In this blog we talk to Makarand, who is based in India, to find out more about his career path, current role at Cytel and his interests outside of work.
When did you identify data management as the right career for you?
I finished university with a Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a major in Pharmacology in the year 2010. I had many options to choose from which included Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical industry, academics and pursuing a Ph.D., however, the field of clinical research had just begun to bloom in India. After a little more investigating I realized that Clinical Research and Clinical Data Management (CDM) would be a good career path for me. I hardly knew the difference between clinical research and clinical data management. As the opportunities started coming my way, my knowledge about both of the fields increased. I was recruited in the year 2010 by a reputable CRO and then my journey began.
Clinical data management can be divided into study start-up, study conduct and study close out activities. I think a Clinical Data Analyst serves as a backbone of the study! The phase of study start-up would include designing the database in which the site would ultimately enter data, creating several documents, which not only help the testers when validating the system but also proves beneficial to the site during the conduct of a study. The second phase known as study conduct, begins after the study goes live and subjects are enrolled in a trial. Activities like query management, comprehensive data review, lab management, serious adverse event management are a few of the other tasks undertaken. These activities ensure that the data collected is not only accurate and logical but also bears quality. During the last stage of a study, the study close out activities come into the picture. Achieving a successful database lock and delivering clean data to the programmers, in turn, helps to speed the submission of the study for regulatory purposes.
What has been your journey to your current role at Cytel?
The journey has been exciting and challenging. As mentioned earlier, I began my career as a Clinical Data Coordinator and I worked my way up to become a Senior Clinical Data Analyst. Not only did I gain a lot of knowledge that helped me grow professionally, but I have made many friends, this has helped my overall development as a human being.
What functions do you collaborate closely with?
In my day-to-day work I collaborate with the project management team, clinical operations (which includes the Clinical Research Associates and the sites), the global counterparts from Geneva and the US (this includes the database developers and data analysts), statistical programmers and medical coders.
Why are these relationships important?
Since the work that we do is interdependent, co-existence is necessary, every relationship matters. Good communication and harmonious working relationships are essential, by working closely together we always deliver quality outputs at a faster rate.
What career achievements are you most proud of?
My own personal motto during my career has been ‘Deliver Work with Quality’. Due to this, I have always received appreciation from management and my counterparts and received numerous internal awards, this keeps my morale high. This, in turn, had given me the chance to work on extremely complex trials across various therapeutic areas and test my mettle.
What most inspires you about working in this field?
Every day is a new day! New tasks, challenges, and ad-hoc requests excite me, these all ensure I have to use my problem-solving skills and apply the knowledge I have learned over the years. When I complete a new task and have learned something new, I am inspired.
What are the top three attributes or technical competencies a data analyst must have?
Knowledge of the three main domains of clinical data management is paramount-study start-up, study conduct and study closeout; this is a perfect blend to make a successful Clinical Data Analyst.
What are your personal values?
I believe that hard work always bears the sweetest fruit. God has always showered blessings upon me whenever I faced difficulties. From my personal experience, I can say that when one works with honesty and integrity, one can achieve great results.
What are your main interests outside of work?
Spending quality time with my family. I have a real passion for cooking and when I have some spare time I like to cook different dishes. Playing cricket is my all-time favorite hobby.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and sharing your journey.
Cytel's clinical data management experts are active and well regarded in industry associations and communities around the world. Would you like to join our talented team? To find out more about rewarding careers with us click below.