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
13: Case Study

The Cost of Transforming a Spreadsheet

Making the transformation from spreadsheet to corporate data can be achieved in a variety of ways. One way the data can be transformed is manually. It is possible to read a spreadsheet manually, strip off the data that is desired, and then place the data into a database. There is great appeal to the manual approach. It can be done immediately; all that is required is a little bit of training. No great investment is required. And as long as there aren’t too many spreadsheets and as long as the spreadsheets are not too complicated, the manual approach works just fine.

But what if there are a lot of spreadsheets? The manual approach quickly breaks down. Using the manual approach:

  • There is the ongoing cost of human involvement. Humans cost a lot.
  • There is the fatigue factor. The quality of human work deteriorates over time.
  • There is the mistake factor. Humans make mistakes.
  • There is...