50+ Things Every Data Geek Should Do Before They Die...

In no particular order, here's a list of things I believe each and every Data Geek should try to accomplish/do during their tenure as Data Geek...

  • Work on a Merger and Acquisition team (you want to do WHAT in 40 days?)

  • Manage Data Analysts

  • Manage Database Administrators

  • Never give up trying to make things better - even when your told to

  • Write a book

  • Write a blog

  • Join a club

  • Experience a software roll-out “under cover” - “eating your own dog food” is a very humbling experience

  • Give a bonus/raise

  • Receive a bonus/raise

  • Write a job description

  • Hire new employees

  • Fire an employee (builds character, very humbling experience)

  • Learn about Data Quality and Data Governance

  • Implement some sort of Data Quality and Data Governance program - having something in place is WAY better than nothing

  • Profile a database table using a really cool data profiling tool

  • Monitor a database table for issues using a really cool data monitoring tool

  • Argue with a Software Developer about hibernate (Object Relational Mapping software)

  • Convert a database from one platform to another (preferably something to Oracle[still my favorite]!)

  • Build a very large database schema (think hundreds of tables, all tied together like spaghetti)

  • Build a table which will hold a billion records (someone out there owes me a steak dinner for one I built a few years ago, you know who you are...)

  • Get in a good fight (argument) with a Business Analyst, Marketing Person or some other person who “just doesn’t get it”

  • Write a report using your companies BI tool (another humbling experience for DBAs, Data Architects and Managers)

  • Merge duplicate records in a table & determine column level survivor-ship rules

  • Estimate a database byte size one/two/three years from now, and circle back to see how close you where...

  • Be asked “can you build me some reports” and answer “sure, what would you like” and hear back “I don’t know, just some reports”

  • Feel like crying when reading a Dilbert because it’s sooo damn true sometimes...

  • Experience a great offshore engagement

  • Experience a not-so-good offshore engagement

  • Help a random person

  • Ask for help from someone you don’t know (another humbling experience)

  • Ask for help from someone you don’t like (another humbling experience)

  • Befriend an Executive (or two)

  • Befriend a software vendor, small vendors love “good customers”

  • Try out Oracle’s analytic functions

  • Understand that most people don’t really know what terms like “data quality”, “data governance”, “data modeling” and “data mining” really mean

  • Present at a conference - even if you’re an introvert or shy

  • Introduce yourself to someone you think you’d like to meet (again, go against your natural instinct of being an introvert)

  • Write a journal - some thoughts are best kept to oneself

  • Learn to code - even DBAs and managers should (still) know how to do some coding, try something easy like PHP

  • Keep your resume up to date

  • Do some consulting (nights and weekends work), you’ll learn a ton

  • Volunteer

  • Mentor a junior staff member

  • Ask to a senior executive/manager to mentor you

  • Learn your companies business

  • Tune a random SQL statement

  • Do projects in a repeatable manner

  • Take a class in communication - we can always do a better job communicating

  • Learn to HATE PowerPoint - but recognize you have to use it anyway

  • Learn to HATE Excel - but recognize you have to use it anyway

  • Learn to write an Excel macro - very powerful, very underutilized

  • Learn to HATE Microsoft Access - but recognize some folks have to use it anyway

  • Tag along with a sales person from your company on a sales call

  • Build a prototype

  • Be part of an “A-Team”

  • Be part of a “B-Team” and still succeed - sometimes one does not get to be teamed up with all the best people, but you still need to succeed anyway

  • Have an elevator speech - a few interesting sentences ready for when you meet someone

  • Last but no least...

  • Be passionate in everything you do. People who seem disinterested in what they are doing are dis-interesting, it’s that simple

  • Until next time...Rich


    sendmail said…

    I liked the one regarding grabbing the soul with a shamwoh and sucking on it.

    Hope all is well.


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