A database administrator, also known as a DBA, is the person responsible for the integrity of data within a company. To say it in a few words, a DBA is in charge of ensuring that the data in the application tier is performant, recoverable, and secure. As companies get bigger and their data soars, the DBA role becomes crucial and decisive.
What Does a DBA Do?
- Make sure that data analysts efficiently use the database to find the information they require.
- Make sure that the system performs accordingly.
- Work side by side with the company’s management team to address the organization’s needs and to work towards the immediate and long-term database goals.
- Plan security measures, making sure that data cannot be accessed from unsecured or unauthorized sources. Databases generally contain personal, financial or sensitive information, so security is of utter importance.
- In charge of backing up systems in case of a power failure or other issue. They safeguard the integrity of the database, making sure that the data saved in the database comes from reliable sources.
- Control database systems performance to determine when to take action.
- Evaluate complex data that comes from different sources.
- Work in teams. They need to communicate effectively with developers, managers, other DBAs and any employee of the company.
- Use software to organize information into meaningful patterns. It is then stored in the databases that DBAs administer, test, and maintain. When there is a problem with a database, DBAs analyze, diagnose, and correct them.
There are two DBA specializations:
- System DBAs are in charge of the physical and technical aspects of a database, such as installing upgrades. They have a background in system architecture and ensure that the database works appropriately.
- Application DBAs support a database that has been created for a specific application, such as customer service software. DBAs use sophisticated programming languages, write or debug programs, and manage the aspects of the applications that interact with the database.
Work Environment for Database Administrators
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American companies employ 113,770 database administrators in a variety of workplace settings. 15% of DBAs work in the computer systems design industry, particularly in data processing companies. Other DBAs find jobs in private corporations, financial institutions, healthcare facilities, and schools. Some DBAs work as independent consultants and help companies with their IT needs. Almost all DBAs work a full-time schedule, but it is very common to work overtime. Ongoing maintenance requires DBAs to remain on call and quickly solve any issue.
If you are looking to hire a DBA, check out our article: How to Hire the Perfect Database Administrator