Employed for Good

Tech tips for impact professionals. Do well at doing good.

10 Data Management Goals for 2023


In typical fashion, work at this time of year may be feeling a little…chaotic.

The holidays are finally in our sights! (Paid time off, anyone??) But the monster that is Q4 (fourth quarter) is currently blocking the path, dancing & laughing in our faces.

Credit: Giphy

Monsters & chaos aside though, I love the end of the year.

It’s that inevitable time when we get to reflect on all that got done this year, what didn’t, and most importantly, where we want to take things in the next 12 months. Who doesn’t love a good goal-setting session?

Credit: Giphy

So in the spirit of change, new year, and goal-setting: here are 10 ideas for setting our data management/database administration goals in the coming year.

10 Data Management Goals for 2023

1. Be intentional about what gets collected & why. Because data for data’s sake shouldn’t cut it anymore.

2. Prioritize documentation early on. That way, it’s more likely to be done (and complete) by the time a project wraps.

3. Lead with a project management lens. Thorough data projects need logistical love. To make sure they’re done effectively & on time, work closely with teams to properly set goals, outcomes, milestones, roles and timelines.

4. Consider all the equity ramifications. Put another way, “the consideration, through an equity lens, of the ways in which data is collected, analyzed, interpreted and distributed” (Rutgers). Because impact shouldn’t only be a destination for our orgs: it’s also about how we get there operationally.

5. Be proactive when it comes to privacy. As humans, we all need to care about this. But as data professionals, we have a responsibility to protect & encourage our constituents’ rights to privacy: “the right to have some control over how [their] personal information is collected and used” (International Association of Privacy Professionals)

This one may be a learning curve. I know it is for me. But let’s start anyway.

6. Stay on top of upgrades. Empower our teams to leverage new features more quickly – even the ones they can’t see – and keep our systems updated the same way we update our smartphones. (Okay, maybe not my smartphone.)

7. Plan tasks on a monthly/weekly/daily basis. With database work specifically, it’s easy to get sucked into the small tasks/fixes & lose sight of the bigger picture. None of that in 2023.

8. Build out – and consistently reference – a tech roadmap – so that each quarter, we can see what got done, how that fits with the larger “thing” (vision, mission, etc…), and what’s left to go.

9. Keep tabs on where data mgmt time is spent. What does it actually look like to perform this role? Between maintaining systems, troubleshooting staff issues and doing new builds, the weeks can blur.  By year end, let’s hope to have a clearer picture of what it all looked like (& what it means for the orgs that employ us)

 10. Better integrate database work with the larger team. The database manager silo is real, and it serves no one. As far as I’m concerned, database problems are everyone’s problems..even if they don’t know it!

As much as the team can be part of & recognize the significance of data decisions, let’s do that. And as much as we can inject ourselves to understand their process & needs….let’s do that one too.

Happy planning, gang

And a very happy new year too!

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