As data managers, our days always challenging. We get frustrated when clients avoid going for our specific recommendations, particularly when it comes to robust infrastructure. They give us various reasons, such as budget limits and even opinions from consultants. We give them the bottom line: the longer we delay the upgrade, the worse the problem would get. Still, sometimes our warnings would fall on very reluctant ears and mind.
There are, however, clients who are quick to adapt to change. They listen to reason and trust our professional direction. After all, education, software, and hardware considered, we have really invested a lot to get to where we are now. So we appreciate the acknowledgment of that.
Not all clients respond the same way. Sometimes, they can make an already complex job even more challenging than it should be. Still, they are our clients and we give them the best we can.
These situations make us realize that it is important for data managers to be patient. It is certainly a virtue worthy of cultivating in this kind of job. But patience is not all that’s required of us. Here are some more ideas on qualities we should develop in ourselves as data managers:
- Perseverance. It is under the same umbrella as patience, but it is more hardcore. You have to persevere when a client gives you a project that you neither developed nor supervised. No matter how difficult the task at hand, we have to persevere until we find the best solutions for our clients.
- Humility. Even when we are the best in our field, we should always humbly explain to our clients the things that they may not readily understand about their database systems. Humility is also related to patience. Without these traits, it can be very hard to go against one’s tendency to be condescending. We have to see things from the perspective of our clients. Then, in plain English, as in without jargons that can confuse them, we go about explaining to them the issues, necessary upgrades, and other matters.
- Methodical. A data manager should be well-organized and tidy, at least as far as database work is concerned. One cannot take for granted the other players in the team, as well as the other people in the organization. Everything should be clear. Otherwise, data handling becomes even more complex than it normally is.
- Curious. If you are not in the habit of asking questions, particularly questions that are relevant to the data you are managing, perhaps you will not succeed as a data manager. A data manager is naturally inquisitive and analytical. What do we want to achieve? What questions are we asking our market? Why does it take so much time for respondents to finish our survey? These are just some of the basic questions you are going to ask as you do your job. There will be a lot more in the course of the job.
- Creative. Being creative often work well alongside resourcefulness and adaptability. Data managers will often encounter challenges that require innovation and fresh techniques. Without creativity, you can get stuck in a problem loop that could waste a lot of your time.