Colorful Christmas cookies on a plate

The Perfect Recipe for Your Data

By Mary Teachout, Data Analyst


The holidays are known for many things. Snow is falling (at least in Michigan), mugs are full of hot cocoa or holiday-flavored coffee, and the kitchen smells of freshly baked holiday cookies. What could be better than a perfectly decorated cookie? A perfectly curated ARCU environment. There is a lot more in common between the two than you might think.

  1. Make sure your ingredients are fresh.
    • Reviewing the ETL Manager daily can help ensure data accuracy. The ETL Manager dashboard is a tool that does several things.
      • First, it is used for reviewing system status by providing an overview of the latest extract date and information on jobs executed or pending.
      • Second, it displays processing alerts intended to notify users if errors occurred during the extract or if GL accounts are unassigned.
      • Lastly, daily statistics graphically represent run times for daily loads. See the Help area in your ARCU Portal for more information.
  1. Be sure to measure accurately.
    • It is important to evaluate if your data makes sense. When building out queries, is your data being pulled quickly? Queries and reports should only take seconds to process. Adding additional calculations joins, or fields to your query or report will increase the likelihood of performance issues and data inaccuracies. Make things as clear and concise as possible. If you run into this issue, feel free to submit a Compass ticket and our team will be happy to review and help make improvements.
  1. It is all in the presentation.
    • It’s not enough for your report to have accurate data, it also needs to be readable by users who may not be familiar with the underlying data. Include eye-catching charts and graphs to visualize data. This will help put things into perspective for decision-makers. Additionally, make sure all report elements are compatible with how the report is being displayed or sent out. Is it more effective to send it out as a PDF, or should it be sent as an excel file based on the needs of the end user?

While data is not always as fun and exciting as holiday cookie baking, finding the perfect recipe for both is what makes this season (and all seasons) bright. And since you cannot eat and enjoy ARCU, here is a cookie recipe, courtesy of the Food Network.