Home Data Turning Spreadsheets into Corporate Data

Turning Spreadsheets into Corporate Data

By Bill Inmon
books-svg-icon Book
eBook $24.99 $16.99
Print $35.99
Subscription $15.99 $10 p/m for three months
$10 p/m for first 3 months. $15.99 p/m after that. Cancel Anytime!
What do you get with a Packt Subscription?
This book & 7000+ ebooks & video courses on 1000+ technologies
60+ curated reading lists for various learning paths
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Early Access to eBooks as they are being written
Personalised content suggestions
Customised display settings for better reading experience
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Playlists, Notes and Bookmarks to easily manage your learning
Mobile App with offline access
What do you get with a Packt Subscription?
This book & 6500+ ebooks & video courses on 1000+ technologies
60+ curated reading lists for various learning paths
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Early Access to eBooks as they are being written
Personalised content suggestions
Customised display settings for better reading experience
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Playlists, Notes and Bookmarks to easily manage your learning
Mobile App with offline access
What do you get with eBook + Subscription?
Download this book in EPUB and PDF formats, plus a monthly download credit
This book & 6500+ ebooks & video courses on 1000+ technologies
60+ curated reading lists for various learning paths
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Early Access to eBooks as they are being written
Personalised content suggestions
Customised display settings for better reading experience
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Playlists, Notes and Bookmarks to easily manage your learning
Mobile App with offline access
What do you get with a Packt Subscription?
This book & 6500+ ebooks & video courses on 1000+ technologies
60+ curated reading lists for various learning paths
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Early Access to eBooks as they are being written
Personalised content suggestions
Customised display settings for better reading experience
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Playlists, Notes and Bookmarks to easily manage your learning
Mobile App with offline access
What do you get with eBook?
Download this book in EPUB and PDF formats
Access this title in our online reader
DRM FREE - Read whenever, wherever and however you want
Online reader with customised display settings for better reading experience
What do you get with video?
Download this video in MP4 format
Access this title in our online reader
DRM FREE - Watch whenever, wherever and however you want
Online reader with customised display settings for better learning experience
What do you get with video?
Stream this video
Access this title in our online reader
DRM FREE - Watch whenever, wherever and however you want
Online reader with customised display settings for better learning experience
What do you get with Audiobook?
Download a zip folder consisting of audio files (in MP3 Format) along with supplementary PDF
What do you get with Exam Trainer?
Flashcards, Mock exams, Exam Tips, Practice Questions
Access these resources with our interactive certification platform
Mobile compatible-Practice whenever, wherever, however you want
BUY NOW $10 p/m for first 3 months. $15.99 p/m after that. Cancel Anytime!
eBook $24.99 $16.99
Print $35.99
Subscription $15.99 $10 p/m for three months
What do you get with a Packt Subscription?
This book & 7000+ ebooks & video courses on 1000+ technologies
60+ curated reading lists for various learning paths
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Early Access to eBooks as they are being written
Personalised content suggestions
Customised display settings for better reading experience
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Playlists, Notes and Bookmarks to easily manage your learning
Mobile App with offline access
What do you get with a Packt Subscription?
This book & 6500+ ebooks & video courses on 1000+ technologies
60+ curated reading lists for various learning paths
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Early Access to eBooks as they are being written
Personalised content suggestions
Customised display settings for better reading experience
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Playlists, Notes and Bookmarks to easily manage your learning
Mobile App with offline access
What do you get with eBook + Subscription?
Download this book in EPUB and PDF formats, plus a monthly download credit
This book & 6500+ ebooks & video courses on 1000+ technologies
60+ curated reading lists for various learning paths
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Early Access to eBooks as they are being written
Personalised content suggestions
Customised display settings for better reading experience
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Playlists, Notes and Bookmarks to easily manage your learning
Mobile App with offline access
What do you get with a Packt Subscription?
This book & 6500+ ebooks & video courses on 1000+ technologies
60+ curated reading lists for various learning paths
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Early Access to eBooks as they are being written
Personalised content suggestions
Customised display settings for better reading experience
50+ new titles added every month on new and emerging tech
Playlists, Notes and Bookmarks to easily manage your learning
Mobile App with offline access
What do you get with eBook?
Download this book in EPUB and PDF formats
Access this title in our online reader
DRM FREE - Read whenever, wherever and however you want
Online reader with customised display settings for better reading experience
What do you get with video?
Download this video in MP4 format
Access this title in our online reader
DRM FREE - Watch whenever, wherever and however you want
Online reader with customised display settings for better learning experience
What do you get with video?
Stream this video
Access this title in our online reader
DRM FREE - Watch whenever, wherever and however you want
Online reader with customised display settings for better learning experience
What do you get with Audiobook?
Download a zip folder consisting of audio files (in MP3 Format) along with supplementary PDF
What do you get with Exam Trainer?
Flashcards, Mock exams, Exam Tips, Practice Questions
Access these resources with our interactive certification platform
Mobile compatible-Practice whenever, wherever, however you want
  1. Free Chapter
    Introduction
About 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.
Publication date:
June 2017
Publisher
Packt
Pages
140
ISBN
9781634622288

 

Introduction

For years, end users have been longing to take their technological destinies into their own hands. Nearly overnight, the personal computer and the spreadsheet made it entirely possible for the end user to do exactly that. With the personal computer and the spreadsheet, the end user no longer needed IT.

The consequence was an explosion of end user activity. Soon there were personal computers and spreadsheets everywhere. Every end user could be the captain of his or her own ship.

Spreadsheets were created faster and died faster than anyone could hope to keep track of. Spreadsheets were created on whims. Anyone could put anything they wanted in a spreadsheet at any time. The end user was elated at the autonomy that appeared on his doorstep...elated for awhile, at least.

The end user was elated until the end user woke up to find that the data on the spreadsheet was unreliable. Spreadsheets may have been easy to create and update, but making important corporate decisions based on spreadsheets was a risky business for no other reason than the lack of credibility of the data.

Every end user was the captain of his or her own ship—soon there were boats driving all over the ocean, and traffic was so choked that no one ended up going anywhere. There ensued what can be termed “spreadsheet Hell”. In spreadsheet Hell, there was no shortage of data, but there was a real drought of credible data.

When it came to making important and potentially risky decisions, management was hesitant to trust the data found on spreadsheets. This was simply because the data on the spreadsheet was so fluid and so flexible that no one really believed it. Any person could change data in a spreadsheet, without authorization or credentials, and there was no tracking process to see what info was changed by what people at what times. Also, the content entered in a spreadsheet cell was rarely validated for correctness or consistency.

Spreadsheets began to play other roles in corporations. Spreadsheets evolved into mediums of data exchange between corporations. When one corporation needed data from another corporation, much of that data was transferred in the form of a spreadsheet. It was much easier to just create a spreadsheet and to send it to the other corporation than it was to sit down and hammer out a formal format for the exchange of data. If the exchange of data was not correct in the case of the spreadsheet, the spreadsheet itself was simply altered.

For these reasons, there comes a time at some point in the technological evolution of a corporation to formalize some of these spreadsheets, so that data coming from them can be more trustworthy and can be relied upon.

Formalizing and introducing discipline in the process of entering data and reading data from a spreadsheet is challenging, but critical. Introducing discipline into the building and usage of spreadsheets is a necessary step in the maturation process of an organization.

This book describes one such process, examining a process that is termed “spreadsheet disambiguation”. This book will help you turn spreadsheet data into credible, useful, reliable data that management can trust in order to make important decisions.

One of the most important elements of this book is the concept that values of data are meaningless unless those values are paired with context.

The problem with spreadsheets lies here – spreadsheets are often presented without any context readily apparent. Usually that context is there, but it is elusive. Spreadsheet disambiguation is based on the proposition that in order to have true meaning, there must be both context and values.

Interwoven with the recognition of the importance of context is the notion that lineage of spreadsheet data is of the utmost importance. Because the basis of all spreadsheet data is some person putting numbers on a spreadsheet, lineage becomes vitally important.

Lineage of data has existed since the earliest systems, but it has still managed to play a secondary role in classical corporate systems. In classical corporate systems, the veracity of data – the truthfulness of the values of corporate data – is considered to be of paramount importance. However, when considering spreadsheets, data’s lineage is in fact more important than its veracity. This is, of course, because the veracity of data relies entirely on the creator of the spreadsheet. For this reason, the lineage of spreadsheet data as it becomes corporate data takes a position of great importance.

This book represents an important step in the maturity of the organization. As corporations mature, they recognize the need to turn some of the data found on spreadsheets into corporate data. And with that comes the need for spreadsheets that are credible and well-organized. Whether you are a manager, developer, end user, or student, this book will help you achieve that state for your spreadsheets and, ultimately, your corporate data.

WHI, Castle Rock, CO May 2017

About the Author
  • Bill Inmon

    Bill Inmonthe "father of data warehouse"has written 57 books published in nine languages. In 1991, he founded the company Prism Solutions, and in 1995, he founded Pine Cone Systems, which was later renamed Ambeo. Bill was named by ComputerWorld as one of the ten most influential people in the history of the computer profession.

    Browse publications by this author
Turning Spreadsheets into Corporate Data
Unlock this book and the full library FREE for 7 days
Start now