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Database Administrator

A Database Administrator performs an operational or technical level function focused on physical database design, data access permissions and database performance. Experts in data warehousing, Database Administrators plan, develop and optimize database performance for operational data stores like data marts and data lakes.

What is a Database Administrator?

Database Administrator: Database administration is an operational or technical level function focused on physical database design, data access permissions, and database performance. Tasks include maintaining the data dictionary, monitoring performance, and enforcing organizational standards and security. They manage the data production flow, ensure timely back-ups and create avenues to the data to make it available to various stakeholders.

Skills That Set Them Apart

Database Administrators are strong performers, often focusing on database design and database administration to meet the performance and scalability needs of specific applications. They are quite likely to be experts at coding and modifying SQL (structured query language), and able to understand the best ways to incorporate database requests into application programs. It is for these reasons that they come from computer science, mathematics and statistics backgrounds. 

 

Additionally, they are data warehousing experts. They are often responsible for:

  • Performing in-depth data analysis to monitor and support the data warehouse environment. 
  • Understanding the advantages and limitations of various data warehousing technologies, making choices such as whether to use row based or columnar based database engines.

The very best Database Administrators are excellent troubleshooters, logical thinkers and innately curious. They’re able to think through the possible causes, systematically track or rule out each one until they discover the source, and then determine possible solutions. They want to know why, and their excellent memory can help them recall likely scenarios, related facts and obscure code that can help them save time and effort. Their curiosity will drive them to find the best solution, and will keep them current in the latest technologies.

The Educational Foundation That Sets the Stage

Database Administration often requires a bachelor’s degree, and the majority of Database Administrators earn their B.S. in Information Science and Computer Science. As they work toward their degree, they usually choose concentrations in database systems management and their requisite software designed for them, such as MSSQL, and Oracle. Their curriculum usually includes metadata acquisition and management, as well. 

Masters degrees are fairly common for Database Administrators who wish to advance or be considered by larger companies. These degrees provide more specialized training in complex web scale or cloud based databases, security, database architecture and information recovery and translation.

Specialized Training

Database Administrators often pursue database vendor certifications, as well as expertise in the latest Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure database technologies. They also need to remain current with the latest programming and database innovations to advise employers and clients about system updates.

SQL

It’s the backbone of complex queries and universal among Database Administrators to execute complex queries in SQL. “Traditional” or relational databases mostly utilize SQL, so these platforms remain relatively valuable to know. PostgreSQL is one of the most advanced open-source relational databases in the world, as is MySQL.

NoSQL

As data becomes larger and more unwieldy in relational database programming, albeit slower to respond and more complex to query, Database Administrators should also be familiar with non-traditional database programming. NoSQL such as MongoDB or HBase work quickly with large volumes of data and are easily scalable for a more customized approach.

Big Data Computation Networks 

Many Database Administrators learn the Apache Hadoop platform, and knowing Hive or Pig just adds to their arsenal. Apache Spark is also popular because it’s faster than Hadoop – a boon when running extremely complex algorithms.

Cloud Tools

In addition to platforms such as Hadoop, some Database Administrators are also experienced in working with cloud-based tools such as Amazon S3, or Google BigQuery.

ETL Tools

Extract, Transform, Load: ETL capabilities allow Database Administrators to work seamlessly through this process. Some of the more popular platforms help corral both defined and fuzzy data from multiple sources. Alteryx, KNIME, Pentaho or Stitch Data allow you to consolidate all of your data – even the information used for email, social media, live chat and SMS texts, and merge it with quantitative data. Segment captures, schematizes, and loads user data into your data warehouse of choice, tracks customer data and automatically sends it to a warehouse. This easy integration provides access to 200+ more tools on the Segment platform.

Alteryx
Data ETL & Data Wrangling Commercial

Alteryx

Alteryx is the only quick-to-implement end-to-end data analytics platform for your organization that allows data scientists and analysts alike to solve business problems faster than you ever thought possible.

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KNIME Analytics Platform
Data ETL & Data Wrangling FREE Open Source

KNIME Analytics Platform

KNIME Analytics Platform is a powerful free open source data mining tool which enables data scientists to create independent applications and services through a drag and drop interface. It can serve well as a business intelligence resource, which can be used f...

4

Typical Database Administrator Compensation

Database Administrator salaries can vary widely, relative to experience and certifications. Let’s see what the experts can tell us:

 

Note: More certification generally leads to a 7 – 15% salary increase.

What to Expect from a Wyzoo Database Administrator

Wyzoo Database Administrators plan, develop and optimize database performance for operational data stores such as data marts and data lakes.

They’re your team of experts who are responsible for: 

  • Monitoring and optimizing the database’s performance using either manual or automated tools. 
  • Modifying the database structure using information provided by application developers.
  • Ensuring system security and compliance by careful allocation of user permissions and following database vendor license agreements, such as the maximum number of installations per license.
  • Creating a backup and recovery strategy for the database. 
  • Regularly testing the backups to ensure usability.
  • Migrating database instances to new hardware and new versions of software from on premise to cloud based databases and vice versa.

Wyzoo’s Database Administrators can help you determine your next course of action with confidence and security. 

Resources

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