Database Administrator Vs. Data Analyst

Oct 21, 2019

While both data analysts and database administrators work with information, database administrators work with specific applications for the storage and recall of data, while data analysts study data to inform others about specific topics.

Comparing Database Administrators to Data Analysts

Both database administrators and data analysts work with information that has been collected from a variety of sources. However, database administrators oversee the security and reliability of data stored in software that has been specifically designed for the input, storage, and output of information, while data analysts typically study data in order to provide insights and conclusions and help others make informed decisions. These two positions are discussed in more detail below.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Database Administrator Bachelor's degree $90,070 9%
Data Analyst Bachelor's degree $83,390 (operations research analyst) 26% (operations research analyst)

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Database Administrators vs. Data Analysts

Information stored in database applications is monitored by database administrators. They are responsible for making sure that data in the application is accessible and that users can find the information they need. Data analysts work with information gleaned from a variety of sources. Some of those sources might be surveys or historical data. Both work with databases, and both use analytical skills to help their stakeholders use data as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Database Administrators

Database applications are used for entering, storing, and recalling information, and database administrators oversee both the operation of these applications and the integrity of the data contained within them. They are responsible for securing the data and making sure that only users who are approved to access the data can do so. In some cases, database administrators work with programmers to plan, design, and implement database solutions. It is common for database administrators to work with old and new data and find ways to merge to two, which is why they need good problem-solving, critical-thinking, and communication skills.

Here are a few of the job responsibilities for database administrators:

  • Implementing data backup procedures
  • Monitoring and assessing a database application's efficiency
  • Retrieving lost data
  • Providing as-needed training for users

Data Analysts

Data analysts study data from sources specific to their business, company, or department in order to aid in the decision-making and problem-solving processes. The data may come from surveys, customer feedback, or other sources. They may use software such as spreadsheets, databases, and statistical packages. Being a data analyst is usually a full-time position in an office setting, although travel may be required when gathering data. Some related careers could be management analyst, financial analyst, or market research analyst.

Here are a few of the job responsibilities of data analysts:

  • Identifying issues or problems through analysis of the data
  • Use modeling and statistics to determine the feasibility of a solution
  • Preparing memos and/or presentations
  • Communicating results of analyses with management
  • Being an active and effective team member

Related Careers

A related career for a database administrator could be computer systems analyst, since both positions work closely with users to identify and address their needs and solve problems. Data analysts and management analysts use their critical-thinking and analytical skills to identify problems and suggest solutions.

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