A Record Named Duplicate

Although The Rolling Forecasts recently got the band back together for the Data Rock Star World Tour, the tour scheduling (as well as its funding and corporate sponsorship) has encountered some unexpected delays. 

For now, please enjoy the following lyrics from another one of our greatest hits—this one reflects our country music influences.


A Record Named Duplicate *

My data quality consultant left our project after month number three,
And he didn’t leave much to my project team and me,
Except this old laptop computer and a bunch of empty bottles of beer.
Now, I don’t blame him ‘cause he run and hid,
But the meanest thing that he ever did,
Was before he left, he went and created a record named “Duplicate.”

Well, he must of thought that it was quite a joke,
But it didn’t get a lot of laughs from any executive management folk,
And it seems I had to fight that duplicate record my whole career through.
Some Business gal would giggle and I’d get red,
And some IT guy would laugh and I’d bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain’t easy with a record named “Duplicate.”

Well, I became a data quality expert pretty damn quick,
My defect prevention skills become pretty damn slick,
And I worked hard everyday to keep my organization’s data nice and clean.
I came to be known for my mean Data Cleansing skills and my keen Data Gazing eye,
And realizing that business insight was where the real data value lies,
As I roamed our data, source to source, I became the Champion of our Data Quality Cause.

But as I collected my fair share of accolades and battle scars, I made a vow to the moon and stars,
That I’d search all the industry conferences, the honky tonks, and the airport bars,
Until I found that data quality consultant who created a record named “Duplicate.”

Well, it was the MIT Information Quality Industry Symposium in mid-July,
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
So I thought I’d stop by Cheers and have myself a brew.
At that old saloon on Beacon Street,
There at a table, escaping from the Boston summer heat,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that created a record named “Duplicate.”

Well, I knew that snake was my old data quality consultant,
From the worn-out picture next to his latest Twitter tweet,
And I knew those battle scars on his cheek and his Data Gazing eye.
He was sitting smugly in his chair, looking mighty big and bold,
And as I looked at him sitting there, I could feel my blood running cold.

And I walked right up to him and then I said: “Hi, do you remember me?
On this USB drive in my hand, is some of the dirtiest data you’re ever gonna see,
You think the dirty, mangy likes of you could challenge me at Data Quality?”

Well, he smiled and he took the drive,
And we set up our laptops on the table, side by side.
We data profiled, re-checked the business requirements, and then we data analyzed,
We data cleansed, we standardized, we data matched, and then we re-analyzed.

I tell ya, I’ve fought tougher data cleansing men,
But I really can’t say that I remember when.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
And I saw him conquer data defects, then reveal business insight, all without a fuss.

He went to signal that he was done, but then he noticed that I had already won,
And he just sat there looking at me, and then I saw him smile.

Then he said: “This world of Data Quality sure is rough,
And if you’re gonna make it, you gotta be tough,
And I knew I wouldn’t be there to help you along.
So I created that duplicate record and I said goodbye,
I knew you’d have to get tough or watch your data die,
But it’s that duplicate record that helped to make you strong.”

He said: “Now you just fought one hell of a fight,
And I know you hate me, and you got the right,
To tell me off, and I wouldn’t blame you if you do.
But you ought to thank me before you say goodbye,
For your mean Data Cleansing skills and your keen Data Gazing eye,
‘Cause I’m the son-of-a-bitch that helped you realize you have a passion for Data Quality.”

I got all choked up and I realized I should really thank him for what he'd done,
And then he said he could use a beer and I said I’d buy him one,
So we walked over to the Bull & Finch and we had our selves a brew.
And I walked away from the bar that day with a totally different point of view.

I still think about him, every now and then,
I wonder what data he’s cleansing, and wonder what data he’s already cleansed.
But if I ever create a record of my own, I think I’m gonna name it . . .
“Golden” or “Best” or “Survivor”—anything but “Duplicate”—I still hate that damn record!


* In 1969, Johnny Cash released a very similar song called A Boy Named Sue.


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