Sunday, July 2, 2017

Why Having a Database Champion Matters

Too often companies or other organizations spend good money on a database system that is supposed to solve all their troubles yet once the confetti and fireworks clear after rollout those same problems still persist. Is the tool at fault? Maybe. Though more often there has been little effort made to develop the processes and culture for using the tool. A system is only as good as the data it holds and if no one is entering data or worse bad data is being entered then the tool is a ghost ship at best.

Rather than investing in the database tool alone the organization needs to invest in the local talent to help manage the system, troubleshoot issues for internal users and help make processes that work with the systems strengths. They need a database champion.

A database champion dedicated building relationships with users, building out the capacity for the system and working with the vendor to optimize it for the current use case. Too often database expertise is wrapped up in a frontline role (i.e. Sales) with a power user, which leads to that user doing the database support on top of their principal work. This can lead to the system being built out enough to “work” though not implementing a true optimization to really figure out how to leverage the system for the particular use case. Plus the principle is drawn away from their task, which is in the inverse of what any database system should provide: more time for users to focus on their core pursuits without managing bits of data.

Any database champion needs to understand the tools at use in the office and also the office culture. In order for a tool to used to the fullest an office culture audit needs to be completed so processes can be aligned with users and their workflow points of pain can be understood. If the principals don’t see the value in the tool then they already don’t want to use the tool. It is a partnership though if managed correctly then having a full time employee to manage any data system provides a huge return on investment.

A database champion can manage any/all of the following topics. * Build content templates * Troubleshoot database issues * Audit data * Categorize/organize data * Train users * Liases with other departments on data issues

By taking issues away from principles they are able to focus on their main roles and provide even more value to the organization.