Data Architect Vs. Information Architect

Data and information architects make finding information a bit easier. We'll explore the degree requirements, career outlooks, salaries, and responsibilities related to these two careers.

Comparing Data Architects to Information Architects

Companies turn to these architects when they want to improve the efficiency of their systems and employees. As readers will learn, however, the systems they create are dissimilar in important ways.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Data Architects Bachelor's Degree $114,208 11% (Database Administrators)
Information Architects Bachelor's Degree $93,553 6% (Computer Network Architects)

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

Responsibilities of Data Architects vs. Information Architects

Data architects are tasked with modeling and clarifying large sets of data so companies can interpret the information and make important decisions. Information architects also attempt to enhance workflow by making their websites and intranet layouts easy to use. The information data architects organize and safeguard could be shared over an organization's internal computer system. Information architects, however, actually design these systems, including cloud sharing among employees.

Data Architects

To allow a company to easily publish and share their data with others in the industry, data architects design database systems. By creating the system according to industry standards, they also help a business accurately report information to the necessary bureaus. First, the architect may review any data architecture already in place, while also determining the specifications for the size of the new system. The databases they create organize large bits of information, such as company spending. Additionally, they design with growth in mind, allowing for future modifications to the database as the company develops. One example of this is the ability for architects to add new users and control user permissions for access to certain parts of the system.

Job responsibilities of a data architect include:

  • Developing visual interfaces, such as tables and charts, that display the data
  • Improving the integrity of the data by creating back up versions, as well as system restore points
  • Mapping and clarifying the connections between databases to improve workflow efficiency
  • Reverse-engineering existing database systems to study and learn from the work of others

Information Architects

These tech professionals focus on building websites and intranet systems that help users find information intuitively. When working with a client company to develop a website or intranet, they first speak to employees and learn what kinds of information the business creates. They can also look at usage data for websites and search logs to see what information is accessed most frequently. Based on this information, the architects can design a plan for the layout of the intranet or website and pitch this to the leaders of the company. An understanding of the employees, as well as the company and its business goals, allows the architects to modify the user-interface (for example, the buttons and links) of the system or application.

Job responsibilities of an information architect include:

  • Deciding on how to safeguard the information and data on the system through encryption and firewalls
  • Upgrading routers and other hardware if necessary to allow for the appropriate data usage
  • Establishing training materials to provide new users
  • Building easy-to-use site maps to help users navigate the system

Related Careers

If a career as a data architect seems exciting, you may also like a career as a data scientist, since both attempt to make sense out of massive collections of data. If becoming an information architect seems fulfilling, a position as a computer information systems manager may be for you, because both connect companies in a digital age.

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