The Analyst Toolset

I’m a big fan of resources. In our current Information Age there is an incredible amount of information (data) created and consumed within each second. All we have as humans is an 8-hour workday to work through various phases of a project or request that comes our way:

  1. Receive
  2. Scope
  3. Research
  4. Execute (or Advise)
  5. Analyze
  6. Deliver

We have human brains, not computer brains, and for us it becomes overwhelming to rely on retaining the smallest details for instant recall. Do not put that pressure on yourself! Even doctors do not instantly diagnose, they examine and analyze first.

One of my personal favorite mottos is this simple concept:

“You don’t need all the answers, you just need to know where to FIND the answer”

In my opinion, all you need is a willingness to hit research mode for a minute or two and engage some critical thinking before attempting to execute.


Does anybody else use their inbox as a second brain? I bet most don’t normally think of their inbox as a part of their resource toolbelt, but personally, I rarely delete anything more than just the small chatter of “Thank you!” and “Sounds good to me” emails.

Network Services is probably cringing right now…. Yes, I aim for inbox zero but everything is getting filed so I can look it up later if this topic comes up again. I don’t have a crazy filing system either. Outside of a few key topics or people which get their own special folder, everything goes into “Inbox 2.0”.

Inbox 2.0 – A place of unsorted variety. BUT, there’s a pretty robust searching tool built into Outlook and with that, I can find just about any email based on keywords, sender, people who would have been CC-ed, whether it had an attachment or not, etc etc etc.

I don’t waste time categorizing and sorting every single email, I drop it all into a central spot and use the power of the technological resources available to me to filter and find any piece I want, at any time I want.

The same approach and technique is available to search the member and transaction processing data you have in CU*BASE®.

Cue the Database Search Assistant…


Accessed via Tool 332 in CU*BASE®, the Database Search Assistant is a searchable index of the majority of tables holding your core processing data.

If you are a person (analyst or not) who needs to find and work with the raw data available in CU*BASE®, you need to be using this tool.


I spent a little bit of extra time on the Database Search Assistant above, but future posts will go into much more detail with tips and advanced techniques for searching out what you need, along with many other available resources that I use frequently in my role here with Asterisk Intelligence.

To start, on any given day if I need to find a procedural or data-related answer you’ll find me using most often the CU*BASE® Help, Reference Booklets, and as simple as it sounds…the search bar built right into

We all hit walls in a search for answers, or become overwhelmed at the amount of places we could look for the answer. Pick just one of these options in your toolbox of resources, and see what turns up!

Share your thoughts

4 Replies to “The Analyst Toolset”

  1. The Database Search Assistant was an actual lifesaver. When I was teaching myself query and knew nothing about it, I would look though every column of tables that sounded like they might relate to the report I was attempting to build…..What a tragic time that was. Now if there is a column that I don’t automatically know the file it is in, I automatically go to “my favorite tool”, #332.

    As for email, I have a folder for everything to ease my OCD….:)

    1. I laughed when I read this response, only because I appreciate the description of that period in your learning curve being a “tragic time”. It took me right back to a few painful moments from my own learning curve and how grateful I was when this tool got developed. Thanks for sharing!

  2. YESSSSSSS. Love DSA! Especially helpful when looking for “score” tables and realizing that field is in a ton of places. Easy to narrow down what I am looking for with the explanation on the More Info page.

    I also organize my email by folders, could not just move over to another single folder. A coworker here just reads and deletes everything. When looking for an email he uses the archive to retrieve it. That would make me crazy 😀

    1. Good point! It can be intimidating to run the first search for “score” and get 20 results. We have to remember that the tool is built to (generally) provide that extra level of information to help you narrow down the choice without needing to pull up ever table separately and start analyzing what’s in it.

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