The Bad and The Good Habits of Database Managers

Organizations that maximize their data to its fullest potential are becoming stronger and growing faster than their non-data focused counterparts.  But there are some within an organization that are resistant to being data-driven and have found ways to circumvent the numbers.  According to Thomas Redman of Navesink Consulting Group  those who are not on board with “data” may feel threatened and have either consciously or unconsciously picked up some bad habits.
intouch the Bad and good habit of data base managers
Some bad habits to watch out for include:
- Prefer Intuition over Data: Some individuals have been with an organization for many, many years. While their history is invaluable, they may also be prone to trusting their intuition over the data. “Redman warns of people who say  ”I’ve been working in this industry twenty-five years and I’ve seen it all. I know I can trust my gut.”
- Rig The System: Sometimes people need to support a decision after they have made it in spite of contrary evidence.  Changing or manipulating reports so the data reflects a particular point-of-view can lead to mistrust and ultimately cause an organization to make a bad decision.
- Analysis-Paralysis: Redburn comments: “Analysis-paralysis plagues people and companies that don’t deal well with uncertainty. They can fall into the trap of seeking “just one more bit of confirmation” before deciding. They delay, delay, delay, seeking to make the perfect decision.”
That being said, there are many great data managers and leaders in organizations who understand that data is a tool.  According to Wes Trochlil of Effective Database Management, habits that should be praised and fostered include:
- Communication: Data Managers interact with staff at all levels and need to be able to effectively convey information. Encourage those who easily share information in a timely and accurate manner.
- Business Acumen: A good data base manager will ask why the data is necessary. This allows them to collect exactly what is required and sort in such a way that allows the organization to make an informed decision. Looking beyond the data to see how it can help the organization is an intangible asset that is truly a gem to find in a staff member.
- Technical Skills: Although not a top priority, knowing how to easily navigate the system and know how things are related is a plus. Technical skills can easily be purchased at a moments notice.
Redman concludes that organizations needs to hold themselves and other members of the team accountable for their behavior. If they see a bad habit forming, they need to stop it immediately while . encouraging and praising good practices.
Does your organization hold itself accountable? Work with your data managers to ensure best practices and work habits are in play. If not, it’s time to take a good hard look and make changes before your any damage is done.
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