Santa Quality

On the 3rd of December I feel inspired to relate some data quality issues to Mr. Santa Claus – or what is exactly the name. Is it:

  • Saint Nicholas or
  • Père Noël as they say in French or
  • Weihnachtsmann as they say in German or
  • Julemand as we say in Denmark or
  • Plenty of other local names?

Santa Claus versus Saint Nicholas is an example of the use of nicknames which is a main issue in name matching in many cultures.

It’s also important to observe that the German and Danish name is one word versus two words in English and French. Many company names and other names in respective languages shares the same linguistic characteristic.

Father Christmas is an alternative identification maybe more being a job title.

Another question is where he lives.

The North Pole is acknowledged as the correct geographical address in Anglo countries – but there seems to be alternative mailing possibilities as:

  • Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, HOH OHO
  • Father Christmas, North Pole, SAN TA1 (UK)

However the Finish claims the valid address to be:

In my home country Denmark we will accept nothing but:

  • Julemanden, Box 1615, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland

Finally I could imagine which data quality issues the Santa business has to face:

  • Too many duplicates on the “nice list” leading to heavy overhead in gift spending as well as extra costs in reindeer management.
  • Inaccurate product masters resulting in complaints from nice boys and girls and a lot of scrap and rework.
  • Fraud entries from children already on the ‘naughty list’ may be a challenge.
  • A lot of missing chimney positions may cause severe delivery problems.

But then, why should Santa be smarter than everyone else?

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5 thoughts on “Santa Quality

  1. Per Olsson 4th December 2009 / 06:40

    Data qualty issues explained with humoristic 🙂

    Recognize the issue with fraud entries from when I was young and my brother that didnt exist wanted gifts and I would make sure he got them. My parents didnt believe that. 🙂

    Good post

  2. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 5th December 2009 / 10:35

    Thanks Per, Yvette and Rich

    I know Christmas is celebrated differently around the world – if celebrated at all due to religious origin. In Denmark Christmas is huge. From around 1st December business activity slows down (except retail of course) while we are reminded about X-mas all the time. This year from Friday the 18th and 2 weeks ahead you practically can’t have any meetings and no decisions are taken.

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