What is a Database Administrator or DBA?

Every organization that handles large volumes of data requires a database management system (DBMS). The person or group of people in charge of managing, supervising, and ensuring the proper use of the data within a DBMS are the database administrators or DBA. These systems allow companies to manage vast amounts of data in an efficient way, thus providing company owners with informed business decisions. Therefore, the need for database administrators is greater today than ever.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A DBA?

General Database Management

The DBA is the person with the most knowledge about database within an organization. As such, they must understand the basic rules of relational database technology and be able to communicate them accurately to others.

Data Modeling and Database Design

A DBA must be an expert in the collection and analysis of user needs to obtain conceptual and logical data models. This task is more complicated than it seems. A conceptual data model describes the data requirements at a very high level; a logical data model provides in-depth details of data types, lengths, and relationships. The DBA uses standardization techniques to offer data models that reflect the company’s data needs.


One of the main responsibilities of a DBA is to identify how and when users have access to insert, update, or delete data. An audit may not only be necessary for a limited time, for specific users or data but also be required 24/7 for all data entered into the DBMS. Regularly, DBAs must work in combination with the company’s internal and external auditors.

Integration with Applications

Most companies employ third-party applications, and only some of these applications work on their own. In other words, applications have to interconnect with each other, generally using a database as a means to share data. DBAs often get involved in the processes of integrating existing applications with the databases they manage. This may include the creation of custom applications, scripts, etc.

Data Backup and Recovery

One of the most significant aspects of DBA’s task is to preserve the company’s data. This task involves making periodic backups of the data and holding them safe from accidental or intentional damage and corruption. Moreover, database administrators should design, implement, and test a recovery plan, so when problems occur, data can be recovered quickly.

Business Intelligence and Data Storage

Business Intelligence (BI) and data storage are the fastest-growing areas for DBA, as more organizations are trying to extract all the information they can to make better business decisions.

Capacity Planning

In most industries, the size and number of databases grow exponentially. It is the responsibility of the DBA to manage the increasing volume of data and design the appropriate plans to manage them. This also includes the management of the hardware where the data is stored.

Change Management

The configuration of the SQL or MySQL server, the database schema, and many other aspects of the ecosystem change over time. It is often the responsibility of the DBA to perform the impact analysis before making changes within a DBMS. Implementing changes, doing pilot tests, and documenting all changes and procedures is part of the responsibilities of a DBA.

Development of Applications

Many database administrators must develop applications and scripts to automate tasks related to the insertion, subtraction, or deletion of information within the database manager. In general, the DBA must collaborate at the system integration level with developers, so it is sometimes required to develop code for specific cases.