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Data Architect Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Data Architect, or an Enterprise Data Architect, designs and manages centralised, end-to-end data architecture solutions. Their duties include determining strategic data requirements, creating high-level designs according to these requirements and ensuring that a company’s data architecture aligns with its business needs.

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Data Architect duties and responsibilities

Data Architects have a wide range of duties and responsibilities including analysis, collaboration, strategic thinking and management. Although their scope of duties may differ depending on different variables like the size of a company, their main tasks are:

  • Designing architecture solutions that are in line with long-term business objectives
  • Developing data management projects that move a company closer to its future goals
  • Designing a data infrastructure that supports complex data analytics services
  • Providing technical leadership and direction for a company’s engineering teams
  • Building effective relationships with senior technical staff so that there is a common understanding of goals and challenges
  • Meeting with clients or executive team members to engage in architectural and requirement analysis discussions
  • Creating diagrams that show key data entities and creating an inventory of the data needed to implement solutions
  • Helping to maintain the integrity and security of the company’s database
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What does a Data Architect do?

A Data Architect researches a company’s current data systems to gauge how effectively they drive business processes. They then create blueprints for desired future data architecture, including standards for current and new data systems and how these should interact. As business processes are dependent on data systems, effective data infrastructure improves operational efficiency. It also allows a company to leverage emerging technologies and take advantage of new business opportunities. Data Architects work closely together with other professionals, such as Data Scientists and Data Engineers.

Data Architect skills and qualifications

Business processes constantly evolve and change, which means a company’s data infrastructure must be flexible and adequately support and reflect business flow. To create an effective architecture, Data Architects need an in-depth understanding of business processes and functions, including a company’s products, clients and marketing strategies. A successful Data Architect candidate will have various skills and qualifications to excel at their job, these include:

  • Excellent communication skills to effectively translate sophisticated concepts into easily understandable language
  • Good interpersonal skills to lead groups and negotiate and build consensus regarding future goals
  • The ability to conceptualise holistic architecture solutions that address the needs of an organisation as a whole
  • The ability to manage and facilitate technological change
  • A solid understanding of existing and emerging data technologies
  • In-depth knowledge of the principles and practices of good systems design
  • Innovative thinking to devise solutions that address the gap between business needs and technological constraints

Data Architect experience requirements

Data Architects need a solid background in systems development, application design and information management. Employers normally expect proven experience in data modelling, data analytics and database design. They may also ask that candidates show knowledge of emerging data technologies, such as predictive analytics, data visualisation and NoSQL databases. Depending on the position, candidates may need experience in various relevant areas, such as cloud machine learning, big data, text extraction and AI concepts. Experience in leading sophisticated projects and working with business partners is an advantage.

Data Architect education and training requirements

The typical educational requirement for Data Architect positions is a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, such as computer science, computer engineering or information technology. Depending on the position and employer, candidates may need a master’s degree qualification. A Master of Science in Enterprise Architecture Management, for instance will allow a candidate to develop specialised knowledge in this field. Candidates can also grow their skills by obtaining professional qualifications. The International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, for instance, offers the IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data designation. Another well-respected qualification is the Data Management Association’s (DAMA) Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) designation.

Data Architect salary expectations

No salary data could be found on https://www.indeed.co.uk/salaries.

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Data Architect job description FAQs

What's the difference between a Data Architect and a Data Scientist?

Whereas a Data Architect designs data architecture solutions, a Data Scientist performs an in-depth analysis of a company’s data for the purposes of predictive modelling. A well-designed data architecture assists Data Scientists to effectively analyse data systems, whereas the analysis that Data Scientists do assists Data Architects in conceptualising improved solutions.

What are the hours of a Data Architect?

Data Architects typically have regular Monday to Friday, 40-hour work schedules. But, the job does requires working overtime during busier periods, for instance when new systems go live.

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