Manually sorting lists can be difficult and time-consuming, especially if there are large lists to sort through. Sorting algorithms are written in coding languages and put the elements of a list or “array” in a certain order.
Sorting algorithms have two huge benefits: organizing the data faster so that it can be used and also reducing human errors. Business owners and managers are likely to use sorting algorithms every day without even knowing. If you’ve ever sorted customers by surname or age, it’s a sorting algorithm that enables you to do that.
Let’s take a closer look at what sorting algorithms are and how to use them.
Sorting algorithms are a method of organizing data in a certain order and can be used to organize messy data to be easier to use. Therefore, developing a strong understanding of sorting algorithms and how they work is a crucial fundamental of computer science.
The sorted data is usually in numerical or alphabetical order, often referred to as lexicographical order. The term "lexicographical" refers to the mathematical rules of sorting. Allowing characters other than A-Z makes the sort non-alphabetic, therefore falling into a broader category called lexicographical.
Ensuring that lists are organized can be crucial to performing many tasks. For example, removing or merging duplicate entries from large portions of data by sorting the lists based on unique criteria and leaving only the duplicate entries in a group. Another example, sorting two large lists to find out where they differ; by sorting the lists in ascending order, it’s easy to spot the differences in each list.
Various sorting algorithms use different methods to sort arrays. If you’re wondering, what is the fastest sorting algorithm? It all depends on the scenario and size of the array.
Here are the most common sorting algorithms:
Sorting algorithms can help to sort database information, customer data, and financial reports. It’s important to understand how sorting algorithms are beneficial to your business and the right ones to use when performing certain tasks that may require sorting larger portions of data.