The People Behind Information Management
In this information-driven age, we are constantly surrounded and bombarded by all sorts of data and knowledge that at times, we don’t even know what to do with. This is especially true for businesses, who must gather data from every single aspect of their operations — from production to sales and customer satisfaction — in order to ensure that they are maximizing their resources and performing well.
In the UK, which has very well-developed information infrastructure, the need to manage this information is all the more pressing. Hence, the information management industry has grown considerably in recent years and employs a large number of data management specialists dedicated to processing, analyzing, and storing all kinds of data.
Here are some of the different positions one can find in the information management industry, as well as how they each contribute to the field of information management.
Data management involves dealing with the actual data at hand, whether it be in terms of the acquisition, organization, or analysis. The entry-level position of this division is the data analyst, who is in charge of translating complicated quantitative data into something understandable that could then be used to help inform company decisions and strategy.
Higher-ranking positions include data managers and data management specialists, who oversee the overall data management system and look for ways to improve existing methods of collecting and analyzing data. These are the senior officers who also have a role in the strategic planning of a company, as their usage of data is able to inform the decisions made by the top executives regarding company direction.
If data managers are in charge of looking at the actual data itself, systems managers make sure that the data managers are able to do their jobs. Systems managers operate and maintain both the hardware and software systems that are used to gather data and process them for data analysts to interpret and understand.
Because these jobs involve working with computers and complex systems, comprehensive knowledge of coding and programming is necessary. Hence, many who work in this area come from engineering and software programming backgrounds and are also required to know how to troubleshoot such systems should something go wrong.
Application and Web Development
Although systems managers operate the systems used by companies to gather and process data, they were not the ones who created these systems. This was done by application and web developers, whose job is to develop tools and applications that can be used to extract useful information out of all the different kinds of data out there.
What makes this job challenging is that not only is an extensive knowledge of programming required, but developers must also have a keen analytical mind and a knowledge of statistics that allows them to create complex data queries. This makes them one of the most in-demand professions in the field of information management.
Information management is by no means an easy field to work in. Being responsible for a vast array of data and information — and knowing that these must be used and protected wisely — is definitely a weighty task. Hence, those who aspire to work in information management need years of preparation in order to ensure that nothing goes wrong at any point in the data management process. Moreover, given that these positions are mostly backroom office jobs, it also adds to the credit that is due to these professionals.