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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The output is only as good as the input

Part of what I do in my current work is produce ad hoc reports. I often am asked about the information in them because it doesn't appear to match what decision makers had assumed.

The information on the reports is only as good as the raw data that exists in the system, I tell them. If the company no longer do business with a client, for example, and yet the client is still marked active in the system, then the client still gets counted as an active client. The same goes for employees. Active employee count may appear high, but when it comes down to the actual numbers of employees getting paid, the number is much smaller in some cases.

Helping managers and other decision makers understand these truths is one thing that I appreciate doing in my work.


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