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Who Is a Data Manager?

Who are data managers? What are their responsibilities, and how do I become one? We’ll answer these questions and get you on your way to becoming a data manager!

Simply put, data managers oversee the management of information or data within an organization.

They manage data organization, storage, security, and accessibility, and they collaborate with other team members to guarantee data accuracy and usefulness in supporting decision-making. To ensure that data is effectively managed and used appropriately, they may also develop and implement policies and procedures pertaining to data management.

When it comes to working with data, SQL (Structured Query Language) is an essential skill because it allows data managers to interact with relational databases. With this skill, they can efficiently query, filter, and manipulate data for effective data workflow and system management; thus, this skill is a necessity for becoming a data manager.

If you're new to SQL and want to become a data manager, check out our SQL Basics course, which will get you started on your SQL learning journey!

Data Manager Responsibilities

Indeed describes the responsibilities of a data manager as someone who:

“Develops data-oriented systems to meet an organization’s or research team’s needs. Their duties include developing systems, procedures, and policies for data management in an organization, assisting colleagues in performing data-related tasks, and networking with clients.”

And according to Glassdoor, a data manager:

“Analyzes the data needs of the company or research organization and uses skills in coding to maintain secure databases. They then collect and organize the data obtained. A data manager uses their training in analytics and various coding programs to analyze information and draw conclusions based on their findings.”

So, what does have to say about it? Let's break down a data manager's general responsibilities to provide a clear explanation of the duties your future job may entail.

1.   Data Strategy and Governance

A data manager is in charge of developing and implementing data governance policies and procedures. They also ensure data quality and security, regulatory and legal compliance, and the establishment of data standards and best practices.

2.   Data Collection and Storage

A data manager’s role involves overseeing data collection processes and developing and managing data storage systems and databases. This ensures that data is structured and organized correctly. They will also implement data backup and disaster recovery procedures.

3.   Data Analysis and Reporting

A data manager also oversees the coordination of data analysis efforts, as well as the creation of data reports and visualizations. They will be able to interpret data insights and present their findings to stakeholders.

Who Is a Data Manager?

4.   Data Integration and Management

This requires data integration and management processes, ensuring data integration across multiple systems and sources, and developing data transformation and cleansing processes.

5.   Team Management and Collaboration

Finally, a data manager's duties can also include managing and leading data teams, making sure teams and departments work well together, creating team goals and objectives, and setting up training and development procedures.

Managing organizational data assets, ensuring that data is properly governed, and facilitating insights and decision-making based on reliable and accurate data are all crucial duties for a data manager.

Why Is Data Management Important?

Data management is critical because it enables organizations to collect, store, manage, and use data to support business goals and objectives. Data is a valuable asset for organizations; effective data management practices are critical to ensuring data accuracy, consistency, and security.

Good data management practices can assist organizations in extracting insights from their data, making more informed decisions, and ultimately improving their overall performance and competitiveness.

Furthermore, in the age of Big Data and the increasing volume, velocity, and variety of data being generated, effective data management is becoming increasingly important. Organizations that are unable to manage their data may struggle to keep up with competitors. They face increased risks related to data breaches and noncompliance and may miss out on opportunities to leverage data to drive innovation and growth. As a result, good data management practices are critical for organizations seeking to succeed in today's data-driven business environment.

What Skills Do I Need to Become a Data Manager?

Becoming a data manager necessitates a combination of many skills, both technical and soft, as well as relevant experience and education. Let's go over what you'll need to become a data manager:

1.   Education

This position typically requires a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science, data science, information technology, statistics, or a related field. However, it should be noted that relevant work experience and technical skills may be sufficient for this role in some cases. Ultimately the position's requirements vary depending on the manager and the scope of the position.

2.   Technical Skills

To effectively manage data-related processes, systems, and workflows, a data manager must have technical skills in order to:

  • Understand and use data management tools and technologies.
  • Analyze and interpret data.
  • Develop and implement effective data management strategies.

As previously stated, SQL is one of the required skills for this position. Proficiency in data management systems, other programming languages (such as Python and R) and data visualization tools like Tableau and PowerBI are also essential.

3.   Data Governance and Compliance:

Understanding data governance policies and procedures – as well as regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA – is also critical. This is to ensure that data is handled in accordance with local and international laws as well as organizational goals and objectives.

4.   Project Management

To effectively lead and manage data-related projects from start to finish, a data manager must have project management skills. This includes creating project plans, allocating resources, managing deadlines and budgets, and communicating progress and results to stakeholders effectively. Project management abilities are required to ensure that data projects are completed on time, stay within budget, and meet the needs of stakeholders.

5.   Analytical Thinking

To effectively manage and analyze data, interpret insights, and communicate findings to stakeholders, a data manager must have analytical skills. Analytical skills enable a data manager to identify patterns, trends, and outliers in large data sets, as well as develop effective data analysis and management strategies.

6.   Communication Skills

A data manager must be able to effectively communicate technical information and data insights to stakeholders who may lack a technical background. They must be able to explain complex data concepts and insights clearly and concisely, as well as effectively collaborate with team members and stakeholders to ensure that data insights are understood and acted upon.

These are just some of the general skills that data managers use. They are skills that you will need in your toolbox if you want to become a data manager.

Why Is SQL Important for Becoming a Data Manager?

As a data manager, you will be responsible for overseeing and working with substantial amounts of data stored in databases.

SQL is a powerful and adaptable tool for managing, querying, and manipulating data stored in relational databases. It allows you to retrieve and analyze data to support business decisions efficiently. Want to find out more about SQL databases? Check out our article What Is an SQL Database?

Who Is a Data Manager?

SQL is also frequently used in tandem with other data management tools and technologies, such as data warehousing, data modeling, and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes. As a result, knowing SQL can improve your ability to work with these other tools and technologies, allowing you to create more effective data management strategies.

A good understanding of SQL will expand your opportunities not only as a data manager, but also in a variety of other positions. More SQL-related job opportunities can be found in our article Database Jobs to Choose in 2023. In addition to this, if you fancy working as a freelancer, SQL will help you get there; check out our article Why and How to Find Freelance SQL Jobs for more.

Roadmap to Becoming a Data Manager

So, if you're convinced that you want to become a data manager, the road map below will help you get there.

  • Education: Obtain a bachelor's or master's degree in a relevant field, such as computer science, information systems, statistics, or a related discipline.
  • Seek opportunities to gain relevant data management experience: This can include internships or entry-level positions in data analysis, data warehousing, or database administration.
  • Develop Technical Skills: Improve your knowledge of SQL, database management systems, and data analysis tools like Python or R.
  • Develop Analytical Skills: Develop analytical skills to effectively analyze and derive insights from complex data sets.
  • Develop Leadership and Communication Skills: Learn to effectively manage teams, communicate insights to stakeholders, and collaborate with other departments.
  • Stay Up to Date: Participate in continuing education, attend conferences, and join professional organizations to stay current with emerging trends and technologies in the data management field.
  • Obtain Relevant Certifications: To demonstrate proficiency and credibility in the field, consider obtaining relevant certifications such as Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) or Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP).

Start Your Journey to Becoming a Data Manager Today!

Becoming a data manager requires a combination of technical, analytical, leadership, and communication skills, as well as relevant education and experience. Developing these skills and knowledge through education, experience, and ongoing learning is key to being a successful data manager.

So, what are you waiting for? Enroll in one of our SQL courses today to begin learning one of the most important skills for becoming a data manager!