It’s a new day, It’s a new dawn…

(OK, so this is being written at around 10pm…)

Let me begin with a sincere apology to my reader (Thank you!) and to all my fellow Blogging101-ers…

During the last three weeks I’ve genuinely been too busy/otherwise occupied to do justice to the week 2 & week 3 ‘homework’ (exercises) – but I WILL be working my way through them all (commenting, building a blog-roll, etc, etc.)

The main reason for my not-quite-dropping-out-of-the-course is because I’ve been preparing and giving a series of presentations on basic aspects of Data Management to my colleagues at work as I prepared to switch from an IT & Change team to a Business Data Governance team. So depending on an individual’s point of view I’ve either ‘gone over to the dark side’ or have become ‘gamekeeper-turned-poacher’ – feel free to choose any other appropriate (but polite) simile!

I’ll free admit that I’ve found it both interesting and challenging to try to condense years of data management thought & experience over a wide range of topics into just seven one-hour sessions for my collegues who all have a similarly wide range of interests and experience.  In the end I chose the following (mainly general) topics and ‘branded’ my sessions under the heading of “Data Management for NON-Dummies” :

  • Introduction to Data & Information Management
  • Information Modelling for Business People
  • Information Modelling for Business Analysts and Developers
  • The Business Glossary (Data Dictionary)
  • The Information Lifecycle
  • Data Quality
  • Data Governance

My intended audience for all of these was physically spread over multiple locations (UK-based and off-shore) consisting of five different agile development teams (all working over the different sites) with key business ‘product owners’ and a raft of other ‘data people’ from business areas thrown in (i.e. invited) for good measure! Because of the scheduling complexities (so many people in different places/timezones with so much to do and so little free time) I decided to share my sessions via Microsoft Lync and to record them for all those who couldn’t attend them ‘live’. As an added incentive for all my potential on-site attendees I provided Jaffa Cakes and Chocolate Hob-Nob biscuits. (Apparently the guaranteed avaliability of food often increases attendance of presentations!!) This tactic seems to have worked for me as I invariably only had a few left at the end of each session (which clearly means the topic of Data Management stimulates the appetite…)

From what a few attendees have said, the sessions seem to have been well-received , but I’m going to wait and see what the feedback I get via SurveyMonkey really tells me – that is if people can actually find the time to respond to my survey…

In addition to all of that(!)… I’ve also been documenting a best part of my data modelling / data architecure learnings & outputs from the last 3 or 4 years and publishing it all in an (hopefully) easy-to-read format on the company intranet – again for my colleagues’ future reference and delight. I only hope they really make the fullest use of it all…

So today… I spent my first day in my new role for my new team in a different part of the organisation… doing a very similar role, based in the same building as last week and sitting at eaxctly the same desk ! Since the rest of my team are based at two other sites in the UK, it’s not really an issue becuase we’ll all be attending a lot of virtual meetings from now on (Microsoft Lync again!).

As for the day itself, it was a mainly quiet ‘planning’ day – I’ve been drawing a ‘new role, new tasks’ mindmap which has over 20 different major topics already (with more to come!). Even so, there were several ‘appeals for help’ throughout the day from my now-former colleagues that tended to start with the words: “I know I’m not supposed to bother you now, but…” or “I know you’re in a different team now, but…” or even “I’m really sorry to bring you back to your old job on your first day, but…”  All-in-all I think I got off quite lightly – only five or six such questions taking up about 1/2 an hour over the course of the whole day.  The much harder part was filtering out all the conversations going around me about all the things I was so heavily involved with upto last Friday.

As for tomorrow… I’ve decided that I’m going to find myself a free desk elsewhere in the building and do some ‘constructive hiding’ – but NOT from my new colleagues!

After all… (cue music…)

…It’s a new life for me, And I’m feelin’ good…



About The Bald Data Guy

Bald bloke with a keen interest in all aspects of Data Management & Data Governance. Opinions are my own! Family guy. Former Labrador owner (x2). Keen amateur photographer.
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6 Responses to It’s a new day, It’s a new dawn…

  1. Peter Ward says:

    Congratulations on your move to the side that matters! If you aren’t talking business then business people won’t listen — they don’t understand technology and generally don’t need to.

    You should work at a university. Not just biscuits but full buffet lunches are expected as the minimum reason for attending a meeting! At IBM we thought ourselves lucky if we were given coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Peter.
      The “posters” for my sessions were a mockup of a ‘Dummies’ cover with a headings like “Learn just how much FUN data can be!” and “Resources include Jaffa Cakes and HobNobs”.
      In the past I’ve also used images of Darth Vader with captions like “Come to the Data Side – we have HobNobs”. It’s all down to making people think about how the data feeds & supports the business processes, regardless of the IT wizardry…


  2. Johnathan Herbert says:

    Nice read Steve … You have a gift of making data interesting despite my efforts to derail you over the years 🙂 keep going DM.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John Stuart-Clarke says:

    Welcome to the bright side Steve, we are very pleased to have poached you. I promise not to ignore you quite as much as I did this week whenever you come to Norwich.

    I too made the jump from IT to the business and I prefer almost everything about it so I hope this turns out to be an excellent move for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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