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The Data Scribe


The Data Scribe

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Data Scribe

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hoffy
hoffy
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What is old is new again?

This is what I have been doing for years - working in a team that gets requirements and produce reports. We are the jack of all trades (& quite often, masters of none). It is our job to understand where data comes from. Its our job to form that data into useful outputs that can be used from the payments clerks through to the board of directors.

We have been trying to sell the concept of a self service data warehouse and analytical models for nearly 3 years with not a lot of joy. While those who make the big decisions understand the power of data, they would prefer that someone else does the work for them - they simply don't care.
Norty303
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This is basically the role of my team.
In a non IT business, why try and force IT skills (some quite complicated) on an unwilling workforce.
At best you're going to get inadequate or even completely incorrect results.
Leave it to the people that understand the data and possess the skills to be able to verify the results.
Given that we can fill a few full time posts dedicated to the role, imagine the time that non-experts might spend 'not' doing their day job trying to formulate that one-off report for their director.
We've found that if you push this out to the business, all you end up with is pockets of semi-experts, all doing things in different ways, none talking to each other, and usually doing it because they've been volunteered by a manager, or shown an interest, but not because they are equipped to do it necessarily.
And because it's seen a secondary function, it's not seen fit to properly train these people because it's seen as a secondary function, picked up only because someone else isn't doing it.
Better to have it centralised (IMHO)
call.copse
call.copse
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Isn't your suggested role pretty close to a data scientist Steve? Seems fairly congruent to me if not exactly the same. Perhaps more of a data engineer?

BTW our most senior execs are still not inclined to type their own emails - or at least not all the time...
Dalkeith
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There is a lot of scope for improvement of data input absolutely. Manual input is highly inefficient. For health care we need active monitoring of patients I have a friend who is a surgeon working on linking up with IBM and Samsung to do just that.

AI being used to collect information from things like face to face meetings must be something on the cards as well. I would be surprised if someone is not working on it.

Scribes will come back but it will probably be AI driven.

As for the article really excellent article a lot of us are facing up to the fact that not all changes in software are universal improvements for everyone while at the same time demands and amount of information wanting to be collected is increasing. Its a balancing act but that is the job.

I think web applications will improve this. Its easier to get new applications in which reduces the risk to changing systems out if they are not performing - designing systems is still important but at least there is the potential for vendors to distribute them easily and cheaply if they do a good job. Also vendors are becoming more specific more focused and seem to be combining domain knowledge with technical knowledge.

As seen by companies such as Babylon Health who are a good example of domain driven technical improvement of ground up system redesign which could not exist without VOIP/ResponsiveDesign and on demand flexible cloud capacity.
https://www.babylonhealth.com/blog


johnherbert858
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This describes a fair portion of my daily duties. As the DBA for a rather old project, my first hour of each day is spent checking on the health of the system, and most of the rest of my time is spent gathering and organizing data directly from the databases. A lot of times it makes more sense for me to spend a few days figuring out a set of queries for a report, then running it when my customers need it, rather than having some middle manager dig through his records and killing off a day at a time for him. I'm usually the best person to dig through the data because I'm familiar with it


robert.sterbal 56890
robert.sterbal 56890
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Being a data scribe is a really cool job. I've enjoyed every chance I've had to dig into the technical and the business side of that problem.
skeleton567
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I heartily agree that this is an area that could be improved. When we as senior citizens go to our doctors and PA's who are 30 to 40 years our juniors, they do spend a considerable amount of the time reviewing data and entering responses to questions, probably more than time actually spent on exam. Of course, I realize they are also thinking about our responses, but I agree they could and should be relieved of the busywork. Our regular GP does in fact have a person to do the initial questioning and data entry, but then that person leaves the exam room when the doc arrives.

I recall 30 to 40 years ago introducing business people then in their 50's and 60's to the old dumb terminals, well before there were cell phones and PA's so they had absolutely no background for technology. And they did not even have past experience even using printed reports. We went from totally manual systems to interactive querying. This was definitely a struggle for them, and for us as their technical mentors, which consumed too much of our time also.

We are currently re-watching the TV series called ER ( Emergency Room ) and it stands out that when patients are transported by paramedics, they are technically and visually collecting lots of data that they they 'spout' quickly to ER doctors and technicians.

Obviously we should not make many professionals overly dependent on another person for their data, but there is probably a middle ground we could improve.
VeritableHero
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Fascinating thread so far. Though my title is DBA at our company, that is only semi-related to my job responsibilities. I'm more frequently dealing with reporting, visualization, and being a "data scribe" that Steve describes.
dsor
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If we compare it to a medical scribe, a data scribe would be someone doing data entry as a replacement for an automated integration between two or more systems(one of which might be a piece of paper or audio recording).
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