skip to Main Content

Data & Music: A Perfect Composition

Math and music, literally, go hand-in-hand. I was about 14 years old when I realized that reading music was the equivalent to breaking down simple math. One plus one equals two; quarter note plus quarter note equals a half note. Applying music concepts to math simplified things for me. I took the same approach with my strange interest in data.

“Ok Chad, we get it… you play the piano!”

– Anonymous

Like the keys on a piano, every piece of data counts. Especially when importing. Importing data is NOT like free-form jazz. There are rules that have to be followed and structure means everything.

“The details are in the music are in the data.”

– Chad Conley

A happy challenge that I often face with client data is typically in the details. What follows are a few examples where doing it right the first time make all the difference when importing data:


The song is in 6/8 but the musician is playing in 3/4. It doesn’t work. Period. Every system has its sensitive areas and formatting is everything! A great example is the date field. There are several ways to reflect the date field (example: YYYY-MM-DD, YY-MM-DD) and every system will require a specific format to be successful. Understanding what date format your system needs, will save time and frustration in the future.

Data Sync

We need to make sure we are all playing at the same tempo. Data from an external HRIS should always match the data in the talent management system. If changes were made in the org structure, the talent management system needs to be updated to reflect those changes to avoid future import issues. Many systems address this with automated real-time updates.


You meant to play C sharp but played E flat.  It matters.  Misspelling of names is the most common accuracy issue that I’ve seen.  Although this may seem like a simple change, it is always better to catch and correct before importing.


Michael Jackson and Prince doing a song together, I just can’t see it. When doing a data import, most software applications only play well with specific file formats. In the case of the TalentQuest platform, it accepts the universal formats of CSV and XLSX.

Stevie Wonder’s song “Ribbon in the Sky” is where it all started for me, musically. It consumed me at one point. Like a perfect melody, everything must add up, and I love it and it makes sense to me! General ledgers provided a new perspective for data in my life. I spend many hours ensuring our clients’ solutions are optimized and the data is accurate, so they have the best outcomes. But just like with any instrument or skill, practice makes perfect. You have to spend time failing to eventually succeed and I love to take on a good challenge.

TalentQuest has so many great capabilities that provide a huge positive impact on our clients.  Like a catalog of great music, a lot of time, dedication, and great people are behind the building of our software and it shows.  We are constantly growing, and the focus always remains on the client and their needs.   You want Rock and Roll, we got it; Classical?  No problem.  And with a team ready to help and take on your biggest talent management challenges, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!”.

Learn more about how TalentQuest uses behavioral data to hyper-personalize the talent management experience

Back To Top