Organizations must manage quite a bit of data to carry out operations. This data is usually kept within electronic databases where there is easy storage, organization and retrieval, often from remote locations. While a variety of specialists focus on their areas of expertise, the database assistant focuses on keeping the database information up-to-date by engaging in data entry and also performs regular maintenance by making sure that all information has been entered properly.
In the case of the Psychiatric Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit (PNGU), multiple genetics researchers enter the most recent information into electronic databases that must then be organized by the database assistant. This database assistant must work closely with genetic specialists to make sure that all of the information is entered into the database correctly. At the travel agency STA Travel, a database assistant is needed in order to ensure that all air contracts have been correctly entered into the database. The database assistant must also be aware of all rules, regulations and company policies and must inform management whenever a particular contract violates any of those terms. These assistants are sometimes responsible for performing their own analysis so that they can work with managers to come up with better loading policies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data entry keyers (which includes database assistants) usually need a high school diploma in order to work in data entry. However, some database assistants need a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field. High schools, community colleges and business schools often offer classes that provide skills useful for database assistants, such as typing.
Useful skills for a database assistant include organizational skills, flexibility, teamwork, written communication skills and an ability to work without supervision, according to STA Travel. Those database assistants who have previous experience in the industry are much more likely to find work. Database assistants with experience in the software that the company uses for keeping databases are also preferred.
In some cases, database assistants can perform their work remotely, where they can control their environment. However, database assistants sometimes have to travel to attend meetings, according to the PNGU. When required to work in an office, the database assistant usually works in a clean and comfortable environment. In many cases, database assistants work part time.
The need for database assistants is expected to decline by 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. This loss is the result of specialists in organizations doing their own database management, since databases have become easier to use. However, some organizations still hire database assistants in order to free up specialists to complete other tasks. In 2008, the median salary for database assistants was $26,120, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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