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

Managing the User of the Spreadsheet

Now suppose the organization is gathering spreadsheets, and the end user community submits those spreadsheets for inclusion into corporate data. Suppose the end user community objects to having to comply with a standard spreadsheet format. After all, the end user community argues that the world of spreadsheets is a freeform, uncontrolled world, and the end user can do anything the end user wants.

Such an attitude is entirely within the realm of reasonability, as the end user community has never before been subjected to discipline and rigor when it comes to the subject of spreadsheet structure.

A good rejoinder to this attitude is that the end user is free to submit whatever spreadsheets that he or she wants to. However, because it will take the analyst considerable time and effort to reformat these spreadsheets into the standard form, a processing fee will apply.

Another approach is to “publish” the specifications for what...