Blog: Grow Up: Hire a Database Guru
- 10 October, 2007 12:37
Database gurus save companies money - it's just that simple. But the value of a database guru is largely lost on today's workforce. What's worse is that most companies can't even imagine what it is that we do. Ever run a time-consuming report to get one financial figure? How many times a day/week do you run that report? How many reports do you use in the same manner? Want only the data you need off every report on one report? How about all the data you check every day on one intranet page? Open the page in the morning and voila!
The time lost is staggering and monumental; I've been there and seen it. Here's a common scenario: It's the end of the month and my database activity alerts begin to fire. I identify the user, many times one of the managers, and stop by their office to see what's up. They smile at the new guy and invite me in for coffee while they wait ... they are totally accustomed to spending two days running massive reports in order to glean a handful of figures. In a few days, I produce a report that gives them back their two days a month. That's 24 days a year. Over one month of work days. For a few days of mine. What will I do with my next week of work? Guess what? Give more employees more time to do other much more important tasks.
And it just gets better, because as I research the reports and data employees use, I ask questions and solve long-standing mysteries.
Me: "Did you know your Los Angeles branch codes their sales differently than everyone else?"
Manager: "I wondered why my sales report data always seems a little off, but the report doesn't give details by branch."
Boom. A call to Los Angeles straightens everything out, the branches learn that you have new eyes on what they are doing, and you can now make more informed decisions.
Knowledge is power and, by employing a database guru, is your inevitable reward. Greater corporate understanding, time savings, and efficiency lead to something else, as well: Promotion. I've smiled broadly as savvy employees who have trusted in my skills climbed the corporate latter. They saw what possibilities I brought to the table, pointed out ways to improve business to their superiors and gained in notoriety and esteem.
This is not to mention the improvements a database guru can make in database server performance and the optimization of queries. Plus, we came up through the ranks of IT and can turn our hand at pretty much anything computer related.
Database gurus aren't cheap, but neither is advertising and no one who knows would argue against the value of an initial investment which results in substantial gains. We are a natural step toward corporate maturation - in getting a real handle for the first time on how a company is run and the data upon which it is built. Now you know what a database guru can do. You can live without one, but you cannot thrive.