Presenting Data

Many of us that develop or manage database systems are concerned with the actual bits and bytes that compromise data. However our clients and customers are more interested in the information, in gaining knowledge from the numbers, strings, and dates that are kept in our database tables.

I really think that one of those things that can truly allow a developer or DBA to show their employer they are valuable to the organization. Employees prove this when they can retrieve information in a way that clients find valuable. Not that we, as the technical people value, but in the ways that clients find valuable.

This doesn’t mean you need to learn PowerBI or PowerPivot or any other Power tools, but that you learn how to present the data you work with in the best way you can. Whether that’s in an SSRS report, an Excel worksheet you email around, or a complex visualization, all of these formats have one thing in common: a query. One of the best things you can do as a developer or DBA is ensure you can write efficient queries that assemble data from a variety of tables in different formats. Queries that retrieve data that can answer a question or reveal a pattern.

Learning how to build a fancy visualization is great, but be flexible. If you get the opportunity, work with a new technology and develop some comfort, take it. However make sure that above everything else you can get the data sets to the end user. Clients can always use their own tools, but the efficiency and performance they experience will often come down to your query writing skills.

Make sure you are constantly improving those skills.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 2.0MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and LibSyn.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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