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December 2021 – Santa

Santa Needs a Data Manager

It’s a few weeks before Christmas, and there’s chaos at the North Pole.

Setting: Santa’s Workshop Conference Room. Windows facing out to a scene of rushing elves, conveyor belts, and racks of packages. Walls covered with live weather reports. Hot chocolate and cookies on the table. A bottle of bourbon, unopened, in Santa’s hand.

Santa: “Where is my year-end Good vs. Naughty report!”

Hermey, Head Elf: “The North America data need some wrangling before we have the numbers, Santa. Buddy is working on it.”

Buddy the Elf: “We had to modify a few standards, Sir. You know how kids are these days.”

Santa: “Excuses! I thought we agreed last year to integrate the data and align our standards! I don’t want a repeat of 2020!”

Hermey, Head Elf: “Yes, Sir, we had good intentions, but when we pulled the monitoring data back in June, we realized the data were all over the place.”

Keebler: “The Elves in charge of countries in the southern hemisphere use spreadsheets. Some insist on having a special-circumstance column or tracking by GPS coordinates instead of house address. Maddening!”

Pixie: “The Northern Hemisphere unit went to an Access® database a couple years ago, but the data are a mess, and it keeps crashing. They just shoved the data in without any quality review. Quite honestly, I can’t believe the naughty numbers coming out of the U.S.”

Santa: Opens the bottle of bourbon and pours himself a glass. “That’s it. We’re calling the Data Management Team at Environmental Standards! I want ALL the data migrated to one database by this time next year. I want confidence in who is naughty and who is nice and where they live! If Timmy hits his sister again, I want to know about it! I want real-time, on-demand reporting wherever I am – at home with Mrs. Claus, on my sleigh, heck, even on my phone. If I am coming down the chimney and Timmy flips to nice, I need to know. Do I make myself clear?”

Hermey, Head Elf: “Yes, Sir. Great idea! I will get the phone for you so you can call them now.”

Pixie: “By the way, that Environmental Standards group is definitely on the nice list this year. I verified the data myself.”aD

Lydia M. Work, LRS

Principal Chemist