A common data quality issue in data management is the use of different measuring systems. Let’s have a look at some of the issues.
Mile or Kilometer, Pound or Kilogram
There is the imperial system with units as a mile and a pound. And there is the metric system with units as meter and gram.
According to Wikipedia the metric system, though there are nuances in world-wide use, is used all over except in notably the United States.
Celsius or Fahrenheit
For temperature scale we have the Celsius scale used all over and the Fahrenheit scale in the United States.
Big-endian, Little-endian or Middle-endian
When expressing a date we have the ISO standard as a big-endian format like today is 2013-04-27. But all over the world a little-endian format like today is 27-04-2013 is used except in the United States (and all the social networks coming from there) where today is expressed in a middle-endian format being 04-27-2013.
Comparing usage of Imperial to SI units and the US compared to the rest of the world is a bit of an over simplification, I think. For several units of measure there are both US and UK (Imperial) variants. For example pint, gallon and bushel all have US and UK variants and some of these are compounded by dry and liquid variants.
A skim through the table in UN/ECE Recommendation 20 gives an impression of the wonderful diversity of units of measure, their names and codes. I like the picturesque ones such as:
X1 Gunter’s chain (a unit of distance)
F49 rod [unit of distance]
G23 peck (a unit of volume)
M56 shake (a unit of time)
And horses figure prominently among the units of power:
F80 water horse power
HJ metric horse power
A25 cheval vapeur
BHP brake horse power
K42 horsepower (boiler)
And Recommendation 21 has some pretty Package Type Names for use in International Trade such as:
DJ Demijohn, non-protected