Data managers in a changing technological landscape
Technological advances, providing better and quicker way for collecting increasing amounts of data, pose a challenge for data managers. With utilizing new technology being inevitable, and with all data processing activities being focused in a direction which requires less human review and more human oversight, how do we prepare our current work force to embrace these changes? Understanding of the trial is becoming crucially important. What exactly is measured? What can be safely ignored? Which potential patient results are to be expected, which make no difference and which would clearly be a red flag? Data managers need to be trained to understand holistic pictures of clinical trial data from collection at sites through all cleaning aspects (no longer silo-ed into small pieces), they need to be encouraged to review trends and identification of outliers (not just follow specific guidance on predetermined checks) and where applicable, they need to be trained on the companies approach to machine learning to start getting understanding for how the “machine” is trained. The role of the data manager cannot fall away because there are just simply too many moving parts in bringing data together and ensuring is entirety. However, our data managers need to be trained to fully understand where the data is coming from and what processing makes sense for the indication at hand and what does not. We need to develop our data managers into data scientists.
At Bioforum we are ensuring that all data managers (and data management project managers) are up to date with the latest trends in technology so that they understand why we are pushing their development in a certain direction. We are keeping them engaged by ensuring they understand the advantages the future technology holds, equipping them with the training and experience to help guide our partners in through decision making while planning, and executing, their clinical trials.