Unusual but normal...

I do some database contracting for a very large organization, who in turn receives a boatload of data from a very large vendor. The program is still relatively new and we're ironing out the kinks, which is to be expected in any large data sharing project life-cycle.

After receipt of the data we began using our favorite Data Quality tool (DataFlux) to profile the data received. After reviewing the reports we noticed that many of the fields of data we receive are always coming in with no value or with unexpected values.


Formal letters go out to the vendor asking them to review our output reports (almost right out of the DataFlux Data Profiling tool). Sure enough the vendor replies back pretty quickly but upon review of their reply I've noticed that about half of the responses begin like this:

"Unusual but normal at this point in the program..."

Mama Mia: "Unusual but normal"? Seriously? An answer like this was pretty much completely not what I was expecting. Can you elaborate please? How could something be "Unusual but normal" at any point in any program?

Let's have a little fun with this and walk through some "Unusual but normal" things:

Although "unusual" for us here in the states, perhaps it's "normal" for folks to encounter this while overseas?

Although a very "unusual" car, I've actually seen this here one on the east coast here a few times, so "normal" perhaps?

This family consisted of one "normal" member, but the rest were somewhat "unusual". Perhaps this is what they were talking about?

Wishing you an "Unusual but normal" day!

Until next time...Rich