A better way to deliver data-dumps

A common task when working as a data-developer is to produce one-off data extracts for various users, especially if you are not working within a self-service model.

This is fine but can lead to a really frustrating situation whereby you get a request such as “please can you re-run this data extract and I need it within the next hour’.

Usually the only information the requestor can give you is which developer ran it for them last time (and they have usually left the company).  You then have to try and reverse-engineer the output and hope for the best.

To get around this, I use the following excel template which contains the output as well as a tab to record the sql used, the server it was run against and the date it was produced – this allows for a quick and easy ‘refresh’ of the data and also means that the data is traceable to source.


Note:  I also have another version of this template with a number of macros that have keyboard shortcuts to quickly apply formatting options such as UK dates but I cannot upload .xlsm to wordpress.  However this is very easy to build yourselves.