Tell us a little about yourself.
Youssoupha, Information Manager with INSO in Central African Republic (CAR), says he sees a big part of his role as being the link between INSO and partners through data.
How would you explain what you do as an Information Manager to a stranger?
As an Information Manager with INSO in Central African Republic (CAR), I am the keeper of the Conflict & Humanitarian Data Centre (CHDC) – INSO’s global database hosting all our recorded safety incidents – for our country team. My job is to check the data quality, be sure that all entries are correctly coded, and use this data to make maps and graphs that help our NGO partners understand the security context and resulting dynamics. I also ensure that partners can easily access the data and analysis they need.
What were you doing before you stepped into the role of Information Manager with INSO in CAR?
I am a local development engineer with a specialisation in Geographic Information System (GIS) and territorial analysis, and I also have a degree in geography. My career started as a Geomatics Integrator at the National Sanitation Office of Senegal. After this experience, I joined ICRC as a Data and Analytics Officer in Bamako, Mali, and then in Dakar, Senegal, as an interim Regional Data and Analytics Manager.
I discovered INSO during my mission in Bamako. I was impressed by the accuracy and level of detail of the weekly lists of INSO which I worked with. That led me to meet INSO’s Information Manager who, after a fruitful exchange, told me about the launch of CHDC to partners which I was very excited about. Two years later, I applied for two Information Manager positions with INSO and was selected for the position in CAR. So, I ended up being the person responsible for the deployment to partners and overall oversight of CHDC in CAR.
What have you learnt since joining INSO?
I have learned a lot, both technically and personally. What struck me most was the cohesion within the team, the synergy and the team spirit that drives each collaborator. Everyone gives their best to guarantee the best service possible to the partners.
Complete this sentence: my favourite way to relax away from a computer screen is…
To pop into my colleagues’ offices to have a chat and relieve stress. Outside work, my phone is my best ally to stay in touch with my family and follow tutorials. I also like to watch documentaries.
This role can have quite different responsibilities depending on the organisation. What’s most unique or interesting about being an Information Manager?
In this role, I am the link between INSO and partners through data. In other words, I play a key role in the services offered by INSO to partners by providing them with technical support to access and use the Partner’s Portal, monitoring registration and so on. I also collaborate with them to address their needs regarding data and graphics. Contrary to what many people may think, we information managers don’t just make maps and graphs but also work closely with all departments and field teams to provide support in any other relevant technical field they may need.
What motivates you in your work?
What motivates me most is knowing that I contribute to a noble cause: supporting humanitarian actors who help people in need. I am motivated by being able to use my technical and analytical skills to produce useful and reliable information that can help make informed decisions and strengthen coordination. I also love working with a dynamic and supportive team with the same values and vision.
What are the top skills that someone needs to be an Information Manager?
Motivation, flexibility, and team spirit. These are essential to work in a challenging and changing environment and to collaborate with different stakeholders. Some of the hard skills needed are data management and analysis skills. You need to be able to collect, process, interpret and present data in a meaningful way, using various tools and techniques such as Excel, Power BI, SQL, Python, R. As well as this, you’ll need curiosity and research skills to keep up with the evolution of tools and languages, and to find relevant solutions to data-related problems.
Tell us a little about yourself
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