A Spreadsheet Nightmare

I want to share a common problem that many organizations have. To explain the problem, I’m going to tell you two stories using different organizations.

First Story: Every week a national homeless shelter organization needs its chapter organizations to send data on that week’s activities via a spreadsheet. That data gets grouped together to provide analytics on shelter funding, care provided, and available beds.

Second Story: Every month a global bank collects data on customer service benchmarks by receiving a spreadsheet from each office. These benchmarks help the bank determine how well the bank is adopting the worldwide training program.

Now, even though those two organizations are vastly different, they both share a common challenge. Namely, how do we get the submissions of data to follow a standard when each submission is provided by a different individual or group? One way to get the data to be consistent is to make sure they follow a template. This often comes in the form of an excel or CSV template, with defined data columns. But even though the central office uses a template, the data submitted often have nuanced differences between those submitting the data.

And as you can imagine, it’s incredibly difficult to get data to come together if columns are all in different formats. For example, if one submission uses the Division ID column to write Division 217, and another writes D217, and yet another writes just 217, then you have to post process all that data to a singular format. If you don’t do that, then the reports will roll up division 217 separately for each format. This issue becomes a data gathering mess, and many organizations just end up hand editing the hundreds of separate data submissions every time new data is sent.

Intricity has created a simple solution to this problem called the Data Validation Factory or DVF. This cloud-based solution allows you to set rules for the format which the data columns should appear in. If the data being submitted doesn’t follow the designated formats then DVF will assemble the appropriate error messaging to notify the user where their submission has errors. This ensures that the data submitted is correct, and can be easily analyzed downstream.

The DVF is part of a cloud-based Data Factory suite which Intricity can offer its customers. To look into the pricing of the DVF, click here. If you’d like to talk with us about your specific challenge feel free to reach out to talk with a specialist.