Challenging Trends

I was studying for the DP-900 exam recently and in one of the Microsoft resources, I ran across this quote: “Historical data is equally important, to give a business a more stabilized view of trends in performance.” This was in context of looking at database performance, but it would apply to any part of your business.

The world has changed dramatically in the last two years. In early 2020, at this point, I was finalizing work and getting ready for a sabbatical from work. I managed to get the last sabbatical before the world shut down and most people didn’t see the value of one during a pandemic. I returned from sabbatical, with a trip planned to the UK in early March that I canceled. Since that time, I can’t imagine the quote above applies to the airlines’ business. I’ve flown a bit across the last year, but rarely for work. I suspect most of their models and ideas about how to manage their business had to dramatically change.

Is that quote still applicable to your business? I wonder how many businesses have started to see new trends and needed to abandon some amount of historical data from their charts and graphs. If that’s the case, then is it worth archiving some of that data away, rather than needing to keep it in an online database? Do reports need beginning default dates that start sometime after the pandemic affected the world? Interesting questions.

For most of us, we don’t necessarily worry about a lot of business impacts. We’ll adjust to what the business analysts ask us to do. However, I wonder if the way you approach your job has changed? For DBAs, have you reset your baseline for how the performance of your systems ought to look during normal times?

For software developers, many of you are working remotely, so how do you approach work and coordination with others, has that changed? Do you need more or less lead time to work with others and get code tested and deployed? I know many developers have found work during the pandemic, especially remote, to be more enjoyable.

Lots of things in the world changed, but much of our work continues on the same path. Approaching things with the idea of adapting to change, but using the past as a guide is what has worked well for me. I have strong opinions on how I work and live, but I adapt when there’s a need or evidence to support changes.

Steve Jones

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