What Does A Database Administrator Do?

"I would like to work in a company that would enable me to put my computer skills and education to good use. I am now looking for jobs and I’m keen on applying in one company as a database administrator because they provide high salaries and cool benefits. I’m not very familiar with this job description. What does a database administrator do?"

asked by Kent M. from Akron, Ohio

The task of database administrators or DBAs is to make sure that an organization’s database is organized and secure. Using specialized software, they see to it that the records of customers and the organization’s important data are kept safe and can be accessed by those authorized to do so when needed.

Working with the company’s management team, DBAs first try to comprehend what the organization needs. Using this information, they then identify the objectives of the database before creating and administering it. In establishing the database, DBAs must ensure that it operates smoothly. That means making certain that it provides accurate information and does not display errors. If necessary, they also carry out tests and make adjustments to the infrastructure.

In addition to operating the database and keeping it updated, DBAs are also responsible for joining old databases to new ones. They see to it that data analysts can get the information they need right away. As such, they should see to it that the system works as expected.

With the threat of identity theft and cyber-crime constantly haunting organizations today, DBAs have a very important task of keeping the company’s data safe from unauthorized access. They ensure that only those who have the permission to access the data can get through the system inasmuch as most databases have the personal information of both clients and employees and the financial information of the company.

Part of this task is ensuring that the information in the database can indeed be relied upon and not corrupted by fake or questionable data. Keeping data secure also means preventing data loss. Database Administrators have to back up their systems so that power outages and calamities will not erase or wipe out the database contents. They also have to make certain that the data can be retrieved during emergencies.

Some organizations hire Database Administrators to do a specific task. For instance, they may get the services of system DBAs who only handle the database’s technical and physical aspects. Their task may include upgrading the system, fixing issues with its program and making sure that the management systems work as they should. Application DBAs, meanwhile, are tasked with supporting only one type of application or a set of applications.

For example, they may handle a database that focuses on customer service software. They must have an extensive knowledge of programming because the task could involve writing or fixing programs.

DBAs work mostly for firms that handle large volumes of data, such as data processing companies and Internet service providers. They also work for financial institutions like banks and insurance firms.

Career Spotlight: Database Administrator

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