Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle (384–322 B.C.), though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development.
A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks.
Data ( DAY-tə, DAT-ə, DAH-tə) is a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables.
Data analysis is a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making. Data analysis has multiple facets and approaches, encompassing diverse techniques under a variety of names, in different business, science, and social science domains.
Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object, system or measurable human interaction (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, and sewing patterns). Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases, the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, coding, and graphic design) is also considered to use design thinking.
A system is a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming an integrated whole. Every system is delineated by its spatial and temporal boundaries, surrounded and influenced by its environment, described by its structure and purpose and expressed in its functioning.
Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist... The therapy effected by life itself is not, however, within one's control. Neither hardships nor friendships nor religious experience can be arranged to meet the needs of the particular individual. Life as a therapist is ruthless; circumstances that are helpful to one neurotic may entirely crush another.
Karen Horney Our Inner Conflicts (1945)
A great part of the progress of formal thought... has been due to the invention of what we may call stenophrenic, or short-mind, symbols. These... disengage the mind from the consideration of ponderous and circuitous mechanical operations and economise its energies for the performance of new and unaccomplished tasks of thought. And the advancement of those sciences has been most notable which have made the most extensive use of these... Here mathematics and chemistry stand pre-eminent. The ancient Greeks... even admitting that their powers were more visualistic than analytic, were yet so impeded by their lack of short-mind symbols as to have made scarcely any progress whatever in analysis. Their arithmetic was a species of geometry. They did not possess the sign for zero, and also did not make use of position as an indicator of value. ...The historical calculations of Archimedes, his approximation to the value of π, etc., owing to this lack of appropriate... symbols, entailed enormous and incredible labors, which, if they had been avoided, would... have led to [even] great[er] discoveries.
Thomas J. McCormack, "Joseph Louis Lagrange. Biographical Sketch" (1898) in his translation of Joseph Louis Lagrange, Lectures on Elementary Mathematics (1898); 2nd edition (1901) p. vii.
Some engineering artifacts are most easily analysed, described, or designed as an assembly of simpler parts. Artifacts of this kind are called systems. Some systems have the property that flowing through them are streams of some 'working fluid' (which may be matter, energy, or information), in such a way that the 'working fluid' passes in turn through many parts of the system, which is in consequence termed a sequential (or flow) system. Examples are a chemical plant, an electrical power distribution network, a digital computer, a sewer system. Systems which do not have this property are termed associative systems of which examples are a motor car, an aircraft, or a bridge - - it is with (sequential) systems that the theory of system design has primarily been developed.
William Gosling (1962). The design of engineering systems. New York, Wiley