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IT Careers: Databases, BI and Big Data Part-1

Business intelligence helps businesses to do better decision making based on the analysis of data stored as part of dataware house and other sources. Now-a-days the “Data” in our world is exploding like crazy.   Business are now interested in unconventional ways of getting more and more data about customer behavior thourgh social networking, about systems through millions of physical sensors, through mobile devices and the list is unending. There are different ways to analyze this data and predict future though advanced analytics.

According to experts the data which has huge volume, large variety and need of quicker processing is called Big data. Examples of big data are data captured from twitter or Facebook pages. This data is large, becomes stale fast and is not structured so that it can be stored and manipulated in a conventional database storage. Altogether different approach is needed to process this.

At the fundamental level of all the advanced data processing or analytics requirements is an efficient storage and retrieval of data. This is done by all the databases. Oracle, Microsoft SQL server, Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, IBM DB2 are some of the popular examples. There are two types of careers possible with databases: one is related to application development and other is of database administration (DBA).

Developer focuses on learning tools which will help him create applications using specific database technologies and tools. Following are the some of the popular databases and programming languages one needs to develop skills in. One of the important fact that needs to be remembered is every application developer may be Java or .NET applications, must be good in some or all of these tools. Here one need to choose one database and learn tools. Other counter parts can be learnt very easily on his own.

Oracle SQL, PL-SQL, Forms and Reports
Microsoft SQL Server SQL, T-SQL
IBM DB2 SQL, stored procedures

Design and operational performance of the database is very crucial for any software application. Database Administrator (DBA) performs a crucial role to ensure application works smoothly. Here are some of the responsibilities of a DBA

  • Design, implement, and tune database schemas
  • Conduct regular performance testing and tuning
  • Manage storage space and memory
  • Conduct capacity planning
  • Create and optimize physical tables and partitions
  • Implement all models, including aggregation and indexing strategies
  • Manage user accounts and access privileges
  • Implement vendor software patches
  • Analyze usage patterns and downtime
  • Administer tables, triggers
  • Log technical action reports
  • Document configuration and integration with applications and network resources
  • Maintain backup and recovery documentation

Once you master the fundamentals well it will not only increase your chances of getting job but will build a solid foundation for career in advanced technologies like BI and big data.