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Data Manager: 4 Challenges and 3 Key Skills for Overcoming Them

In this video, Nick Nuss dives deep into the challenges most data managers have encountered in their careers. Nuss also provided some advice to overcome these challenges and succeed as a data manager.

Data Science Nicholas Nuss Senior Data Management Consultant

3 Key Skills:

  1. Knowledge of Excel: Excel skills are essential when dealing with data. It is a helpful tool to unravel data from different data files. Simple reports can be created to check on the accuracy and validity of the data using Excel. 
  2. Logical Thinking: The ability to analyze a technical problem and to provide an effective solution is essential in any data manager’s career.
  3. Statistical knowledge: A statistics background will provide insights during the problem-solving process. It is helpful to data managers, data analysts, or data scientists. 

These skills are the backbone of a competent and able data manager.

4 Challenges faced by a Data Manager:

  1. The data manager is a technical role, which implies that problems encountered most likely need to be solved in a non-linear manner. Complex problems would require hours of work and sometimes solutions do not work out as expected. The problem could be the result of any or combination of issues including inaccurate and incorrect data, environment complexities, a small tweak in microdata, etc. It is frustrating and disheartening to not be able to pinpoint a concrete time frame in which a solution can be arrived at. Rectifying and updating the database is a time-consuming task and it requires heavy technical input.
  2. Data security is another challenge that data managers face. Breach and compromise of secured data is a real problem that can have far-reaching effects. Data managers have to ensure that it is on the correct servers and protected by proper measures.
  3. Sensitive data has to be handled properly under all safety protocols by data managers. They have to ensure that sensitive data is utilized within the organization and not accessed anywhere else. Blatant disregard of safety protocols will have legal consequences. Data is sourced from many entities such as clients, vendors, suppliers for the company to implement and decipher. Any compromise or leak or breach of such data will lead to the souring of such relationships and loss of trust. Work atmosphere gets tainted and difficult to maintain and the onus of this falls on the data manager.
  4. Laws around data are always changing. Companies have to keep up with these laws and handle data per instruction. Different countries have different legal regulations and it is one of the major challenges for data managers to keep track and work within the ambit of these laws. 


The data manager is a fulfilling career choice with many exciting challenges. These skills mentioned above will not only help data managers to overcome the challenges they face but succeed in this field as well.

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