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Data Management Director: Salary & Job Description

If you're interested in a career as a data management director, the following article will explore the job description, education requirements, annual median salary, and career outlook.

What is a Data Management Director?

Data management directors oversee an organization's overall data use initiatives. They also serve as the organization's lead on the design, development, and implementation of data warehouses and data structures for a wide variety of organizations including education, healthcare, and the sciences. The role of a data management director is strategic in nature, as they create and implement guidelines for data governance, integrity, data modeling, and quality assurance. Guided by an organization's specific needs and goals, these directors analyze the organization's data initiatives for inefficiencies and other factors that may affect proper data warehousing and dissemination and suggest solutions for improvement. Directors communicate with vendors who use the organization's data to ensure that deadlines are met and within budgetary parameters.

Data management directors involve themselves with managerial tasks including identifying staffing needs, evaluation, and training. They are often responsible for establishing goals for staff - both technical and non-technical - and monitoring goal progression and mentoring when necessary. The data management director creates reports and gives presentations targeted to upper-level management as well as the organization's stakeholders with regard to ongoing data projects. They consult with stakeholders to identify specific data needs and serve as a liaison between stakeholders and upper management to ensure that the stakeholder's specific data needs are met as well as maintaining the organization's strategic plan for data dissemination. Data management directors often work with cutting edge information technology, including cloud applications targeted at business intelligence (BI).

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Strong leadership abilities, excellent analytic skills, strong communication skills, expert knowledge of data structures and modeling
Median Salary (2019)* $122,500 (director of data management)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 9% (computer occupations, all other)

Sources: *Payscale.com **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A bachelor's degree is typically required for data management directors. Employers usually prefer a degree in computer science or a related field. Practical work experience in data management, as well as prior experience in a leadership position, are often required.

Required Skills

Data management directors require very strong leadership abilities because they serve the organization in a supervisory capacity. Strong written and oral communication skills are very important, since directors prepare and present reports for a number of different audiences who possess varying levels of expertise in data methods. Excellent analytic skills are crucial to the role of the data management director because they study the organization's data projects and identify where improvements can be made for the organization and its stakeholders. Expert knowledge of data structures and modeling is crucial, as the director makes recommendations focusing on improving processes and practices to increase the data initiative's efficiency and quality.

Career Outlook and Salary

In 2019, Payscale.com reported that the annual median salary for directors of data management was $122,500. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't compile information specifically for data management directors, but predicted that job growth for 'computer occupations, all other,' from 2016-2026, would be about 9%. The BLS noted that this figure represents an average percentage compared to all other occupations.


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