As a Data manager on FOCUS4 (a molecularly stratified, multi-arm, multi stage trial for patients with colorectal cancer in the UK) my primary role is to oversee the collection of trial data and to ensure that it is complete, accurate and of the highest quality.
My time is spent reviewing the data entered at site and liaising with research staff.
Trial data is collected locally at our hospital sites and entered directly onto an online database, as such the majority of my time is spent reviewing the data entered at site and liaising with research staff to resolve any data queries.
An interesting aspect of working on a molecularly stratified trial is that the results of patient tumour sample testing is used to determine which comparison(s) within the trial programme patients can be randomised into. As obtaining patient results is a rate limiting step in the trial it is my responsibility to liaise with our trial laboratory staff and our sites to oversee the process to ensure that results are reported in a timely manner.
Other tasks that I undertake include writing trial documents such as case reports forms (CRFS), writing metadata for our trial database, database testing, producing and reviewing internal trial working practices and guidelines, writing newsletters for our sites, dealing with day-to-day site queries and also site monitoring.
I have a degree in Biomedical Science and a masters in Clinical Neurology, whilst these are not essential for my role these provide me with a good scientific background and the transferable skills required to do my job well. Essential skills needed for this role are attention to detail, good communication, organisation and time management.
I started in the unit as a trials assistant and was given the relevant training and experience needed to help me progress to the role of a Data Manager. There are lots of opportunities to attend training sessions and to develop skills to help further your career.