Letter #4: Users need to see the big picture

The more database users know, the more likely they are to ask the right questions, according to this letter to the editor.

We recently asked ITKnowledge Exchange members what's on their new year's wish lists for working with end users. Here is one letter to the editor. Click for the complete list of letters.

Member littlesam writes: Being a database administrator, my users are the application programmers, etc. I have found that the best education is to show them how to use the various online tools available to both DBAs and developers. One example is Computer Associates' DB2 online tool. I have also created Word documents with screen shots showing available tools' screens and how they can query the data just as easy as I can, of course with the proper RACF security for read-only purposes. Once I have walked them through the document, they gain a better knowledge of what goes on and how best to ask questions when they arise, rather than jump the gun and point the finger.

Obviously not all companies have online query tools. We also have Princeton Softech query tool, which is more of an application developer tool. Coding SQL for use in SPFUI would help the users as well. If questions are repeated, setting up any type of query for the user to submit helps them gain knowledge of the tools available to them.

Knowledge goes a long way when the users see the overall picture. The more they know, the less they point fingers and the more they ask the right questions to get the right answers.

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