"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data."
Most people in the IT world are familiar with the phrase Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO). If bad data goes into a system, the output will be wrong too. A source of good data should always be used, and systems need to be robust enough to handle users or other systems' 'garbage'. Specifications and standards can help, but there will always be exceptions and gray areas.
One of the most baffling statements I have heard in my career was from a customer with a software data input issue: 'we have our own ISO standard'!
The next series of chapters in the book will be built around a single project from several ...