Star Wars: Episode VIII and a Half – The Last Analyst (A Work of Fan Fiction)

All of the excitement around the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it made the team at Altair realize that the plight of a Jedi was not unlike that of the common analyst, who fights the never-ending battle against their own data, armed with spreadsheets and formulas instead of blasters and lightsabers.

Our very own Geoff Holm, Sales Engineer, crafted a work of Star Wars fan fiction to illustrate the parallels. We hope you enjoy it!

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The weekly reporting deadline loomed in the office’s collective conscience as the hours ominously marched towards Friday. It was as if the Death Star had made its final, lazy arc into view of the doomed planet of Alderaan—the unavoidable missed deadline was obvious and the team hoped careers didn’t meet the same fate as the peaceful planet.

The only way to complete these tedious reports given the team’s limited resources was to divide tasks evenly and manually extract data from various sources. This included copying and pasting or manually re-keying data into a spreadsheet, which increased the team’s propensity for errors and drew blaster bolt-like rebukes from their uncompromising boss who was frequently compared to Darth Vader for his short temper and heavy breathing. He hated incorrect datasets because they in turn upset his master, the Data Emperor.

Now, the Data Emperor was no emperor, it was just a nickname they gave to the chief data officer who was responsible for driving informed decisions for the organization using data as a guide. He was exacting and cruel to incorrect data. Most of his organization’s data was part of the dark side.

The dark side is what everyone knew to be the place where data went to die. This could’ve been anything from data shielded in PDFs, text reports, or hard to access reports. The team needed a new powerful weapon to defeat the dark side data and bring it back into the light.

Thankfully a young data Padawan within the organization read about a tool prophesied as the chosen one called Altair Monarch. She reached out to her local Altair representative who knew that Monarch would save the team time. According to the rep, Monarch wasn’t as clumsy or random as manually re-keying or copying and pasting but was an elegant data prep tool for a more civilized age.

As the deadline approached, the team took their newly acquired Monarch and deployed it on their computers. These data prep rebels took aim at the dark data locked in their text reports and fired up Monarch to help them slice up data to include in their weekly report. Monarch was indeed powerful. The looming deadline didn’t stand a chance once the team deployed Monarch. They finished their weekly report which was delivered to the Data Emperor who was so pleased with the product, the darkness and anger he showed when confronted with incorrectly prepared data never returned.

The dark data was forever turned to the light because Monarch was there to collect it, no matter the source. Balance was restored to the office and weekly reports were no longer a looming Death Star of destruction because the team saved the methodology to quickly auto-populate their model with new data. Their office universe (and money) was saved due to Monarch.