What is Data Management and How do I Learn it?

Published by Concordia University, Nebraska 8 months ago on Thu, Mar 3, 2022 9:08 AM

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What is Data Management? 

Data management and the need for accurately measuring and managing data have grown exponentially in the past few years. Due to the amount of big data available to businesses and organizations globally, making sense of what the data shows and communicating what the data means is hugely important for management teams. Furthermore, understanding various types of data, data sources, data management systems, and methods of data integration are key for effectively managing data. 

In the business world, team members dedicated to data management activities hold great responsibilities in ensuring data is available and accurate. Data management involves gathering, storing, organizing, and retaining data, with each avenue having specific features involved during the data management process.  

It is easy to drown in the availability of raw data coming into a business, because often there are several different ways data is streamed into a business. What is not easy is figuring out the best methods of gathering enterprise data specific to the goals of a business or organization. Proper business intelligence can help in determining what data is needed for crucial business or organizational decisions. Pulling data from sources that are reliable is important for data managers, ensuring that data quality is high. Limiting the amount of excess data that holds little to no value is a key component for successful data management as well.  

Once a data manager or data management team has gathered data, the data must be stored in a secure location. Storing data efficiently and ensuring authorization is limited to users who require access to the raw data promotes data security. To ensure data is secure, privacy settings are implemented, and potential data leaks are avoided become high priorities for leading businesses and organizations. Many data-driven businesses and organizations have data governance groups to determine accessibility of data and how data will be used.  

A strong management system for data is needed in preparation for how data will be organized and shared. Data warehousing is a popular method of organizing data. The data warehouse pulls data sets from various sources and organizes and queries it, preparing data into tables, dashboards, and other templates to ease readability for reporting. Once appropriate stakeholders receive specific data, more thorough business decisions can be made with confidence. Often, data can show how a business or organization is trending in areas relating to quality, finances, strategy, operations, and outcomes. Thus, sharing data to the appropriate key players in the decision-making process can impact business and organizational direction. 

Retaining data includes keeping data secure and available, while continually conducting quality checks of the data. Other aspects include improving data sets to enhance readability and functionality. Newer enhancements such as machine learning and artificial intelligence can help data managers to augment methods of data capture. This helps them to create more vivid pictures and stories of how data can be used for future business endeavors. As the business sector constantly changes, it is imperative data managers are open to change and can manage data accordingly.  

The combination of these factors is fundamental for strong data management. Since the data management process is complex and detailed, data managers should be detail-oriented, adaptive to change, and inspired to positively impact business success. 

 

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How do I Learn Data Management? 

Every sector of business is now data driven, relying on data and how well it is managed. Data managers play a large part in a business’s success in this modern, data-driven age. There are typically several background requirements businesses look for in hiring a data manager. 

Data managers are usually expected to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer science or information technology-related field. Some businesses prefer a coinciding master’s degree in similar subjects or in business management. Concordia University Nebraska offers several programs that would help gain the skills needed to be a successful data manager. One program offered is a B.S. in Management Information Systems. This is a balanced program of business and computer science courses that prepares students for computer-related jobs within a business environment. This is an emphasis on using technologies in ways that help businesses and organizations achieve their strategic goals and operational activities. Also offered at Concordia University, Nebraska is a B.A. in Information Technology program that helps students build a foundation in technical computer hardware and software skills. It blends professional, organizational, technical and interpersonal skills needed to become a strong technological solver. A graduate program offered at Concordia University, Nebraska is a Master of Business Administration [MBA] program which explores all aspects of business management and leadership. These leadership traits will further improve a data manager’s ability to promote positive change in a business or organization.  

Professional certifications are useful in this field as well. As data management practices continue to change, it is vital that data managers are open to continued education to stay up to date on best methods and practices. Certifications in data science and various analytics-related tools and methodologies can improve a resume and build experience. Business-specific certificates can provide a more well-rounded professional as well. Concordia University, Nebraska offers several graduate certificate programs that can buffer a prospective data manager’s knowledge of business concepts to include human resources, project management, and leadership topics. 

In addition to strong educational backgrounds, businesses and organizations look for prospective data managers to have real-world experience as well. Typically, experience in database development or data analysis roles is highly regarded when hiring for a data manager role. Understanding the necessary groundwork for data management, compounded with leadership qualities and skills, makes for a successful data manager. 

Braxton Bragg

About the Author

Braxton Bragg, MHA, BSN, RN is an accomplished health and clinical leader bringing expertise and success in merging clinical, quality, technological and strategic initiatives to improve outcomes across the health continuum. He has held leadership roles in several areas throughout his career with the mission and vision of making healthcare better. At Concordia University, Nebraska, Braxton is an Adjunct Instructor for the online MHA program.