Clinical Data Managers
Exploring this Job
Get involved in a professional assocation for data management professionals, for access to networking opportunities, publications, and other helpful resources. If you are a student, the Technology Student Association offers state and national events and conferences that may interest you. Find upcoming events on its Web site at http://www.tsaweb.org.
Another helpful way to gain exposure to data management is by participating in data science, programming, and related competitions for students and working professionals. Competing gives you opportunities to learn more about the field, hone skills, and meet others who share your interests. Examples of some well-known competitions include:
- American Statistical Association (ASA) DataFest: http://ww2.amstat.org/education/datafest
- Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education/ASA Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition: https://www.causeweb.org/usproc
- Kaggle: https://www.kaggle.com
- TopCoder: https://www.topcoder.com
Clinical data managers analyze and manage clinical databases. They work with clinical researchers and other clinical research staff members at health care companies, such as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. They may also be employed by public, private, and academic research centers. They manage all aspects of the clinical database, from designing and testing the database and its framework, to collecting and processing data as well as storing and retrieving data. Clinical data managers make sure that the database processes and technologies are in compliance with government and industry regulations.
Daily work activities that clinical data managers are involved in include evaluating the quality of the data, creating databases to store the data electronically, preparing the data for analysis, and analyzing the data to find weaknesses or other flaws in its operations and coming up with solutions. Clinical data managers also develop plans for data management that may improve the work flow processes for coding, reporting, or the transfer of data.
The job requires critical thinkers who have the ability to use deductive reasoning to solve specific problems in logical ways. Clinical data managers spend much of their time gathering and processing information; recording, organizing, and verifying information or data; and sharing information and discussing their findings with their coworkers, supervisors, and other team members. Computer skills are essential in this job. They use electronic data capture (EDC) software such as SAS; autocoders or drug-coding software; database reporting software such as Oracle SQL Loader; user interface and query software such as Microsoft Access; and medical software such as Allscripts and Epic Systems.