: Flowcharts offer a step-by-step visual understanding of every flow that helps in communicating effectively throughout the entire globe.
- Coordination: The effectiveness of a flowchart helps in saving time and resources eventually reducing the overall burden of extra team members that include the ability to make and schedule events.
- Increase in Efficiency: The flowchart’s ability is to eliminate errors and useless steps in a process that helps in significant improvement in every process step.
- Analyzing: A flowchart helps in depicting the type of actions that are required for each step in a process thereby analyzing the problem in a better way.
- Solving Problems: A flowchart helps in the breakdown of a complex problem into subparts that are easily definable and solvable.
- Clarity in Documentation: Digital or program flowcharts serve as paperless documentation that makes things more desirable.
A flowchart is the best tool in a digital platform to effectively analyze and provide necessary steps to understand, clarify and find solutions using diagrammatic symbols that a user or enterprise can acknowledge better and save time and labor.
This is a guide to What is a Flow Chart?. Here we also discuss the definition and components of the flow chart along with benefits. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –