Data Architect Vs. Data Modeler

Jan 05, 2018

Data architects and data modelers are computer professionals who delve into the information collected by organizations. Readers will learn about the differences in the focus of these professionals and between their salaries.

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Comparing Data Architects to Data Modelers

Data architects and data modelers both work with companies and clients to make sense of the operational and processing data they collect, but the former determine what information to collect, while the latter focus on how to organize the data. Readers will learn more about the duties of these professionals and their yearly earnings, as well as their similar job growth predictions and education requirements.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Data Architects Bachelor's Degree $112,543 9% (Computer Occupations, All Other)
Data Modelers Bachelor's Degree $81,177 9% (Computer Occupations, All Other)

Sources: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Data Architects vs. Data Modelers

Both data architects and data modelers deal with company data, including customer information and shipping details. They also assist in translating this data and turning it into something a company can use to make key strategic decisions. Data architects decide how to build a database and what information will be collected. Data modelers, however, will make the physical data interface, including the columns and fields in tables.

Data Architects

To design and construct databases for organizations, data architects review any current data architecture already in place. They use industry requirements for data collection to improve upon the architecture, making it more efficient and comprehensive. Charged with setting company standards for collection and interpretation, these architects design the database structure, including how the data will move between departments. It is crucial that the sensitive information is kept safe, meaning these professionals should include security measures and determine accessibility. By onboarding users, data architects decide what staff members and business partners will use the data and for what purpose.

Job responsibilities of a data architect include:

  • Developing the system to enable growth as the company expands and increases its need for data organization
  • Designing a system for data backup in case of system failure
  • Creating a diagram to show employees how data will flow
  • Keeping the data interface the same across all applications

Data Modelers

As they create conceptual, logical, or physical models of data sets, data modelers reverse engineer databases to identify parts of the data. This helps them determine standard labels and notations to use across the organization's departments as the data is collected. These computer professionals also look for patterns within the conceptual data models in order to build associations and relationships between data elements to help users make sense of the information as they read the physical data model. Additionally, they ensure the data is not repeated or unnecessary, which makes interpreting the important data simpler.

Job responsibilities of a data modeler include:

  • Understanding the data requirements of a client, including what data is useful to them
  • Testing designs to ensure they are comprehensive and easy to navigate
  • Defining the attributes of the data elements, including where they came from and what they mean
  • Becoming familiar with new trends and standards within data modeling

Related Careers

Data architects and system architects design ways for businesses to share information internally, so those interested in the former may want to also consider the latter. Similarly, data modelers and database administrators both deal with a company's data storage, so these are also comparable options for a future career.

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