After the last time we chatted, I got a bit of a hard time from my co-workers regarding my announcement that pin cushions and needles excite me. OK, so when I say it like that, the harmless jibes may have been well deserved. Of course, if you read my last article, you’ll know I wasn’t talking about real pin cushions. I was talking about the nasty bits of bad data one can find when you start looking around. You can catch a glimpse of the previous article here.
As a business analyst, dealing with bad data is a necessary evil in order to get rid of its distracting effect on your business decisions. My tool of choice to handle this problem is a data discovery tool called QlikView. This tool allows me to see at a quick glance combinations of data that simply don’t make sense.
However, before I can identify bad data, I need to first understand the business the data is being used to improve. The more we understand your business, the better equipped we are to make you better.
As an analyst, I need to understand the business logic around the data that I am reviewing in order to identify inconsistent combinations. Knowledge of data, in most cases, comes from interviews with clients – gathering definitions of business terms, understanding the requirements around calculations on the data and any special key performance indicators the organization might use that differs from industry standards.
Larger projects sometimes require several interviews to understand business requirements.
If we find ourselves working on a particular data solution for you, we will have various discussions on user requirements. The more discussions we have, the better we are able to understand your business and data. Both the good and the bad data.
So, before I ever get excited about bad data and those needles in the pin cushion, I’m already excited about learning more about your business.