If you must work with data for state submission then the title to this article might make you think the author was either making a joke or out of their mind----I tend to agree with you.
In the beginning there was no state reporting! This was back before the use of data became so valuable. When the state required the first data submissions my Technology Director took on the job herself. Two years later, when the number had grown from 2 to 10 more submissions a year, I remember her saying "You are now responsible for all state report submissions for our corporation." I was terrified! How could I take on such responsibility? Back then I knew how to open an Excel spreadsheet, sort the data and use the appropriate icon to sum a column of numbers.
What a change from those first state submissions to today. I have watched the list of submissions go from 10 to now over 60. I have learned that the more you know about the submission you are working on, the better able you are to submit accurate data. The more you become an expert on all requested submissions, the more gratification you get from knowing your subject well.
It's not always pretty. There are the times when a file won't upload and you can't readily see what's wrong. Or the times when you are down to the wire on the Membership report (this could cost us big money!) and you are going through every student submitted to make sure you haven't missed someone. Then there is the Special Education submission. You upload the data and compare this year's total number to last years only to find a huge discrepancy! What could be wrong? Again, you find yourself going through students submitted last year to the ones being submitted this year to determine who may have been missed.
Just when you think you have all the submissions mastered, the State releases 3 new reports called the "C" collections-Certified Employee, Certified Position, and Course Completion. Now you not only have to make sure the individual submission is correct, but one builds on the other so if you don't have one of the three correct they will not reconcile, Oh the Wonder of it all! The saving grace of the C Collections is the newly formed group from the UNITE members working with the State who are looking at this collection to make it as simple as possible.
Since my title is "Data Manager", I really must find some joy in the whole process. My joy is working with a wonderful group of building secretaries who care as much about accurate data as I do and being able to help them with any issues they may encounter. Once that corporation data is accurate, submitted, we have the green light to finally sign off, there is joy in knowing we have a short break before the next one is due! A break, Oh Happy Day!!