Entergy and the (excess) Significant Figures

Whatever HR software Entergy (an electric power generation and distribution company) uses, it allows ridiculous granularities:


You can specify salaries to the 1E-15 USD level. That’s one 1 quadrillionth of a dollar. Why on Earth would this probably unlawful level of precision be needed? If I handed in a result calculated like that on an exam or a report it would either get marked wrong and/or make me look stupid. Proper use of significant figures is something all engineers are taught about, software engineers too I believe. I cannot think of any place in an HR software where 0.000 000 000 000 001 of ANYTHING is measured.

Also of note, you can specify decimal values of “openings”. Are part time jobs only counted as 0.50 jobs? Has anyone ever posted 0.75 job openings?

I suspect a couple of changes to the database table would clean these silly display results up.

EDIT: The HR software is from SuccessFactors, a company owned by SAP. If SAP bought them for their software, good, SAP’s current HR software is terrible, as I will illustrate in a later post.


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