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Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 7:44 AM

Ten Centuries

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roger.plowman (11/7/2012)
I find myself in strong disagreement with the editorial.

Sales people:

A) shouldn't be allowed near a computer without at least 3 armed guards to make sure they don't touch anything

B) NEED every error correction mechanism known to man


C) Need a dedicated team of error correction specialists to fix all the entry mistakes made by said sales people.

Lacking that (sigh) you must have strong editing controls at the front end to catch at least some of the bone-headed and (frankly) lazy mistakes and deliberate lack of data entry most sales people consider adequate.

Been there, done that, ate the tee-shirt from sheer frustration bordering on genocidal rage... (sales people are a seperate species, right? )

Seriously though, the best time to correct any error is when it's made. Spell checking is the least of your problems when the sales force is allowed to enter data (shudder). Even having a DMZ and über-strong error checking won't help all that much because rejecting a record for data errors--even if you can find them (and most data errors aren't correctable since the data is either missing entirely or not verifiable without access to the actual paper records) isn't much less frustrating for the sales force than error messages at the front end.

Absolutely agree Roger. Sales people are sales people for a reason.

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1381987
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 8:03 AM

SSCarpal Tunnel

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Eric M Russell (11/7/2012)
When it comes to data quality in large enterprise organizations, what's essential is that the rules be formally documented (before development begins).

For example:
- If Col1 = 'A' then Col2 must be 1, 2, or 3.
- When Col3 is updated, then Col4 must also be updated with Date+Time EST.

The documentation must be continuously revised post-production as the business rules change, be published so that any user who queries the database has access to them, and be endorsed and promoted by mangement.

Here is how data typically flows within a large enterprise organization. Even if data quality is enforced at one layer, it can get mangled, mis-interpreted, misplaced, etc. as it moves into the next layer. The weakest link in the chain are those users running ad-hoc queries who are far removed from inside knowledge about the true meaning of the data.
- Data injested from client or other 3rd party sources into OLTP / application database.
- Data extracted from application database into operational data store / warehouse.
- Data extracted from ODS into 3rd party or proprietary reporting datamart (PeopleSoft, Infomatics, OLAP, etc.).
- Data extracted from datamart into MS Excel, SSRS, dashboard, ad-hoc queries, etc.

"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Post #1382001
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 9:56 AM


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Working in Environmental areas you become aware of water, but the basics still apply. If you pollute a stream of water at the source every inch of the water down stream could suffer from the pollution at the source. To fix the problem say 15 miles downstream is to allow for 15 miles of stream to remain polluted. If you really want to solve the problem you solve it for all the miles of the stream not just for some of the stream. Are data streams that much different? Fix it at the source, fix it early, and fix it right, then at all points along the way, everything is great.

Sales people sell product, they are not producers of product. We hire them to sell not to be computer or database experts. We need their feedback and assistance defining the market, be we do not need them to architect or code systems. Do they take the high tech coders out to sell product? They cringe at the idea. So why do they feel they can do all things IT? Odd bunch of ducks those sales folks.

Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!
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