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

Identifying Column Headings

As already discussed, the heart of creating corporate data from spreadsheets is the ability to identify meaningful context of values placed on the spreadsheet. The way this is done is to identify the column name and the row identifier for each value of data.

The row identifier is always easy to identify because it resides on the same physical line as the value. But the column name is another matter. The column name is found by aligning the xlstab occurrences with the value. But in order to even know that a column line signifies a column, the system must learn which line contains the column headings. As mentioned earlier, this can only be achieved manually, by entering the column heading line into the ssdef table.