Monday, May 25, 2009

Feedback is Invaluable

We talk a lot and we create many things but do we really want to hear what people think of what we have done? Sure, we all may not want it but we all need it. Feedback provides us with insight and the information we need to improve. Feedback when given in an honest way can help people to improve and at the end of the day that is what we should all want.

How can we use feedback to improve? At the recent conference I gave a seminar in Master Data Management (MDM). It helped to give attendees an overview of what Master Data Management is and how to use it within an organization. In addition we discussed the process of defining customers, which generally is central to most MDM implementations. I hope that those that attended my session got some value. Well as part of every session at the conference we collect Session Evaluations. These evaluations provide the user group and speakers with insight into their session and how it was received…feedback. So I looked my evaluations over and no major comments, other than 2 attendees and both said basically the same thing; they really felt that they now had a great understanding of MDM. This for me was great satisfaction and meant that I had delivered my message effectively. Another seminar that I provided many years ago was in Las Vegas. It was a ½ day seminar on Oracle Data Warehousing. It tends to be a very technical deep dive into Oracle DW technology. I just so happened to mention to the audience at the beginning that I was tired from the previous evening in Las Vegas, as I got stuck at a very successful blackjack table. I always tend to make sure that my sessions are energetic and interactive. I thought I had done this successfully in Las Vegas, but when I got back my evaluations, they mentioned how tired I seemed. I took this as a lesson to me; never tell your audience any negative stuff about how you feel. People will pick up on this, so regardless of how tired I am I never say it, and people can then start my seminars without any preconceived notions.

The user group is the same and we truly appreciate feedback. I hope that everyone who took part in the event both in-person and virtually provide us with feedback. We hear from many people during the conference and afterwards and we use this to improve our event year after year.

So take the time to speak up. Tell people the truth and help them use it to improve themselves. Feedback is invaluable to making ourselves better.

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