Book Image

Turning Spreadsheets into Corporate Data

By : Bill Inmon
Book Image

Turning Spreadsheets into Corporate Data

By: Bill Inmon

Overview of this book

Spreadsheets are a popular way to store and communicate business data, but, although they are easy to create and update, they are not reliable enough to be used for making important corporate decisions. With this book, you can gain insight into how to maintain spreadsheets, how to format them, and then convert them into a database of reliable and useful information. Turning Spreadsheets into Corporate Data starts with a quick history of spreadsheet usage. You’ll learn the basics of formatting spreadsheets, including how to handle special characters and column headings, and how to convert the spreadsheet first into an intermediate database and then into corporate data. You will also learn how to utilize the mnemonic dictionary that is created along with the intermediate database. The later chapters discuss the immutability of data and the importance of organizational and political considerations during the data transformation. By the end of this book, you’ll have the skills and knowledge needed to convert your spreadsheets into reliable corporate data.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Free Chapter
1
Introduction
14
13: Case Study
15
Glossary
16
Index

A Tradeoff

Only by going through “Spreadsheet Hell” did the organization learn that there was a tradeoff to be made between end user autonomy and data credibility. The end user could choose to have complete autonomy. But as long as the end user could put any data at any time for any reason on a spreadsheet, then this autonomy became a liability. Just because data was on a spreadsheet did not mean that the data was credible.

Not only was data not believable, but data wasn’t reliable. Spreadsheets became lost or corrupted. Backup procedures were nonexistent. Audit procedures were nowhere to be found. Storage procedures and equipment were specious. Making major corporate decisions based on spreadsheet data became a risky endeavor.