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Data and Content: The Offensive Line of eCommerce

Posted on September 18, 2009 by Archives

In the spirit of football season I have written a blog contrasting some positions in football to those of an eCommerce team. In the game of football there are different positions, the positions vary in skill and brain power, but when combined on a team, and in order for that team to succeed, they all need to work together. Without the skilled positions, you would not be able to play the game of football.  For example that would mean playing without a quarterback. There are also the lineman, not categorized as a skilled position, and by some considered to be the grunts of the team.

Now, lineman are not as “necessary” to playing football as the more skilled positions. To play a pickup game at the park no one is going to hold off kickoff to fill the lineman positions. Even competitive passing leagues don’t need lineman, but those aren’t as competitive as the major league. To play any serious, competitive football, the type that gets exposure, you need lineman, good lineman. Good lineman are absolutely needed for any serious team to win games and be successful.

There is a balance though, the better your skilled positions are the worse your lineman can be, because your stars will make plays and really stand out because of their skills. Conversely, the better the lineman, the better your skilled positions will look because they give the quarterback time to make that pass, they make the holes for your running back to run through, etc. Again, your skilled positions will stand out, because they are able to perform well. Being a lineman is a thankless job, they almost never get any glory, no adulation, and no recognition in comparison to other positions. Rarely does an offensive lineman make the highlight real unless he misses a block. To be part of the offensive line is also a tougher job than people realize, lineman have to know the playbook just as well as the running backs and be able to recognize and read the defense.

The job of data entry is much like being an offensive lineman. Data managers are expected to do their job correctly 100% of the time, there is no room for mistakes. There is an important reason for this though, data entry/lineman are the foundation. If something goes wrong with them, something goes wrong with everyone. Without the correct data/block you can't move the ball forward, you make it harder on the rest of the team. Data entry is a supporting position, the quality of their work has an effect on everyone else. So don't forget how important they are to the success of the company as a whole, and data entry people don't forget how important the quality of your work is and how important it is to everyone else.



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