Database Management: The devil is in the details by Carl Sylvestre

Imagine to your surprise that the best tool to improve your productivity is in the hands of the individual who you know the least.  It all depends on the size of your organization and its culture, but in most organizations the data entry staff member is often regulated to the back office – it is after all a back-office function.  However, since it is out of sight and mind most senior managers fail to harness how to use that back office as an integral tool to streamline the reach and impact of the organization.  Database management can make or break any campaign or organizational ambitions.

Database management is a collection of programs that enables us to store, modify and extract information from a database.  It is most likely a computerized library system and organized in such a way to allow for multiple users with a set of codified rules.  It is the brain trust of everything and it can make or break the level of efficiency within your organization.  When it is working well, very few people are aware of its existence but when it misbehaves it is everyone’s concern.  As managers we seldom spend time thinking about how it can help move our organizations forward.  Knowledge is power but cultivating that knowledge is just as important.

To stay ahead of the game, database management needs to take its place next to social media and marketing strategy in our daily operations.  It is not there to simply serve these systems but it is an integral part of it.  Chances are there are new advances in technology that we end up paying attention much too late after the facts.  As an example, for small organizations dealing with credit card charges is an on-going challenge but if part of the strategy is to overcome this issue, there are many options in the market place to be researched and evaluated as part of an overall organizational growth plan.  Backing up information for safekeeping and extraction of information is now easier than ever and yet many of us still cling to the data card.  With wise investment, a small operation can have a sophisticated database rivaling big organizations and the technology they had at their disposals only a few years ago.  With that comes the responsibility of managing it properly.

However, the conversation about the database is very rarely discussed at any mid or high-level meeting.  When was the last time database management was on a board