What does being a data architect mean to you?

Chris Collins

What does being a data architect mean to you?
Given the apparent shift away from RDBMS to more liberal approaches to data management, what key skills and ability do you think a data architecture should be arming themselves with? Or, is the trend of using data lakes etc as neatly badged dumping grounds still an incorrect application of technologies and therefore understanding 3NF, physical, logical data models, use cases etc still apply?

william burkett

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Chris Collins)

I think the most important skill for a data architect actually has little to do with data - and that skill is systems-thinking.  And the second most important skill is Acceptance: being able to accept and non-judgmentally work with whatever data asset, system, tool, or technology falls into your scope of responsibility.

Data-wise, the skill and practice of data mapping is absolutely critical - and it is literally the missing link in data architecture that very few people recognize or are talking about.

William McKnight

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Chris Collins)

I like William's reply and will add that I think it has to do with having knowledge of the capabilities of all of the legitimate data platforms available today and making sure that provisioning is done well. This would mean having some research capability within the company and having the influence to be consulted on for such matters.

Walter Howard

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Chris Collins)

Shift away?! RDBMS technology is a bedrock technology! It is the de-facto standard for millions of mission critical applications. Oracle reported a $62 million increase in 2018 for software and cloud services over 2017.  

Granted, the shiny new technologies receive the lion's share of news, webinars, and publicity in the data conferences.  The good data architect should review each of these platforms to see if they provide value in their company.  But don't look for RDBMS' to fade to black anytime soon.

In Reply to Chris Collins:

Given the apparent shift away from RDBMS...

William McKnight

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Walter Howard)

I agree. Investments in RDBMS remains very high. All other forms of data storage barely register when compared to the RDBMS. The good news is they are all about data and there's room for growth in many data platforms. I actually think the other platforms are underutilized.

Of course, the RDBMS has evolved but at the core of the model is a data page with records (or columns) of strategically placed and accessible data.

stacey haurin

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to William McKnight)

This is a timely discussion for me. My son recently asked me exactly what I do as a Data Architect since he is considering a data related degree as an undergrad.  So I told him that it depends on whether I am focused on Architecture for Strategy, or Portfolio or Solution Delivery; however, regardless architecture is knowing the right things to do based on business goals, objectives, requirements, risk considerations, and identifying the gaps through transition architecture(s) to achieve the target architecture.  It may not be all data related activities either.  Change management considerations are very important to realize target state.  As a data architect, I am less concerned with the database technology as I view that to be the role of the Data Engineer / Data Modeler, which currently I spend 50% of my time in my current role.  My deliverables are more focused on delivering value through the use of data that align / support with business goals.

Paolo Filippi

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Chris Collins)

Hello Everyone.

Really interesting topic.

Quite recently I' m trying to give a response to a similar question in my linkedin blog, but STARTING from a Performance DBA perspective 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/who-data-architect-paolo-filippi/ 

Edited By:
Paolo Filippi[All DATAVERSITY Members] @ Apr 13, 2019 - 11:55 AM (America/Pacific)

Aaron Fuller

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Chris Collins)

I think that it means a lot more than just the technical thought leadership and control that we traditionally think of as being the core of what an architect does. Regardless of how much we're working with RDBMS vs. NoSQL databases, our jobs are increasingly about the "soft stuff." I'm starting to think of our role as being something of a type of change manager with specialized systems knowledge.

Aaron Fuller, CBIP

Founder & Principal Consultant

Superior Data Strategies 

517-803-0714

superiordatastrategies.com

Jose Mari Taleno

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Chris Collins)

As for me, being a new Data Architect, it means being able to come up with a sound Data Strategy for the Business Intelligence Team of the company. It means heading the design of the Data Architecture considering several sub components like quality, security and scalability. And most of the time, still getting the hands dirty in orchestrating the ETL to have a data model for the Data Warehouse in which should be the main source of facts of reports and dashboards with consideration on performance and user experience. Am I still on the right concept of a Data Architect?

Puja Panchal

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to stacey haurin)

I totally agree with Stacey on this. For me Data Architect role is less about technology and more about providing value to business based on their requirements. Also, data architecture should include the whole DataOps paradigm not just the Data Management.

Lisabette Sperber

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Chris Collins)

A Data Architect strategically positions systems, data, data stores, interfaces, and controls to work in concert to achieve business data objectives including identifying data to be protected and governance according to company policy.

Thoughts?

Michelle Knight

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Lisabette Sperber)

I think that data architecture does do strategic implementation. It seems that there is a managerial component. I would check out this article: https://www.dataversity.net/data-architect-vs-data-engineer/.

The role of a Data Architect is still evolving.

 

Michelle

Jikku Jacob

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Michelle Knight)

This is from LinkedIn..

A skill every data architect should master - "The person who can understand data, explain it to the business and make it actionable will become the most valuable employee of the future"

credits: Scott Taylor, Michael Dell, Marco Aurelio Cavalcante Ribeiro

Michelle Knight

RE: What does being a data architect mean to you?
(in response to Jikku Jacob)

Thank you Jikku.