Are you scheduling a meeting, organizing an event, preparing a report, accessing a REST API or performing data analysis on time series data? If you don’t know how to format dates correctly, you could cause confusion and lose credibility. You may or may not be aware, but the date is written differently in different parts of the world. This is especially a problem when representing a date with numbers only.
For example. with date written like: “01-03-12”, the Americans and Filipinos read that as: “January 3rd, 2012”. However, the Mexicans, Brits, Germans, Indians, and a whole lot of others interpret that as: “1st of March, 2012”. The Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, are very confused, because they put the year first. How fun, right?!
Applications like Excel, Tableau, HubSpot and programming languages like Java, Python and R can all format dates and times, but it’s not always easy and sometimes data has left those pipelines.
The great news is that with Predictable Data Quality (PDQ) you can format dates to use words or abbreviations for months or you can split a date into component parts, which also clears up ambiguity. You can also perform sanity checks by validating proper formats and date ranges.