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Should DBAs Be the Protectors of Data? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Sunday, July 4, 2010 5:15 PM


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Post #947357
Posted Monday, July 5, 2010 4:13 AM


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It's commendable for anybody to be pro active, but I don't think it is the DBA's responsibility. I thought that was why organisations employed Data Managers and CIOs.
Post #947454
Posted Monday, July 5, 2010 7:15 AM
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paul s-306273 (7/5/2010)
It's commendable for anybody to be pro active, but I don't think it is the DBA's responsibility. I thought that was why organisations employed Data Managers and CIOs.


It obviously depends on the size and structure of the organization. But knowing human nature, if something goes seriously wrong, isn't it a bit naive not to assume that the the person whose head will roll is the DBA, because (a) they is the person at the operational coalface and hence best placed to protect the data (whether they were explicitly given responsibility for a given DB or not); and (b) because they will be lower in the pecking order than the CIO or data manager?

I think Brad is correct. Looking for critical data to protect is good practice. You could call it due diligence.

Mark Dalley
Post #947508
Posted Monday, July 5, 2010 10:13 AM
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I think a DBA reacting to situations like this they encounter is fine. If you learn of critical data being stored in an unsafe way, by all means speak your mind.

But these days with so much information to be kept, and the ubiquity of excel and access, I think this needs to be managed more proactively and I'm not sure that the DBA should be the person to do that.

I think when it comes to going out and finding this type of thing, that is both just easier and a more natural role for an IT manager/CIO to be doing.
Post #947583
Posted Monday, July 5, 2010 12:15 PM
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Your organization is lucky to have someone like him. But moving the data is the easy part... you'll have to coordinate with app dev to get their gui converted over to use the new datasource. Which is much more political and difficult to do. Usually cannot happen unless the guy/gal has some pull in the company.
Post #947608
Posted Monday, July 5, 2010 2:26 PM


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Off topic, but when did SSC-Insane ranking come in?
Post #947643
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2010 6:15 AM
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I agree with your mentor up to a point, and this is a critical point: a DBA, by definition, is an administrator, not an officer. Seeking out data and judging whether it is critical, real or worth saving is not part of the job. Overdoing this role contains an inherent risk of creating unnecessary infrastructure and producting redundant data, which is a different type of risk (accuracy). Leave those judgement calls to the CIO.
Post #947858
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2010 6:19 AM


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paul s-306273 (7/5/2010)
Off topic, but when did SSC-Insane ranking come in?


It seems like Steve made it up right after I tipped the 20K mark. Since I'm the only one that fits the category (so far) and he carefully excluded himself, it seems he may be trying to tell me something.


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Post #947862
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2010 6:23 AM


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joel.weiss 70857 (7/6/2010)
I agree with your mentor up to a point, and this is a critical point: a DBA, by definition, is an administrator, not an officer. Seeking out data and judging whether it is critical, real or worth saving is not part of the job. Overdoing this role contains an inherent risk of creating unnecessary infrastructure and producting redundant data, which is a different type of risk (accuracy). Leave those judgement calls to the CIO.


Not that every company will have this kind of sensitivity but if I had done that in the past, the company would have been out of business for being sued because the CIO was also a DA (and that's not a legal term in this case). Sometimes you have to protect the officers from themselves.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #947866
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2010 9:43 AM
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joel.weiss 70857 (7/6/2010)
I agree with your mentor up to a point, and this is a critical point: a DBA, by definition, is an administrator, not an officer. Seeking out data and judging whether it is critical, real or worth saving is not part of the job. Overdoing this role contains an inherent risk of creating unnecessary infrastructure and producting redundant data, which is a different type of risk (accuracy). Leave those judgement calls to the CIO.


From the CIOs I've seen, this kind of concern is something they'd delegate at best. They have their minds on other things and in many cases either don't have the time for this kind of low-level activity or simply don't have the expertise needed.


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