Handling Data III: Your System Talking to Itself (or not)

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Author: John Sumser | Source: HR Examiner | Published: October 16, 2013

So, you’re the proud owner of a brand new integrated single-sign-on system from company X. After a ton of negotiating and almost getting fired during implementation, you are ready to go to work. You might think you’re done with the surprises and heartache.
Sadly, it’s just beginning.
This is the third in our series of pieces about the hassles of making data work. You’d think it would be simple. “I want to know the relationship of x and y.” But, depending on the system and your subcontractors, it’s not easy.
Unless a piece of software is written in a single code stack (or developed with precise descriptions of all of the data elements…which doesn’t happen), the process of getting data out for cross functional questions involves mapping and cleaning the data. Every single time.
The thing you need to understand is that a system can operate perfectly well and still be a mess in the data layer. Since non-expected scenarios are not called out in any RFP ever, the buyer doesn’t have to come to grips with the question until after the system is installed.