Database Architect Vs. Data Architect

Database architects and data architects help companies make sense of the data they collect, but the former develops the software that stores the data, while data architects determine the flow of data across the organization.

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Comparing Database Architects to Data Architects

Database architects build systems and programs related to storing information, while data architects help employees understand how to use data effectively. Readers will also learn about the differences and similarities between their degree requirements, annual earnings, and career outlooks.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Database Architects Bachelor's Degree $113,328 9% (Computer Occupations, all other)
Data Architects Bachelor's Degree $112,786 9% (Computer Occupations, all other)

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

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Responsibilities of Database Architects vs. Data Architects

Both these professionals may be charged with the task of modeling the data that companies analyze when making business decisions. The data they deal with may include customer information, shipping details, and even sales numbers. Database architects use computer languages and coding to develop database software. Data architects strive to standardize data collecting procedures for a business.

Database Architects

Database architects oversee SQL database application design, while also managing the client's unique requirements. Beyond writing programming code for the software, a large part of the development process includes determining which hardware will be necessary to store extensive sets of data. They may also update existing software to meet a growing company's needs and accommodate more data. Database architects provide security that meets corporate and/pr governmental requirements by determining who will have access to data and maintaining user permissions. Finally, they test prototypes of the database software to ensure users can navigate it easily.

Job responsibilities of a database architect include:

  • Estimating the cost of developing a new database or modifying an old one
  • Teaching end-users how to use the database
  • Planning for data backups in case of technical malfunction
  • Researching new hardware and software that can be added to a company's database architecture

Data Architects

Data architects first review the data architecture a company already has in place, including how the information is moved between departments and how it is used by the wider company. They work with executives to understand which data will be collected into the new system and how. This helps data architects create standard data collection procedures for the company, resulting in consistent data. Part of their job is to map the workflow within the new structure, including where data is stored and what each piece of data means for the company.

Job responsibilities of a data architect include:

  • Ensuring the data is accurate, especially that provided to government bureaus and partners
  • Bringing data fragments into the database from different sources across the company
  • Including the data from stakeholders and partners that influence the company
  • Simplifying the search for specific types or pieces of data

Related Careers

If you're passionate about a career as a database architect, you may also enjoy a position as a software architect since both design programs that allow people to complete tasks. If a future as a data architect seems fulfilling, you could research a position as a data scientist as both make sense of large sets of information.

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