Essential skills for a data wrangler – meet Data Management Officer Sarah Lim

In the latest in a series of blogs showcasing the depth of experience of the PIONEER delivery team, we speak to our Data Management Officer Sarah Lim about the essential skills needed by professional ‘data wranglers’.

Sarah Lim

“I am one of the Data Wranglers in PIONEER, the Health Data Research Hub for Acute Care.  My role is responsible for data scoping, extracting and transforming raw and complex health care data from various source systems and electronic health records, to enable licenced access by approved requesters from NHS, Academia and industry to undertake research.  Each dataset we produce is bespoke and based on the requester’s requirement which is then used for innovation, planning and research.

“What I love about my work is that every day I have an opportunity to learn, grow and discover my potential. PIONEER has given me the chance to gets hands on with healthcare data and work alongside new cutting edge technology which are pioneered in-house.  Graduating with a Business & Computing IT degree at University, has given me the foundation to carry out my role and understand both technical and business aspect of my work.  In addition, my previous role has also given me the experience in data handling and data management which are essential skills for a data wrangler. To be able to grow and be part of the development of the first single largest acute care medical database, that enables linkage of an individual’s acute care journey; allowing us to understand how, where and why people seek unplanned medical help, is extremely motivating and rewarding.

“As someone who is very hands on with data in their everyday work, I ensure that I stay compliant with General Data Protection Regulation and compliant with Information Governance. We take pride in our work and ensure that data quality and completeness is kept to a high standard and guarantees patient data confidentiality is maintained. Patients can feel confident and safe about their private and confidential information being used for research and planning – we have strict procedures in place to ensure privacy and personal details of individuals are protected, and only requested data are loaded in the trusted research environment.

“It is a privilege to be part of such a high-performance team, where everyone is goal-focused with specialised expertise and complementary skills that collaborate, innovate and produce consistently high level results. I enjoy learning from the individuals that I encounter daily right from the management team, to our internal and external clients and especially from other members of the PIONEER team. It is very exciting and motivating to know that the datasets we are producing and the technology innovations are already making a difference in the NHS and helping to improve the lives of many. Knowing there’s a sense of purpose in the work that I do motivates me daily and inspires me to do my best in all aspects of it.”

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