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

Similar Column Headings

What if two column headings are very similar, but still have slight differences? This is a very common circumstance. Consider when an analyst submits a spreadsheet for the month of May.

The column headings are captured into an ssdef table. Now for the month of June, the analyst adds a simple column. Out of a large spreadsheet containing many values, only one new value has been added.

Is the definition of the columns as created in May going to be able to be used for the month of June? The answer is no. If definitions of column headings are to be reused, they must be exact matches.

Now suppose the analyst has defined column headings for the month of August to the system in the ssdef table. However, there is no new data to report in September, so the analyst simply reuses the same spreadsheet from August. Will the header lines that were defined in August still work for the month of September? Because there have been no changes to the spreadsheet, yes...