Data and information are the backbone of all computer systems. The fact that I.T. is an abbreviation of ‘information’ technology is a pretty good indication of how important data and information are to the world of I.T. and telecommunications. Considering its great importance, data and information needs to be managed and administered effectively.
Pretty much every company or organisation now depends on its computer systems. The way that these computer systems work relies entirely on how data is processed. Every organisation is therefore reliant on its data; they would not be able to function without it.
Data and information is also valuable in other ways: it can be sold to other companies and its power can be harnessed to help make important decisions. Consequently, all computer data needs to be accessible, usable, adaptable and secure at all times.
Understandably, not only does the data need to be managed effectively, but complex databases need to be designed, the data needs to be administered and rigorous security measures need to be put in place to keep it safe and secure.
What is data management?
Data Management International (DAMA) describes data management as “the development and execution of architectures, policies, practices and procedures that properly manage the full data lifecycle needs of an enterprise.”* As you can see, this area of work is complex and has many different strands. Keep reading and we’ll give you the lowdown on each different area.
Information and data management is a broad area of work, which can include both technical and non-technical roles.
What are the different positions in data management?
Before data can be managed effectively, databases and data models need to be designed and developed. This technical side of data management offers plenty of opportunities for people at loads of different levels.
The big dogs in this line of work are the database architects, data architects and information architects. These three different roles have varying levels of responsibility. However, they all share the same general tasks, i.e. leading and directing the technical activity of lower-level developers and engineers, making all the high-level technical decisions, understanding the business requirements and producing technical solutions which satisfy them.
Database architects make all the nitty-gritty decisions about the actual database applications, which will be used to store and deliver data. Data architecture incorporates certain aspects of database architecture, but it also focuses on the wider data environment, such as data integration and data modelling.
Information architecture is a higher level form of architecture and is much more focused on the entire enterprise. Information architects have less direct technical interaction and are more concerned with how the business uses information.
Below these architects you will find database developers, who carry out the actual coding that’s required to create databases, and data modellers, who use data modelling tools and techniques to create strategic models for how data is processed.
Another technical role that you could pursue in this area is that of the database administrator. These guys have many strings to their bow when it comes to technical database work. They might get involved with the design and development side of things, but more importantly, they manage and maintain databases: tweaking things, making amendments and generally refining their performance and functionality.
How do I start a career in information and data management?
Considering how valuable data is to organisations, careers in data security management are of paramount importance. For more information on this area of data management, check out the Security subsector now!
Away from the technical side of information and data management, you can develop a career which focuses on the analysis, interpretation and effective use of data.
You could start off working as a data analyst, using your technical knowledge to mine, inspect and interpret data before transforming it into useful information that can influence business decision-making.
You could even progress and become a senior information manager who helps organisations to use their data and information in the most effective way possible.
If you don’t feel like you’ve been overwhelmed with information and you’re still able to take in more data…well then, we think you should apply to some I.T. job listings — a career in information and data management may be right up your street!