Excel and data have been my life for the past 15 years, and I'm driven by the impact that data has on peoples' lives. I've seen where crap data has resulted in termination warning letters going to the wrong people, a business' marketing efforts completely stopped, a nonprofit's inability to apply for grants for their literacy program, a small manufacturing company guessing about inventory levels.
After tracking down a lot of issues, I eventually realized that the people in the processes weren't incompetent. Instead, the problem was the many ways that data gets corrupt. Thus, I've been on a crusade to bring focus to the importance of data cleansing as a skill.
It's not glamorous. In fact, data cleansing can be thankless and brutal when you have to deal with 9 different misspelling of Albuquerque in your source data or 3 different codes for the same product.
But nothing happens reliably without clean data--no dashboards, no data visualizations, no reports, no paychecks ... no peace, just misery and confusion. People who cleanse data are the stealth warriors for peace from sea to shining sea.
Today, I make fun YouTube tutorials, host workshops and do presentations whenever there's an opportunity to share the knowledge and sound the alarm about cleaning data and ending misery.
Microsoft Excel Most Valuable Professional: 2015, 2016
Author of Guerrilla Data Analysis, 2nd Ed
Former Co-Host on ExcelTV
Resident of Portland, OR after 19 years in Chicago, IL
US Navy Veteran
BA in Philosophy from University of IL-Chicago
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Second City Training Center, Chicago