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How Libraries Should Manage Data by Brian Cox

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3

Step away from the spreadsheet – common errors in using spreadsheets, and their ramifications

This chapter outlines exactly why many librarians struggle to produce actionable data. Many of the problems with data can be traced back to the data structure, which in turn can be traced back to the way the production of data is managed by a library. Even the librarians that should know better commonly use a crosstab type data structure for entering their raw data. This chapter explains with library specific examples how profoundly limiting these commonly used raw data structures are, and outlines the emotional decisions that underpin the use of such a structure. The chapter finishes by outlining ten common pitfalls in spreadsheet management, and how ...

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