7/01/2013

Swimming in the Data

What do you do?

Program computers.

What segment?

Business Intelligence.

Reporting, ETL, Analytics?

All of the above.

Specialty?

Reconciliation of numbers across different data sets.

How does that work?

You start off with a known set of numbers.  You have a second set of numbers which don't match.  Find out why.

So you would think to first find all the matches, then find the deltas, then figure out what's causing the differences.

Except what if you are off by $10, you would naturally think to look for a simple $10 plus or native transaction.

This is almost never the case.

You may have +500, -600, +200, -90 resulting in a -10.

I used to manage the month end for an Insurance company and I literally swam in the data all day everyday.

Most programmers would steer clear of this type of job, except I seem to enjoy it.

It's like solving a puzzle, just a matter of time before you find all the pieces and put them in the correct pattern so the solution presents itself.

I've been doing this at my full time job as I run the Month End and Sales Cube and a bunch of other reports / cubes.

Today I was able to track down some missing monies, which the super user was super happy.

Turns out some bad data was the culprit, so tomorrow I'll modify the code to handle the anomalies and the report should have the correct numbers.  Seems the Sales People would prefer the Commission reports be accurate, for some reason.

And there you have it.

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