Section 003, Instructor: Ermira Zifla

Weekly Question #6: Complete by March 8, 2017

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on March 8, 2017. Remember, it only needs to be three or four sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so much particular “facts” from the class!

Answer one of these:

We spent a little time in class discussing the article Stupid Data Corruption Tricks.

  1. Have you ever made one of the mistakes listed in the article? Describe what happened.
  2. If you haven’t made one of those mistakes, which one of them do you think is the most important to avoid?

38 Responses to Weekly Question #6: Complete by March 8, 2017

  • I believe the most important mistake to avoid is number three, to ‘start working on the database without doing a full backup first.’ I feel that most of the other steps tend to be technical issues, in which we ourselves, can’t control always. The occurrences and mistakes that occur in most cases are independent. But making a backup file is something in which is dependent on ourselves, yet we tend to forget about this minute detail. It is the difference between hitting undo and losing all of our data. We tend to take this small action for granted, but by simply having a backup file, we are able to reference the original forms of things, usually before analyzed. The mistake of not making a simple backup file is essential as if we are to ever lose our native file, a copy is always handy, but we seem to completely disregard the importance of being better safe than sorry, or in this case without data completely or to simply make a copy of the data in which we have gathered.

  • Profile photo of James Dean

    It is my opinion also that number three is the worst mistake possible to make. Not doing a complete backup on anything you are working on first is an error that can make your life miserable. I have made this mistake in the past in other fields and actually just had to deal with the effects of not doing a complete backup in my line of work. I work in surveillance systems installations. Last week I installed 50 cameras at a new club on 12th & Vine. While installing the NVR(Network Video Recorder) into the server rack and doing initial setup, I decided I was going to change the codecs and the frames per second on the video. This was in order to store more video on the hard drives and therefore increase the back dating possible of the system. This helps when things are not noticed or happened many days prior. The video is still available. Before changing the settings, I did not make a backup of the settings or the video I already had. When I made the changes I lost 40 of my cameras video feeds and all prior recorded video. I then had to revisit each camera, take it completely down from where I installed it, and reset it. Then reinstall the camera in its place. This cost me many hours in resetting and reinstalling all 40 cameras in addition to the cost I was paying for my labor helper. In addition, one of the hired laborers seizing the opportunity with the cameras being down decided to return to the job site later that night and steal thousands in tools and material from the other companies working there. If I would have done a backup, I could have avoided all of this by simply restoring the original settings. Lesson learned. Do a backup whenever possible.

  • I have experienced the mistake #2, “What system am I logged into?’ I work in the recruiting department at Temple Football and all of the workers have a few different log-in usernames and passwords for each assigned task that is asked of us throughout our database that day. Sometimes I forget which username I am under and start working on a different assignment than I am told to and start to input the wrong information into the recruiting database.

  • I have never made one of these mistakes, so I think the most important one to try and avoid is number 1, ‘Click “yes” without carefully evaluating the message that says “do you want to remove this from the server?”‘ I think this is the most important because as David Taber explains in the article, this error could delete your data, as well as your metadata and configurations. Also, since “server” can mean many things, it could be easy to think it means one thing, such as your machine, and then click yes right away, when it actually means something else. I could see this being easily overlooked or simply clicked right away just to get the dialog box out of the way, resulting in a major mess with the data and metadata getting deleted. I think this is most important because it is something so simple (a click of a ‘yes’ button), yet has major repercussions.

  • Profile photo of Walter Kirby

    I have not had any of these happen to me. However, I believe number three, “Start working on the database without doing a full backup first”, is the most important. I think this is the most important because as David Taber said in his article, not doing a backup could lead to losing the data entirely. Forgetting to save the original file while you work on the new one could cause you to lose everything you started on and force you to go back to the drawing board and start all over from point one. Saving the original data and saving the new data as you go along can not only save time, but can also allow people to take breaks from the data without the fear of losing everything they had already worked hard to accomplish.

  • Profile photo of Seth Keatley

    I have not made any of the mistakes that the author listed, but if I had to choose a mistake that would be the most detrimental, I would think removing something from the server would be the worst. If you accidentally remove something from a server, it could possibly be gone forever. Also if the server you are working on is company-wide, then your company literally just lost a giant chunk of data or metadata. There is no telling how harmful this could be for a business.

  • Profile photo of Keerthana Rachamadugu

    A mistake I’ve made multiple times is #3. Many times I have worked on essays and forget to save them. It was probably the most frustrating thing ever. Its the fact that I have worked hard and spent time on an essay that is now lost. I took a couple hits before I decided it was time to turn on the auto-save option. It is the most life-saving option ever.

  • Profile photo of Parth B Patel

    A mistake that I have made a few times is a converting error in excel. In looking at large data sets from various online sources the columns can be configured as anything. A common thing with excel files easily is to convert each column into text(string) values even if there are numbers in the rows to make for easy file transfer. So recently I was looking at this big data set of transaction records for local pharmacies and ran into this problem. I spent 15-20 minutes trying to figure out why my graphs weren’t correct and why all the data points weren’t showing. I had downloaded the and just went into creating graphs and not validated all the data and their field values. It was a great learning lesson to VALIDATE the data first before starting to analyse it.

  • Profile photo of Memoona J Khan

    A mistake I have made and learned from is number three, starting to work on a database without doing a full backup first. Throughout my assignments and projects from classes, I never really remember to make a copy or a backup of it, which after one incident helped me realize its importance. I’ve always been taught in my business classes and have seen, having even one backup is necessary. When I had one of my websites that I created, for a project, completely wiped because of a computer issue, I had to redo everything in one day. So i believe that is definitely one of the important mistakes to avoid.

  • Profile photo of Robin Goetz

    Number 9: Copy formulas that use relative coordinates. Using is a mistake that I definitely have made before. At the beginning of my internship of last summer, I had often typed in a reference, e.g. when calculating the tax on top of a total of sales, and then just copied down the formula without fixing the cell reference. Thus, Excel did not use the cell I had intended it to do, but actually incremented the row number. Although, I recognized the error very quickly, as beginning in the second row the numbers did not make sense anymore, I had to delete all the values again and fix my error. I think that is a mistake everyone who just started with Excel has made before. I now know how to fix cells when referencing, but there are definitely tons of other ways to make mistake in Excel, as it has just so many features and functions. Therefore, whenever I finish working with Excel I make sure to double check if my values make sense and I have not made one of the many stupid data corruption tricks mentioned in the article.

  • Profile photo of Max Snyder

    I haven’t made any of these mistakes simply because I haven’t used Excel enough to actually make these mistakes in the first place. However I believe the most important mistake to avoid would probably be Number 6: Missing the Data Type. If you were to miss the data type that could lead to an error in the data as you are organizing it. If this error goes unnoticed and an analysis is then performed it could lead to an incorrect conclusion, and if this conclusion is then used for decision making, the effects could be catastrophic.

  • Profile photo of Veronica Antoni

    Even though I have not made any of these mistakes due to my lack of use of this tool I believe the most common one or the one that I would probably be less likely to avoid would be Number 1 which mainly consists of clicking “yes” when a message appears on the screen even though we are not sure what the message is trying to say or what the program would do if we click “yes”. For example, for major companies it can hide some data instead of deleting it having terrible effects or results of the process being conveyed. I know that it is a pretty simple mistake to avoid but most of the times we do not avoid it mainly because we do not feel like it will alter your research or results or think that the button “yes” represents something way to simple that could not alter anything meaningful.

  • Profile photo of Johnny Luu

    I’ve made the third mistake on this list a couple of times. Not exactly when working on a database, but with other written assignments on a website and even on Word. It’s easy to forget to checkpoint save periodically to make sure your progress isn’t lost. Some websites are weird with things like replying to a post or creating a blog. If, after a while, you haven’t been active and then you try to post something the website will crash and lose your whole post if you didn’t save it. That’s why now I always make sure to have my documents typed on Google docs since it automatically saves everything without me doing a thing.

  • Number 3: “Start working on the database without doing a full backup first” represents an important technology shortcoming that people must protect themselves. Data especially on hard drives is subject to falling into corruptness easily and without warning. I have known students to loose full projects because they failed to save their work in two places and files became corrupt.

  • Profile photo of Amy Huynh

    To be honest, I haven’t made any of these mistakes since I never used Excel prior to coming to this class. With this being said, I think number 3 (working on the database without doing a full backup first) is the most important to avoid. I’m pretty sure that most of us at one point forgot to save/backup an important document/data and ended up losing it, which is not pleasant. Once you lose it, you most likely can’t get it back and have to start over again. To avoid completely losing your data, it is vital to back it up beforehand.

  • Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, I have made a few of these mistakes and I am slightly embarrassed to say that I have made mistake number one countless times on a few different programs. I should have taken more time to read the error message before clicking “yes”, I am usually frustrated while using a computer to begin with because i find them difficult , so anything that stops me from doing the job i need to do i just try to get rid of it as quick as possible. In the future i will try to not make the mistakes listed in the article so i can better understand how the program works.

  • One of the mistakes I frequently make that is listed in the article is the #3, and it should be the most important thing to avoid. The reason being that I feel it’s so important is because it is one of the smallest, yet most simple thing that someone can mess up. People must do checkpoint saves while working on a document because if it is not saved, the laptop could run out of battery or even have a technical malfunction and shut down by itself, and without the document being saved, all of you’re work is gone. Once you loose it you may not be able to get it back again. It is vital to backup and or save you’re data on a daily basis during you’re progress.

  • Profile photo of Tyler McCaw

    One mistake I have made while using Excel was #9. I think everyone has done when they first use Excel but I was trying to use a formula that I used in a previous cell and totally forgot about the cell reference. It messed up my entire spreadsheet and I had to go back and fix each mistake I made for the rest of cells. It was extremely frustrating.

  • Profile photo of Lily Heinemann

    I haven’t made any of these mistakes because I haven’t extensively used Excel, but I think the most important mistake to avoid is number one. Accidentally saying “yes” to removing data from the server will result in not just data loss, but metadata and configurations. This also seems like a mistake that is very easy to make, because people tend to not fully read or try to comprehend warning or error messages that pop up while they are doing their work, so blindly clicking “yes” to those messages can result in data corruption.

  • Profile photo of Malik Lassiter

    I think the most important mistake to avoid is working on the database without doing a backup first. It sounds such like a very small and unimportant mistake but it actually has the most severe consequence. By making this mistake, someone could lose their entire body of work, something that they may have done perfectly just because they forgot to save their work. I can remember a few instances where I completed a document or data type and didn’t save my work. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world to happen because it ultimately reflects a huge waste of time. I think remembering to constantly backup your work is a very important habit every student should have.

  • Profile photo of Moeed Faisal

    I know for a fact that I have made mistake number 3. Backing up work is one of the most important parts of doing work. It seems frivolous at first, but I’ve lost complete projects with 4+ hours of work because of forgetting to hit that control s. I see a lot of people saying it’s a huge waste of time, I don’t think it’s a huge waste of time because by doing the work, you have some idea of what it should look like and you could improve on what you had before, but there is no doubt that it is very frustrating when it happens and is so demoralizing if you’re working under the pressure of a deadline.

  • I just began working with data, when I enrolled into this class, so I have not had the opportunity to make any mistakes listed in the article. However, I think the most important mistake to avoid is number 3: start working on the database without doing a full backup first. I have first hand seen what happens when I don’t save pictures, or photos, so I cannot imagine how detrimental it would be if I did not backup an entire database. Losing a database is an easily preventable loss of time, resources, and money. It is important to take precautionary measures in order to keep from having to go back and redo large amounts of work in the future.

  • Profile photo of Jamya L Day

    Personally, I’ve made mistake #9, Copy formulas that use relative coordinates. When working with a large excel file at my internship, I double clicked to copy formulas down the rest of the rows without checking to make sure it actually filled to the bottom. I then sorted my data and noticed multiple blank cells because there were cells referencing the cells that should have contained the formula in them as well as the blank cells that should have had the formula.

  • Profile photo of Alison Kline

    I personally, have never used CRM data as I am new to working with big data and excel. However, I have made mistake #3 a few times when writing essays in Microsoft Word by not saving my work periodically through writing and losing my work because I hadn’t saved it properly. If I was actually working with CRM data, I feel as though mistake #4 would be most important to avoid. Sorting a spreadsheet seems like something you would have to do almost every time when working with data. It also seems like a pretty easy task, which is why I feel as though it would be the most common and easiest mistake to make. If you don’t include all the columns when sorting, you are going to be missing a lot of your data when you thought you had “all” of it.

  • I believe the most important mistake to avoid on the article is number 3, start working on the data base without doing a full backup first. It is very important to back up your base of work before beginning to analyze your data because any type of mistake or accident can damage data or original copies of any information. I have made the mistake a few times of not saving a word document before closing out the application, so I have lost content and time rewriting papers at my own expense. Large corporations need to ensure clients that there are systems in place to avoid loss of valuable data, as that could lead to loss of progress, theft of information, and overall waste of time

  • Profile photo of Kahleem M Wilkins

    The mistake I have made before was Number 3: “Start working on the database without doing a full backup first”. This have happened a couple times actually. Either when typing a paper or having to hard reset my phone without properly checking the last time everything has been auto-synced to cloud storage or backed up. The results were lost music files or pictures that I really liked that will never be recovered again.

  • I have made mistake number 3,4,6,7,8,9, and 10 while working with data in the past. In most of these instances, I realized at some point (sometimes later than I would like to admit) that I had made a mistake and was able to carefully “undo” anything I had done to corrupt the data. Eventually, I was always able to restore the data to its original state, learn from my mistake, and then start the process again. This is why I believe that mistake number 1 is the most important to avoid because it often will not allow a simple “undo” to restore the data. While it might be a great learning experience the first time it happens, it is not something I would want to experience more than once in a lifetime.

  • Because I have not used Excel before, I have never experienced any of mistakes presented in the article. However, I have made mistakes similar to that of number 3 “Start working on the database without doing a full backup first”. One time I was working on a 4 page, single-spaced essay, when all of a sudden my power went out around page 3. I had to start over, but the whole paper was due in 2 days, but I had been working on it the past 3 days. In the end I feel like number 3 is the most important to avoid because it is the first thing you can do once you receive a data set. Plus, If you save regularly, you avoid a lot of frustration if something unforeseen happens.

  • I’ve had my problems using technology and softwares. My one promble was number 3. I remember starting a data project for programming class in High school and forgot to back it up on my school laptop causing me to loose all my done work. Now a days everything save by the minute atleast google apps.

  • I’ve had my problems using technology and software. My one problem was number 3. I remember starting a data project for programming class in High school and forgot to back it up on my school laptop causing me to loose all my done work. Now a days everything save by the minute atleast google apps.

  • Profile photo of Ellen Gbeyeh Wiah

    A mistake I made and learned from was number 3 “start working on a database without doing a full back-up”. I had a marketing internship last semester and I was tasked with updating the company email list, I downloaded the list without doing a full back-up and in the middle of updating the list my computer crashed and when it came back on the entire list was gone. I guess this had happened before because when I told my boss what happened he told me he had done it before and he did a full back-up before giving me the list.

  • Profile photo of Emma Girandola

    I believe that mistake #3 is the most important one to look out for. When working on data it is important to fully download and back up the assignment. Otherwise, your computer or data can crash and delete everything. In addition, once you exit out of the system it will delete everything that you worked on up until then. Then, you would have to start over. Last year in STAT I had started working on an assignment and before I saved my work my computer ended up crashing so I lost everything and had to start over.

  • Profile photo of Sarah Trested

    Although I have never really made any mistakes with data, I would say #3, start working on the database without doing a full backup first, is the most important to avoid. I have been in situations where I forgot to press save and all my hard work was lost. I can only imagine how that would feel if I lost hundreds of columns of data information. It is important to save constantly throughout the process and even have the auto save turned on. If you’ve put in hours of work, its important that it is actually saved, that way you do not lose all of your hard work and have to start over.

  • Profile photo of Jibreel Murray

    One big mistake I have made while working with data that is listed in the article is copying formulas that use relative coordinates. I made this mistake while working with tableau. I thought I could use similar formulas to receive correct calculations when creating a calculated filled. I quickly discovered copying formulas only leads to missed calculations.

  • Profile photo of Luke Greenley

    I think the mistake to avoid the most would be #1, accidentally removing data from the server. This mistake raises a number of issues, but most of all it is an inconvenience to the user because it could delete all progress and ruin a data set or analysis that one may have made.

  • The mistake that I think you should avoid is #3, start working on data without fully backing everything up before. This can be a terrible thing especially if you have a lot of data to enter in. What happens if you computer crashes and everything is lost? Another thing is, if you exit out of the software without backing it up then it won’t save either. This mistake happens a lot not just with data, you don’t want to lose all of your work and then start all over again because of not backing up.

  • Profile photo of Patrick Murt

    I feel that the biggest mistake that one could make on the list is starting a new database without doing a full backup. I say this because losing any amount of data without backing it up first is a risk. To lose minutes, hours, or even days of progress to a slip up as avoidable as backing up data isn’t worth the trouble.

  • Profile photo of Jordan Massey

    A mistake that I have constantly made in No. 4: Sort a spreadsheet, but not include all the columns. It is very important to do so because it will easily corrupt your data. I was doing a project on Baseball home runs and forgot to include the column for a specific prominent player, I looked at it and knew it was wrong because the player was not present.

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Ermira Zifla (instructor) 10:00am-12:00pm Wednesdays, Speakman Hall 207C or by appointment.
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