Apr 30 2013
Data management professionals have long and sometimes rather Quixotically driven organizations to “get past the spreadsheet culture.” Maybe that’s misguided. The recent furor over a widely read social science paper may show how we can look to scientific peer review for a way to govern data, spreadsheets and all.
Recently, it was found that a key study underpinning debt-reduction as a driver of economic growth based its conclusions on a flawed spreadsheet. As this ArsTechnica article describes, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff's Growth in a Time of Debt seemingly proved a connection between "high levels of debt and negative average economic growth". But, per a recent study by Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin, it turns out that the study's conclusions drew from a Microsoft Excel formula mistake, questionable data exclusions, and non-standard weightings of base data. The ArsTechnica piece finds those conclusions fade to a more ambiguous outcome with errors and apparent biases corrected.
Apr 29 2013
Gartner released an updated version of their Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Search on April 25, 2013. Microsoft, through its complete integration of FAST Search into SharePoint, ranks in the Leaders Quadrant.
Gartner noted that Microsoft simplified its Enterprise Search options by including FAST with SharePoint 2013. Analysts also noted that Microsoft has provided transparent access to document relevancy ranking.
The Magic Quadrant can be accessed here (login required).
Apr 26 2013
Months after a successful dimensional data mart deployment, I was informed end users were unhappy. The users were apparently dissatisfied with the slowly changing dimension component of the solution. Improper product names continued to appear on reports because those products were named incorrectly when they were sold. End users wanted the products sold to reflect the proper product names rather than some earlier erroneous version of the product names.
Apr 26 2013
If any of the following are true of your unit tests, you might not be following some simple guidelines for effective unit testing:
- I can't test that because it is static/void/private.
- My unit tests take too long to run.
- My test fails if the database/webservice/system is down.
- My unit test's Spring configuration file is out of sync with production.
Unit testing can be fairly simple to implement with immeasurable value for both the customer and the implementing team. Unfortunately more often than not, basic principles and tools that can help prevent these problems are not being applied.
What follows are proven guiding principles to successful unit testing.