Monday, December 24, 2012

Have an Excel-lent Christmas

These days, even Santa uses the power of data to manage his work. Two recent posts highlight the role spreadsheets and big data play in his workshop.

from Santa Claus & the DD Xmas
IBM shares an interview with Santa on their Big Data Hub blog: Santa Claus and the Data-Driven Christmas. As you can imagine, an operation as one as large as Santa's requires a significant data center and analysis software. He has big plans for the future, too.

"So, for example, moving forward we will keep using geo-location, mapping, mobile device and third-party data to help create ideal transportation paths for my sleigh route on Christmas Eve. We call it 'chimney mapping,' and it provides optimal delivery patterns to ensure that we get every gift delivered on time.  Imagine if FedEx had to deliver all of their packages processed during the year… in a matter of 12 hours. That takes a lot of data, a lot of advanced analytics, and a fair amount of strategic planning. (Not to mention a dash or two of Christmas magic!)"

from What Is Metadata
Meanwhile, over at Scientific American, Bonnie Swoger shares the importance of metadata. She advises us to "Be like Santa and make sure your data is findable and re-usable."

Bonnie seems to think that Santa is a fan of Google Docs. But let's not quarrel.

"I think we can agree that Santa would use sound data management practices, including the creation and use of proper metadata, to keep track of his gift giving and logistical data.  He would want the rest of us to use good metadata so we can always locate that 30 year old picture of him, too."

I wonder how these interface with Santa's Privacy Policy. Hmmm...

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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