Does the Role of the DBA Need to Evolve?

  • Kevin Mao-243787 (12/13/2011)


    Role of DBAs

    Four roles are listed in first Chapter of Professional Microsfot SQL Server 2008 Administration: Production DBA,Development DBA, Business Intelligence DBA & Hybrid DBA. For smaller organzations, Hybird DBA is very popular which has title as Program Analyst. If a program analyst can do [font="Arial Black"]some [/font]of DBA functions, why hire a DBA?

    Not all Hybrid DBAs are called "Program Analysts". And you, yourself, have explained why you might still want to consider hiring a DBA... see the bolded word above. 😉

    --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.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Kevin Mao-243787 (12/13/2011)


    Role of DBAs

    Four roles are listed in first Chapter of Professional Microsfot SQL Server 2008 Administration: Production DBA,Development DBA, Business Intelligence DBA & Hybrid DBA. For smaller organzations, Hybird DBA is very popular which has title as Program Analyst. If a program analyst can do some of DBA functions, why hire a DBA?

    And why hire an accountant or lawyer? Surely some of their functions can be done by your sales clerks or even the janitor!

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

    "Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon

  • I really don't see the DBA as having any real role in the analysis, interpretation of data. This is more the province of the mathematicians, statisticians, domain experts who have the ability to portray the data in an interpretation / format usable for the required purpose. DBAs??? Don't think so.

  • Sounds like you are used to a larger organization.

    Scale does matter. In the Small/Medium Business (SMB) world the person who fills the DBA role frequently fills the data analyst/statistician/etc.. role.

    And the vast majority of organizations out there are SMB.

    Brad 😉

  • brad.featherstone (12/15/2011)


    Sounds like you are used to a larger organization.

    Scale does matter. In the Small/Medium Business (SMB) world the person who fills the DBA role frequently fills the data analyst/statistician/etc.. role.

    And the vast majority of organizations out there are SMB.

    Brad 😉

    The problem with that is it's the same assumption as this: The janitor cleans the CEO's office, so that means the janitor is capable of running the company. It's always possible the janitor could be a perfectly valid CEO, but it's a bit of a stretch. Same for a DBA doing stat analysis and data mining, et al. Just because he's qualified to run backups, update stats, even normalize data, doesn't mean he knows how to analyze things like the differences between average and median, accuracy vs precision, percentiles, probabilities, causation vs correlation in demographics, et al.

    Lots of small businesses operate on the "he's good with computers and seems smart, so we'll make him the DBA, data analyst, statistician, and he can set up the phone system, handle tech support, and debug this Excel spreadsheet that keeps making my computer bluescreen". Sometimes, that's the best they can do. Often, that's the kind of thing that keeps them a small business always on the ragged edge of collapse, one bill ahead of bankruptcy. There are reasons 90% of all new businesses fail in the first year, and this kind of thing is one of them.

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

    "Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon

  • A small business cannot hire an employee into every role that is defined by division of labor in a multinational corp. Some small businesses are successful as small businesses. Again-- it is crucial that the business managers design do-able job descriptions and recognize skillsets and gaps. Calling a whiz programmer who really doesn't understand business rules an "architect" is a managerial fault I have seen more than once. Don't assume all DBAs are programmers first. I am a very good DBA who was a data analyst before I was a DBA. Now I am expert in T-SQL, database tools and DBMS. I learned SQL Server because it was necessary to do the work with data that I love. I am an intelligent and informed user of Windows OSs but I am not qualified to be the Windows and network admin.

    _________________
    "Look, those sheep have been shorn."
    data analyst replies, "On the sides that we can see.."

  • People often overlook the number the businesses of fairly small companies.

    This is from 2007/2008:

    http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html

    There's a lot of interesting info which comes out of census.gov.

    Even if you don't bookmark it, it's easy to find things like this with one or two trips to Google.

    Determine the percentage of businesses with fewer than 100 (or better: < 20!).

    Happy POETS Day!

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