Database Administrator in Business Meeting


Applied Solutions

A Day in a Not-So-Ordinary Life

Constantly evolving technologies and business needs require today’s DBAs to be versatile and learn new skills.

As database technology has experienced dramatic and constant improvements over the last decade, data warehousing responsibilities have undergone a similar evolution to keep pace. This progression has resulted in the extensive metamorphosis of the role of the DBA.

Traditionally, the job was administrative and straightforward with most of the daily work focused on keeping data available for use and backed up in case of an outage. Sometimes the job also required oversight of user permissions, making adjustments for space management and updating software. But today, ever-changing data warehouse and business needs are placing much different and greater demands on the DBA. As a result, DBAs have come to play a strategic role in the organization, often working closely with management to ensure operations contribute value to the business rather than draining from it.

Expanding Role

A DBA role that requires a deeper knowledge base, encompasses more responsibilities and provides more value to organizations is becoming the new norm.

A standard, cookie-cutter job description doesn’t exist anymore for the DBA. As data technology continually becomes better and faster, organizations can do more with their data warehouse environment using fewer people. On the other hand, modern data architectures with both structured and unstructured data, along with critical solutions for security management and the like, increase the complexity of the environment.

Everyday tasks now entail more than just being technically adept at administering database servers. To be highly efficient, effective and successful, DBAs must learn new skills and take on additional responsibilities. For example, their jobs might now cover:

  • Extract, transform and load (ETL) and data implementations
  • Disaster recovery so up-to-date information is always available
  • Supporting business users by helping them tune queries, fix problems and manage organizational data
  • Performance tuning
  • Workload management
  • Security management

Technology shifts and business uses for data are changing the daily life of a DBA. A role that requires a deeper knowledge base, encompasses more responsibilities and provides more value to organizations is becoming the
new norm.

Wealth of Learning Opportunities

Teradata provides a highly valued, industry-recognized certification program that measures and validates technical abilities used to advance business strategies. The Teradata Certified Professional Program is designed to advance the knowledge base and skills of all IT professionals enabling them to take full advantage of Teradata’s powerful technology.

In addition, Teradata User Groups (TUGs) offer biannual technical and business updates. Annually, the PARTNERS User Group Conference & Expo provides opportunities to continue learning about Teradata products, applications, software and third-party solutions.

Support and Training

Training is necessary to stay current with technology and gain an expanded knowledge of data warehouse environments. But it is too often undervalued and therefore ignored. As a result, skills degrade and an organization is unable to take advantage of the best their people and technology have to offer. This is completely avoidable.

Teradata offers many opportunities for continuing education online and in-class. Another effective way to jumpstart to a higher skill level is through on-site operational mentoring. This hands-on training experience provides a wealth of knowledge in just a few short days for new customers or as a refresher for existing customers. If more training is needed, the Teradata Managed Services team can deliver additional support for monitoring, maintaining and developing key components of a data warehouse environment and related applications.

Increased Value to the Business

It’s inevitable that the role of the DBA will keep evolving. By working to better understand an organization’s strategic objectives, continuing to become proficient in new technologies that support them, and taking advantage of training opportunities, DBAs can overcome challenges and increase their value within any organization.

Mary Pat Simmons is a Teradata Certified Professional and manages Teradata Customer Services
marketing programs.

Scott Crosby is a senior consultant at Teradata and trains DBAs for Teradata systems.

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