Mountains of data don’t seem to faze me.
Large calculations or formulae (Excel, SQL, etc) don’t bother me either.
One of my clients, Xstrata Coal Queensland, needed to graphically represent data from three types of databases. Health and Safety data from all installations needed to be collected, distilled and then meaningfully represented. Each report/graph had to be totally customisable with regard to:
- the type of data presented
- the time periods over which the reporting spanned
- setting flexible targets per installation
This is quite complex work, but to me, an enjoyable challenge! Previously, I had done similar work combining information regarding equipment and personnel efficiency.
Data is only valuable if it can be interpreted, distilled and displayed in a meaningful way. Think ‘purpose’. Think ‘communication’.
Using trend data can be helpful for forecasting and setting targets. Many businesses have the data and the software at their fingertips but find it difficult to view in a meaningful way to them. Businesses capture data through forms (online), registrations, subscriptions, automated processes and so on. One of the largest projects was a set of online forms to collect more than 200 pieces of information and all securely written to a database, error-checked and verified. Another interesting challenge!