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What is an Informatics Specialist?

By Ken Black
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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An informatics specialist is a person who not only has experience and education in informatics, but also another area. Combined, these areas help the individual perform tasks relating to computers and the jobs they must perform in specific industries. For example, the tasks a computer must do when analyzing sales will be much different than what a computer will be called upon for when conducting scientific research. An informatics specialist will understand these differences, and adjust his or her programming to compensate. In addition to these fields, this specialist may also be involved in the medical, business, or financial services fields.

In order to be an informatics specialist, it is first necessary to receive an informatics degree. Many colleges offer such degrees, so it is up to the individual to choose a school that fits their needs. To truly specialize in a particular field, a minor, or even a double major, may be the best route to take. Others may find they can become specialists just by getting internships in certain fields, and dedicating most of their studies to that field.

An informatics specialist in the medical field may handle everything from drug databases, to patient information. As the medical community continues to transition from paper records to electronic records, health care the informatics specialist will become increasingly needed. In fact, given the emphasis on the electronic records, this could be a very high-demand field for years to come.

An informatics specialist in the financial services field may be in charge of keeping track of data, and updating sites in real time. This is especially important in the world of stock and commodity trading. Up-to-date information is often critical. Therefore, an informatics specialist may write code that makes streaming updates more reliable, or may work to fix technical issues when those streams do go down.

Those in business may be interested in how computer technology can further the goal of the company, a hallmark of business informatics. This may include tracking sales, measuring productivity, and other such key measures. Depending on the complexity of the business, packaged programs may not manage every aspect of the business effectively. That is where custom-made software and expert administration can provide real value.

Some informatics specialists may also work in the area of sales. These individuals can tell others how informatics can help their businesses. Those who work in sales often do so for independent firms, who wish to contract for services with non-information technology businesses. These businesses may find such a situation lucrative simply because they do not have the time or expertise to fine tune their own IT hardware and software.

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