David Plotkin

When Does My Package Arrive?

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by David Plotkin I occasionally purchase something that requires me to be present to sign for it when UPS delivers the package. Since I travel a lot, I have to be careful about scheduling when the package arrives. Unfortunately, that can turn out to be harder than it should be. And therein hangs a tale.…

The Case of the Wandering Prescription

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by David Plotkin Most of my medications come by mail from my online pharmacy, so I wasn’t surprised when I got an email from them recently. The email stated that they were unable to fill a prescription for me. I didn’t think too much about it until I realized that I didn’t recognize the medication.…

If You Send Me the Wrong Data, I’m Hosed

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by David Plotkin A few weeks ago, I had the amazing bad luck to become the victim of identity theft. This was, fortunately, a fairly minor issue; two different credit cards were applied for (and approved) in my name. The first came to my attention when I got a voice mail from Walmart because there…

When Business Rules Fail

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by David Plotkin Business Rules are wonderful things, and I remember what an epiphany they were for me when Ron Ross and Barbara Von Halle began talking and writing about them in the early 90’s. Back then, I was a data modeler — specifically, a logical data modeler (physical would come later) — as well…

Data Quality Ain’t Lost

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by David Plotkin The famous American frontiersman Daniel Boone was once asked if he was lost. “No”, he replied, “lost means you don’t know where you are. I know where I am. It’s how to get to where I am going that has me a mite perplexed.” I thought about this definition of “lost” recently…

When Slow Data is Bad Data

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by David Plotkin In my new job, I travel quite a bit, often on short notice. This has the unfortunate side-effect of frequently leaving me sitting in a center seat, squashed between two people who should eat less and exercise more. So, when the opportunity arose during check-in to purchase an aisle seat in “Economy…

It has to be quick, too.

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by David Plotkin I recently joined a new company, and as with all such endeavors, there was a really long list of things I had to do to get everything set up in a variety of systems. You know the stuff – HR used to do it for us, but then someone figured out that…

Designing in Data Quality with the User Interface

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by David Plotkin Larry English recommends “designing in” data quality into new systems, and I agree that this is very important. One of the ways you can accomplish “designing in” of data quality is to work closely with the User Interface team. This is even more important when multiple new systems (or major system upgrades)…

The Saga of the Safeway Sandwich

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by David Plotkin The Saga of the Safeway Sandwich I’ve had a few epiphanies in my career – sudden realizations that changed or significantly reinforced my viewpoints. One in particular occurred while attending a tutorial at Enterprise Data World presented by my good friend Bob Seiner of KIK Consulting. Bob knows a LOT about data…

Who is the Customer?

        A Fable with a moral by David Plotkin Once upon a time, there was a company. This company had a terrible time recognizing their customers and understanding what products those customers had. The reasons for this weren’t hard to understand.  The company’s main business was selling insurance, and each type of…