If You Must Use A Spreadsheet As A Database At Least Use This Kind

Spreadsheets are a breeding ground for data inaccuracy — unless you can solve one core problem.

Zach Quinn
Pipeline: Your Data Engineering Resource

--

Currently job searching? Give yourself an edge by developing a personal project using my free 5-page project ideation guide.

One of the things about being a data engineer (or, perhaps, just a data nerd), is that you can’t help but comment when someone mentions their org’s data infrastructure.

Especially if it’s bad.

And even more so if it’s nonexistent.

My most recent critique came at the expense of a friend of my wife and I who works in a school. Talking to another teacher friend, they mentioned that they wish they had more time for planning and, you know, teaching, instead of so much tedious, manual work.

When I commented that grading should probably still involve a degree of human intervention they shocked me by clarifying they weren’t referring to grading.

They were talking about recording attendance. Which they had to do.

By hand.

And they had to do it in the worst possible (yet most used) data storage solution: A spreadsheet.

While vulnerable to a range of development flaws, spreadsheets pose two primary issues:

  • Difficult to scale
  • Inaccurate

--

--

Zach Quinn
Pipeline: Your Data Engineering Resource

Journalist—>Sr. Data Engineer; helping you target, land and excel in data-driven roles.