- Published: 29 June 2011
Data Management Roles - Who does what?
A data management executive is responsible for ensuring that the data resource in an organization completely supports the business goals of the organization. The executive does not necessarily need to know all the details of managing a high-quality data resource, but does need to know the broad data needs of the organization. Those data needs are most often determined by looking at the knowledge needed by the organization’s knowledge workers, the information needed to provide that knowledge, and the data needed to provide the information. It’s the data management executive’s responsibility to ensure that the determination of knowledge, information, and data needs are carried out for every business function in the organization. If the data management executive does adequately carry out that responsibility, the customer’s needs in a private sector organization and the citizen’s needs in a public sector organization may not be met.
A data manager is responsible for ensuring that the specific data management responsibilities are carried out for the organization. That responsibility generally includes budgeting and accounting, personnel management, establishing priorities, planning and project management, conflict resolution, facilities management, presentation and writing, interpersonal communication, and other managerial tasks. The data manager often functions as a liaison between the data management executive who established directions and commits resources, and the data management staff that carries out the data management tasks. The data manager seldom gets to perform specific data management tasks, but must be aware of the data management tasks that need to be performed to develop and maintain a high-quality data resource.
A data management technician is responsible for carrying out the data management tasks related to developing and maintaining a high-quality data resource for an organization. The technical tasks include understanding business needs, developing logical data models to meet those business needs, developing a physical data model to properly implement those business needs in a physical operating environment, developing the actual databases in a physical operating environment, and maintaining those databases. Technical tasks include maintaining current operational data, evaluating historical data, and using existing data to make future predictions. The data management technician needs a wide variety of skills from technical data management to interpersonal communication skills, from detailed analysis and synthesis to writing and presentation skills, and from the ability to conceptualize to the ability to implement the concepts.
A data management consultant is responsible for providing professional support to an organization for any of these three major roles. The data management consultant may provide services within an organization, or may provide services across a wide variety of organizations. The data management consultant must have a wide variety of experience in the data management area where the consultation is being provided. The classical statement about a consultant in general, and data management professional in particular, is that they must have 25 years of experience, not one year of experience 25 times over. A good data management consultant must be thoroughly honed in the skills which they are providing to an organization.