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

    Comments

    sendmail said…
    Rich,

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

    Hope all is well.

    Matt

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