Data management is a field that deals with acquiring, processing, and interpreting data. It is used by big companies in order to improve their user experience, predict the market changes, and adjust their business strategy for the future. It is also used by government agencies and non-profits for similar purposes. Because of this, becoming a data management specialist sounds like a demanded and lucrative position. Here is what you need to become one.
Think of yourself as a statistician. You decide what data is needed to answer a specific question, figure out how to get that data, collect it, analyze it, and report conclusions. There are no easy steps, so getting stumped at the very beginning is what happens to many data management specialists. When it comes to acquiring data, this is used through surveys, experiments, reward programs, and so on.
Sometimes, the amount of data that needs to be processed is too large for one person or company. Then, you either outsource the survey or automate the acquiring of data through software. While acquiring the data, you must also account for the willingness of the people to give it away. Processing the data is usually done by software to determine the trends and relationships between data points. Interpreting the data is where it gets tricky. You must understand whether the data points are just connected or lead to one another.
Most data management specialists have a master’s degree in mathematics, economics, or computer science. If possible, it would be a good idea to get educated in several of these fields, as this yields better results in job hunting, seeing as how your knowledge of processing data in different industries could potentially be significantly larger than that of other statisticians.
It goes without saying that you should be good with numbers and good with computers. Apart from that, you need to possess good analytical skills, meaning that you are able to deduce something from the information at hand. It is also necessary to be good at communicating with other people. Simply presenting the data to your colleagues or clients is not enough for them to truly understand the results of your findings. You need to be able to simplify the results and find means of passing your findings to them.
Data management specialists are good problem-solvers. It means that they have to account for and quickly adjust the situation in case of an emergency. Let’s assume that you are collecting data via surveys. People are often bothered by answering the survey questions. You need to find a way to still use your data efficiently even if there is a high non-response rate, or find an alternative way of collecting data.