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

Non-Standard Spreadsheet Structures

We’ve described in detail the optimal “standard” spreadsheet structure. Again, if you plan to use a spreadsheet to create corporate data, it is ideal to use this “standard” structure as we’ve described it. However, we must consider another very common spreadsheet structure: a simple list of values, as demonstrated in Figure 5.3.


The simple list is very common – so much so that it needs to be recognized just like the “standard” format is recognized.

There is one very significant difference between the standard format and the simple list: the determination of the context of values. With the standard format, the context of value is given by a combination of the column name and row identifier. For a simple list, though, the context is often exclusively found in the row identifier. Figure 5.4 shows what a simple list looks like at the internal spreadsheet level.


An interesting...