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

3: Spreadsheet Varieties

In order to understand how spreadsheet data can be turned into corporate data, we must understand spreadsheets at two levels. The first level can be called the “external” level. The external level of a spreadsheet is the way a spreadsheet looks to the user. When you look at a spreadsheet on the desk or on the computer, you are looking at it “externally.”

The other way a spreadsheet can be examined or understood is “internally”. Almost no one sees this internal view, except for the computer. The spreadsheet looks very different to the computer than it looks to the end user or the analyst.

The reason why it is important to understand what a spreadsheet looks like internally is because the internal view determines much of what can and cannot be accomplished with the data. In order to turn spreadsheet data into corporate data, you need to understand what is happening and why it is happening. Figure 3.1 illustrates...