Don’t shy away from the database. Not every new fundraiser is as data-driven as they need to be, so this can be a lesson easily learned and hard to resolve.
It may be true that all databases work in a similar way but every organisation has a different lexicon and alternative ways of recording activities.
In 1992, Ken Burnett stated in Relationship Fundraising that every new fundraiser should spend time in their charity’s mailroom, reading through the correspondence of stakeholders. Although I agree, I would also add, spend time with your database and the development team that customised it. When you know the rules of their logic you will limit the errors in reporting and be able to create bespoke reports and analysis based on the correct parameters, language and data.