A Lack of Context

What I wish source systems would tell us and they hardly ever do. Best laid out as an example, look at this data:

𝟺𝟻𝟽𝟾𝟸𝟷, 𝟹 𝟢𝟢𝟢, 𝟸𝟢𝟸𝟢-𝟢𝟿-𝟸𝟢

This alone does not tell us much, so along with this we need context, commonly in the form of column names:

π™²πš„πš‚πšƒπ™Ύπ™Όπ™΄πš π™½πš„π™Όπ™±π™΄πš, 𝙱𝙰𝙻𝙰𝙽𝙲𝙴, πšƒπ™Έπ™Όπ™΄πš‚πšƒπ™°π™Όπ™Ώ

Fine, this is usually all we get. Now, let’s shake things up a bit by introducing a second line of data. Now we have:

𝟺𝟻𝟽𝟾𝟸𝟷, 𝟷𝟼 𝟢𝟢𝟢, 𝟸𝟢𝟸𝟢-𝟢𝟿-𝟸𝟢
𝟺𝟻𝟽𝟾𝟸𝟷, 𝟹 𝟢𝟢𝟢, 𝟸𝟢𝟸𝟢-𝟢𝟿-𝟸𝟢

Confusing, but this happens. Is the timestamp not granular enough and these were actually in succession? Is one a correction of the other? Can customers have different accounts and we are missing the account number?

Even if you can get all that sorted out, we can shake it up further. Put this in a different context:

π™Ώπ™°πšƒπ™Έπ™΄π™½πšƒ π™½πš„π™Όπ™±π™΄πš, πšπ™°π™³π™Έπ™°πšƒπ™Έπ™Ύπ™½ π™³π™Ύπš‚π™΄, πšƒπ™Έπ™Όπ™΄πš‚πšƒπ™°π™Όπ™Ώ

Now I feel the need to know more. Are these measurements made by different persons and how certain are they? What is the margin of error? If these were in succession, what were their durations? If only one of them is correct, which one is it?

More sources should communicate data as if it was a matter of life and death. This is what Transitional modeling is all about.

Published by

Lars RΓΆnnbΓ€ck

Co-developer of the Anchor Modeling technique. Programmer of the online modeling tool. Site maintainer. Presenter and trainer.

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