What Is a Database Administrator (DBA)?

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A database administrator (DBA) is a person who manages, maintains, and secures data in one or more data systems so that a user can perform analysis for business operations. DBAs take care of data storage, organization, presentation, utilization, and analysis from a technical perspective.

The DBA job is transitioning from being database-centric to data-centric, as Data Management becomes more autonomous. Augmented Data Management, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) make accomplishing general database upkeep easier, reducing the amount of manual labor. This, in turn, frees up the DBA to do more strategic tasks such as ensuring compliance with regulations and improving data flow performance. Many see the DBA’s responsibilities shifting from managing a few database instances and systems to managing more of them. As the number of data sources increases, DBAs will be focused on enterprise data rather than specializing in a few database technologies.

The rate at which the DBA’s role transforms will vary depending on a company’s ability to embrace and implement new data technologies. Some DBAs will continue to work with a few older relational database technologies since many businesses continue to use them. However, the DBA’s role will continue to evolve across most organizations. This means DBAs will be involved in more high-level data analytics and DevOps tasks.

Other Database Administrator Definitions Include:

  • “A database maintainer who provides assurance of data accuracy and consistency of the data through the database’s entire life cycle. A custodian of all database changes.” (DAMA International)
  • “A person who manages data storage, operations, and security practices.” (Michelle Knight)
  • “Someone who uses software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records.” He or she “makes sure data is available to users and is secure from unauthorized access.” (CareerExplorer)
  • A professional “who is responsible for the operation of a database.” (TechRepublic)
  • “A person who has a degree in computer science or information technology and sets up databases and then maintains and secures them.” (Forbes)
  • A person” responsible for specific databases in the subsystem. This person creates a hierarchy of data objects and implements physical design.” (IBM)
  • “Someone who provides data ops to a software development project requiring data to be collected, created and consumed.” (DZone)

Database Administrator Use Cases Include:                                                           

  • Someone who monitors, tests, patches, and tunes data”
  • Someone who provides data ops to a software development project requiring data to be collected, created and consumed
  • Someone who sets up a new database system.
  • Someone who monitors data access privileges across an enterprise.

Businesses Use Database Administrators To:

  • Make sure data analysts can easily find the information they need
  • Make sure data is secure from unauthorized users
  • Make sure that database operations meet corresponding business requirements
  • Monitor, test, patch, and tune data
  • Set up a new database system
  • Monitors data access privileges across an enterprise

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