Quality Tip of the Month (August 1996)

Paul Duller from Ameradahess UK offers us the following Quality Tip of the Month The topic is Units, Here'sPaul...

"Units, abbreviations and other meta data are important; they do matter and they can have a profound effect upon the users of the data (and the organization) if you get them wrong. Data managers need to be aware of the variability of the units that their data are measured in (both now and historically) and understand the impact that they could have, if the wrong units were used. For example, gas flow rates are commonly reported as both MCFG and MMCFG. Although the units appear similar and could be easily be mistaken during data entry, the extra M in front of the MCFG indicates a 1000 fold increase in the related flow rate.

If this sounds a little mundane and boring to you them beware - if you get it wrong, it can be very expensive - as National Power found out to their cost recently. A mix up between prices quoted in kilo-Watt hour (KWh) instead of therms may have cost 500,000 ($750,000). National Power committed itself to paying 530,000 for gas worth 30,000 in trading on the flexibility market".

Coming ourselves from the upstream end of the business, I've always thought that conflict between the American M for thousand and the SI M (mega) for million was likely. Anyone bought a MM bbls for the price of an M? or have any other scare stories like the above?

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