Database Management and Paychecks

Managing data for your organization is a lot like managing paychecks. Allow me to explain.

When you work for an association and receive a periodic paycheck (e.g., once per month), you expect your paycheck to land in your checking account at the designated time, every time. When the paycheck makes it to your bank, rarely if ever do you send a note to your finance team saying “Hey, thanks for paying me this month!”

But what happens when the paycheck doesn’t show up? That’s right, everyone on staff shows up at finance’s door (or Slack channel, in the days of the pandemic!) yelling about how they haven’t gotten paid. Because everyone expected to be paid, like always.

And the same is true for data management. Everyone expects the data to be correct any time they need it. It’s not a fair expectation, but it’s the expectation nonetheless.

Which is why I encourage my clients to practice database public relations. In a nutshell, database PR is bragging about the things you’re doing right, so that when the inevitable goes wrong, you have developed a “bank of trust” with your users.

Here’s a great real-life example of database PR.

The unfortunate reality is, your staff expects perfection from the database, even though that’s not possible (click here to learn why). So it’s up to us to make sure our users understand what’s really working in the database!

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