A database administrator or simply a DBA is responsible for data, its availability, security and accessibility. The key responsibilities of a DBA include several things. These are not limited to Installation of software and maintenance. They also include data extraction and loading, handling, backup, monitoring, and database tuning.
However, owing to the ever-increasing amount of data and the need for databases and DBAs, they are categorized as per their skills and functionalities. This split creates several definitions, and while the roles differ, the critical functions of a DBA remain constant. There is, although, a specific DBA that has gained popularity. Let’s have a look at what a data warehouse DBA is.
According to Wikipedia, “a data warehouse (DW or DWH), also known as an enterprise data warehouse (EDW), is a system used for reporting and data analysis and is considered a core component of business intelligence.”
Key differences between a DBA and Data Warehouse DBA
Before we delve into the essential criteria and roles for a Data warehouse DBA, let us understand the difference between the two. While a Database Administrator is responsible for the setup and functioning of the database, a warehouse DBA has more responsibility than that.
A warehouse DBA is responsible for analyzing and understanding the data provided. It is his responsibility to study and track patterns for analytics and business intelligence. Hence, a warehouse DBA handles a more significant amount of data for a more critical function.
Key Roles and responsibilities of a Warehouse DBA
Many organizations create warehouse databases to get an insight into the data which has been collected through various sources. Usually, databases are created using online transaction processing (OLTP). Online analytical processing (OLAP) also known as data warehousing is done when data is sourced from multiple OLTPs.
This is the reason why a warehouse DBA, in addition to being technically equipped needs to have an additional set of skills.
Difference between OLAP and OLTP
The basic rule of a good warehouse DBA is the ability to differentiate between an OLAP and OLTP. While OLTP is necessary for basic functioning and operation of a database, it is the OLAP which provides the analytics.
The Terminology of Business
A Data Warehouse DBA, in addition to having technological skills, needs to have a thorough understanding of the basics of business. It is this understanding which enables him to delve into business intelligence and get insights through trends and speculations. This also includes the use of powerful analytical tools and the generation of reports.
Designing a Warehouse
A Warehouse DBA needs to familiarise himself with design guidelines which are to be adhered to. For example, a database warehouse intended only for read-only access.
Several technologies such as OLAP and HOLAP are an essential component for designing a warehouse database. Unlike any other database design, warehouse comes with its own set of challenges. A warehouse DBA should familiarise himself with these challenges such as data quality, performance, integrity, and efficiency.
The main component of any database is the data stored inside it. A Data Warehouse DBA needs to ensure high-quality data, capable of an efficient transformation and conversion through the process of ELT (Extract, Load, Transform). This can be done through familiarization of standard formats of data used for loading and unloading.
So, a data warehouse DBA needs to be proactive in his roles and responsibilities. Not only does he manage but also analyzes the data. Some other skills often include a degree in statistics, understanding of predictive modelling and a keen eye for probability. These are the critical skills which most of the experienced DBAs gain over time.
We at OptimizDBA have decades of experience in designing, optimizing and maintaining enterprise-scale databases. If you like us to help you streamline your database and help you boost the performance of your application, get in touch with us!