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Grattan,Jeffrey Andrew

Database Administrator
Here are the links to wikipedia: Database Administrator

Introduction to Database Administrators

The textbook definition of a database administrator is “The person responsible for coordinating, controlling, and managing the data in the database” (Romney and Steinbart 743).  The Database Administrator is commonly responsible for the strategies related to the design and development of the network infrastructure, database security and safeguard protection, application performance and improvement, and future network capacity/expansion.  Database Administrators must able to think critically and have advanced organizational skills.  They must have the ability to communicate to different types of personnel such as programmers, managers, and other coworkers that have little computer training.   Database Administrators typically work in data-processing, Web search portals, and Internet service providers.  Database Administrators often have a background in some sort of information science or computer science.  This job requires long tedious hours sitting at a desk while staring at a computer.  Some employers may allow the database administrators to work at home virtually part of the time.  It is common for a database administrator to work for more than 40 hours a week.  In 2008, there was a recorded "120,400 database administrators" (Government Source).  This number is expected to continue to grow at a steady rate for years to come.  There has been increasing importance placed on the job of a database administrator, due to the increase in cyber crime in this era.  In 2008, the estimated yearly wages earned by a Database Administrator were between "$72,900 and $81,050" (Government Source).

In large corporations, the database administrator is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Installation of software applications
  • Security encryption
  • Password user reset
  • Systems maintenance
  • Ensuring user database availability
  • Controlling user access to application database
  • Systems recovery and database backup
  • Support of telephone voice-over ISP
  • Computer refresh
  • Computer asset management
  • Providing and controlling use of (Remote Secure Access) RSA tokens
  • Providing virus protection and ensuring systems are secure from internal and external threats
  • Monitoring and improving systems performance
  • Provide user help-desk support as required
  • Create and maintain the Data Dictionary/Data Repository
  • Continually improve the user interface making the system more user friendly

“The terminology data administrator and database administrator implies that there is a single person for each role.  Normally, each data or database administrator has a staff of several employees” (Kroenke 423).  This staff of employees performs all the tasks listed above and plays a vital role in the profitability of the company.  

Database administrators need to have knowledge related to the inner working of the computer.  Specifically, the database administrator must understand the hardware and software applications being utilized, as well as be able to write programs.  The database administrator must be aware of the strategic goals, organizational structure, and tactical goals of the business in order to properly support the business cross-functionally.  He or she must coordinate with the various business areas and/or units to maintain efficiencies.  For example, maintenance on the network should be scheduled during low user usage times instead of peak hours, so that the flow of business is not affected.  The database administrator must have a strong background in mathematics and be able to apply that knowledge to the programs he or she writes.  The database administrator must possess the ability to articulate his or her ideas both verbally and in writing, which is easily understood by someone with basic computer knowledge. 

Database administrators must be able create a data model describing the functions and use of the model.  A set of rules and guidelines must be established for the database to ensure that the data is protected from any outside factors.  Parameters of the database must be calculated to make sure the database is intact and maintains its integrity.  Changes to the database to update and/or correct issues within the database management system are performed on a daily basis.  To ensure the database is not compromised in any way, security measures to protect the data files against unwanted intruders like corporate spies and hackers are utilized.  These security measures also protect the files from inadvertent errors by employees.  Policies and procedures are established and reviewed through the use of database management system manuals, which keep a historical record of modifications to the system.  Based on user need requests, the database administrator forecasts the time and cost necessary to complete the effort.  Workflow charts are created by the programmer to help with the scheduling of tasks, such as the running of a virus protection program or backing up a server.  Efficient performance of the network is primary to a successful business; therefore, codes are used to monitor system performance in a production environment, which enables the database administrator to optimize the system.  When problems are found with the database, error reports are created and fixes or patches are developed to rectify the issue.  Employees/users must complete a database form request to obtain access to a specific application.  Once the proper approvals are received from the user’s management, access to the portion of the database application request is granted.  Periodic reviews are performed by the database administrator to validate user access to the various system applications.

            As a method of proving the competence and validating the skill-set of a database administrator, different types of product certification are acquired.  Normally, a database administrator specializes in a certain type of database management or application and obtains vendor and/or company certification.

            Database administrators play a pivotal role in the strategic success of operation of the company and contribute to the company’s profitability.  Through system efficiencies and continuous improvements, the database administrator protects and secures the company’s proprietary data and applications. 

Refrences

Kroenke, David. Using MIS. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River:

Prentice Hall, 2011.

Romney, Marshall, and Paul Steinbart. Accounting

Information Systems. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River:

Prentice Hall, 2009.



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