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Starting Over - Sometimes You Gotta Get Lost To Find Yourself

Community Member, Brent Troth, recently switched organizations after 10 years and shares his experience. Give this blog a "LIKE" to vote for it to win the bbcon blog contest!
Whenever I move to a new city, I like to get to know the place by just getting lost.  Driving around to see what I can find, and challenge myself to find my way home again – no GPS, no maps.  Drive until you don't know where you are and then drive more until you do.

Recently, I transitioned from an RE DBA job I’d held for nearly ten years and took on a similar roll with a new organization.  In my previous RE database, I was confident in my ability to navigate any query, export, report, or analysis of that data.  Now I’m getting to know RE all over again and it’s time to get lost.

My first few days I actually spent driving around my new data playing “I wonder”.   I wonder how many constituents there are in the database?  What was total fundraising the past few years?  What was donor retention like in that time?  How many donors give at various levels and what percentage of revenue is generated at each level? How many donors are giving at capacity based on the analytics ratings?  I used the answers to create an initial database analysis report to share my findings.

When you’re done being lost, you’ll not only find you have a good map, but you'll have new and better ways to help your organization get where it needs to go.

Posted by Crystal Bruce on Sep 3, 2018 7:55 PM America/New_York

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Good luck, Brent Troth‍ !
  • Posted Tue 04 Sep 2018 09:51 AM EDT
yes, I can relate!  I am a new RE user and have wandered aimlessly several times getting acquainted with our database!  Practice makes perfect!
  • Posted Tue 04 Sep 2018 03:50 PM EDT
I like the way you think -- becoming knowledgeable about the database, looking for patterns, and creating an analysis report -- a well rounded approach that helps everyone!
  • Posted Tue 04 Sep 2018 03:51 PM EDT
Great job Brent Troth‍ 
  • Posted Wed 05 Sep 2018 10:07 AM EDT
I started a new DBA job a few months ago and I totally agree!  Don't be scared to dive into data and "get lost" because eventually your mental map will form!
  • Posted Thu 15 Nov 2018 02:52 PM EST
I can relate to this as well. Now I need a better Bread-crumb system to prevent me from forgetting what I have learned, or putting the information learned together in a way that I can get back to it quickly.
  • Posted Tue 26 Mar 2019 11:26 AM EDT
It can be really overwhelming at first but sometimes just diving in can really help you learn.
  • Posted Mon 08 Jul 2019 09:31 PM EDT