5 skills you need have to become good Data Manager
Attention to detail. Sure, every job description lists attention to details as one of the required skills to almost any position. But only a Data Manager can be that attentive to find a ‘hidden’ Adverse Event or an undocumented Medication, or a Protocol Deviation, or an answer to your prayers, in a thousand-column-thousand-rows’ EXCEL spreadsheet, doing a long manual review. And that may turn a whole study around…
Being technically savvy. As in technology. These are the Data Managers who propose to connect various systems together that have never been connected before, and check them again and again (hmm… not completely trusting that technology too). They make those brilliant Russian programmers-hackers scratch their heads when the duplicates or curious errors are found where they should have been none (the programmers are brilliant, remember? They guarantee their work – right?). These are the Data Managers who keep looking for the answers in the new technology. The answers to their main question - how to make data collection cleaner and faster. With all their might they drag the slow-moving pharma into the new era.
Find joy in numbers. Data Managers look at data, collect and mold it, and get excited when data begin to make sense. They get disappointed when it is not and will manipulate it, working hard, until it is easily organized, categorized synchronized and can be plotted and the diagrams created. They get can’ stand it when data is not (see above).
Play well with others. If you think a Data Manager is someone who, like a monk, sits in the corner in front of his computer all day, you are in for a disappointment. (Although there are periods when a Data Manager wishes you’d leave him alone…) The best of them love a good company of peers, bosses, vendors others and are great and communicators. Some of Data Managers may even have of humor, which is especially helpful when a system breaks or unreasonable timelines are proposed. They love to be a part of the study team.
Be a leader. Data nowadays comes from multiple sources - vendors, places, devices, organizations people. Just try to connect it all together into a coherent analyzable set to make a study a success. The best of the Data Managers can lead the teams, designing compliant processes, convincing stubborn team members, educating others in DM methods and requirements, occasionally even turning around the decisions, and being charming and still likable along the way.
The very best of them, like the other good leaders, respect and learn from the other team-mates – the Data Managers know that they know a lot, just not everything.