We Need to Improve
The most interesting aspect of the survey is that we asked people about the level of service provided by their data groups at both the beginning and the end of the survey. Figure 3 summarizes the results, with 1 being very poor and 5 being excellent. Although there are slight differences between the various positionsdata professionals rated themselves slightly higher than everyone else didthe trends are identical: After being asked to think about their organization's approaches to database testing, training, and resolving production data problems, the satisfaction with the level of data group-provided service went down. Why did we ask the same question twice? To make it clear that when people step back and start thinking about some of the data-management challenges their organizations face, that they aren't being as well served by their data groups as they originally thought. In short, we all inherently seem to know that there is room for improvement in our approaches to data management. Everyone may not appreciate the results of this survey, but at least now we have a basis from which to start talking about the "data-management elephant" in the room.
The source data, the original questions, and a summary presentation for this survey will be downloadable from www.ambysoft.com/surveys/ the first week of October. As noted, after running this survey, we discovered that there were a few potential problems with the way the questions were worded, problems that were addressed in a second survey in September. That survey also looks into a few more critical issues within data management.