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Database Architect vs. Database Administrator: The Difference You Should Know

Database architect vs database administrator

Who should you hire, a database architect or a database administrator? Isn’t it the same? – read on and find out! 

Data management has gained importance over the past years. A long time ago, companies used to keep papers and papers of information safe in their office. Nowadays, with technology, it’s not necessary to waste paper, time, and energy in organizing this information. You can have it all arranged in a secure database. 

Whether remote or not, companies need their data to be safe and organized to perform successfully, which is why the role of a database architect and a database administrator is so relevant. But, between these roles, is there really a difference? Both care about data, so their responsibilities should be similar right? Or are there significant differences? 

In this article, you’ll learn the main differences between a database architecture vs. a database administrator and each position’s primary roles and responsibilities.

Database Architect vs. Database Administrator 

Understanding the differences between a database architect and a database administrator is about learning the skills each role requires and their primary responsibilities.

But before going deeper into the subject, here’s a simple example to start understanding each position.

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re given a project, probably the biggest project you could’ve ever dream of: To design Batman’s house. Obviously, this is not an average house because besides designing a beautiful giant mansion, you need to create the Batcave. You also need to make sure that the house’s design is safe and that no one knows that Batman lives there. Your role here is to be Batman’s architect!

On the other hand, you are also asked to make sure the house is functional and that everything is always running smoothly. This means that if any problem arises, for example, robbers trying to enter the mansion, you quickly act and stop them from doing so. Your role here would be to be Batman’s administrator, pretty much Alfred’s role without the swag.

Unfortunately, in the real world, it’s impossible to be either Batman’s architecture or administrator. But this simple example, we can understand the main difference between a database architecture vs. a database administrator is. They both manage data, but a database architecture focuses on creating and designing reliable and secure databases. In contrast, a database administrator is more focused on organizing the data that is already in the database of a company. 

Database Architect Roles and Responsibilities

What does a database architect do? 

Data rules the world, and companies can make predictions of their future success (or failure) with data. However, if their data is not organized, not secure, or messy, it’s pretty much impossible to make these predictions and visions happen. Here is when a database architect kicks in and helps companies grow by building a solid database structure. 

A database architect can create and manage databases that store and organize all the data a company has. They work closely with software designers and analysts to develop comprehensive and easy-to-use databases. They first understand the company’s main needs, current data infrastructure, and then seek the best database model and type and start creating it and making the necessary changes.

Their main responsibilities are:

  • Design effective database solutions and models for a company/client.
  • Identify database structural necessities by evaluating client operations and applications.
  • Prepare database architecture reports for management teams.
  • Install and organize information systems to guarantee functionality.
  • Monitor closely how the system is performing by doing tests, troubleshooting, and integrating new features.

Database architect skills: 

  • Applied math and statistics
  • Data visualization and data migration
  • Database management system software
  • Programming languages (SQL, Python, and Java)
  • Design skills
  • Database and cloud architecture
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Database Administrator Roles and Responsibilities

What is the role of a database administrator?

Building and creating a database is one thing. Managing and organizing data is a completely different thing.

A database administrator (DBA) makes sure that analysts or people who want to study a company’s data can easily use the database to find everything they need. They are in charge of making the database perform efficiently. They also ensure that data is only available for authorized users. While this is not their main role, database administrators sometimes help companies understand their data needs.

Their main responsibilities are:

  • Data extraction, transformation, and loading
  • Ensure the performance and security of a database
  • Maintain data standards
  • Develop, manage, and test back-up and recovery plans
  • Write database documentation that includes data standards, procedures, and definitions.

Database administrator skills:

  • Knowledge of database design
  • Understanding of the relational database management system
  • Structured query language (SQL or Transact-SQL)
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Data security
  • ERP and business knowledge 

How to Hire a Database Architect or a Database Administrator?

In this article, we’ve stated the key differences between both positions and their roles and responsibilities. All these to help you make the right hiring decision, whether it’s to hire a database architect or a database administrator.

Hiring for each position is not hard, but it requires you to invest time and energy. Firstly, you need to write a job description that matches the exact position you are looking for and the type of employee you want in your company. You can either post it on job platforms or freelancing platforms (depending on the contract you want) and hope for the best. Or you could also look for possible candidates on social platforms such as LinkedIn.

These options can bring excellent employees to your team, or it could bring you none. If you are looking for a reliable and effective solution, we can help you. We’ve been matching companies with tech candidates for more than a decade, so if you need a hand looking for your ideal candidate, we are your people! Plus, we not only headhunt great candidates, but we also take care of all the HR aspects, so you can relax and drink a margarita (or a cup of coffee) while we get you a candidate that matches all your expectations! 

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Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina is the writer and editor of the DistantJob blog. As a former freelancer, she has covered a wide range of topics throughout her career. She is currently specializing in the areas of technology, leadership, and remote work.