In the rapidly evolving world of biodiversity conservation and research, data has become an invaluable asset. With the increasing importance of data, a new profession has emerged: the Biodiversity Data Manager. But who exactly is a Data Manager in this context, and what do they do?
Data collection and validation: one of the primary roles of a Data Manager is to collect data from various sources, including field researchers, satellite imagery, and remote sensors. They ensure that the data is accurate, relevant, and free from errors.
Data storage and maintenance: biodiversity data can be vast and complex. The Data Manager ensures that this data is stored securely, organized efficiently, and is easily retrievable. They often work with databases, cloud storage, and other data storage solutions.
Data analysis: Using statistical tools and software, Data Manager analyzes data to derive meaningful insights. This could involve identifying patterns, trends, or anomalies that can inform conservation strategies.
Collaboration: Data Managers often work closely with field researchers, conservationists, policymakers, and other stakeholders. They ensure that data is available and understandable to all relevant parties.
Data visualization: To make data more accessible and understandable, Data Managers might create graphs, charts, maps, and other visual representations.
Ensuring compliance: In the world of biodiversity, there might be regulations and guidelines related to data collection and sharing. Data Manager ensures that all data activities comply with these standards.
Technical proficiency: a strong understanding of databases, programming languages, and data analysis tools is recommended.
Attention to detail: given the importance of accurate data in biodiversity research, a keen eye for detail is essential.
Communication skills: Data Managers must be able to explain complex data concepts in simple terms to a variety of audiences.
Problem-solving abilities: they should be adept at identifying issues with data or its sources and finding solutions.
Knowledge of biodiversity: a foundational understanding of biodiversity concepts, species, habitats, and conservation challenges can be beneficial.
Ethical considerations: they should be aware of the ethical implications of data collection, storage, and sharing, especially when it involves sensitive or endangered species.
In conclusion, the role of a Data Manager in the biodiversity sector is multifaceted and crucial. As the importance of data continues to grow, so will the significance of this profession in shaping the future of biodiversity conservation and research.
DiSSCo Estonia project trained 14 Biodiversity Data Managers. During these 2 years trainees learned how to manage scientific data in PlutoF Biodiversity Platform in its full data lifecycle (Data Management Plan -> Data Gathering and Creation -> Data Curation -> Data Sharing -> Data Publishing -> Data Storing and Archiving). As result of these two years there are now lot of new data available for everyone: https://natarc.ut.ee/data.php