The different data warehouse jobs available can be separated into three primary categories: architecture, implementation, and maintenance. A data warehouse is a repository of data from a wide range of different computer systems. The skills required for all data warehouse jobs include advanced computer skills, statistics, data manipulation, and communication. Data warehouse jobs have experienced a significant increase in demand in recent years, and are forecasted to continue to grow at an above-average rate for the foreseeable future.
Although the different data warehouse jobs have different tasks and areas of responsibility, the academic credentials required are quite similar. A post-secondary education in computer science, information technology (IT), statistics, advanced math, or related field often is a minimum requirement. This background is essential due to the complexity of the software and decisions that are required in a data warehousing job. In order to qualify for a senior role, most employers expect candidates to have a graduate-level degree in statistics or computer science.
The responsibility of the data warehouse architect is to design the database table structures, set up the relationships between the different tables, and to manage the integrity of the system. He or she must have expert skills with the data warehouse software and familiarity with the hardware required to support large data sets. The data architect must be able to create documentation for all other staff to explain the structure of the database and the interrelationship of the various tables.
Data warehouse jobs surrounding the implementation of a new system typically are found through consulting agencies or service firms. These positions typically are well-compensated, but require a significant level of knowledge and skill. The tasks involved in this type of job include meeting with clients, creation of a project scope and plan, and selecting the appropriate software and hardware required to support the needs of the business.
Once the software is installed, it needs to be configured to match business requirements. The consultant often is required to provide training to staff on the use and configuration of the software so that they effectively can use it. In many cases, the consultant must return in six to eight months to provide additional support and modifications to the system. This is common, as the business users develop a better understanding of how the system works, their needs and requirements usually change.
Ongoing maintenance creates full-time data warehouse jobs in all firms that use this type of system. A data warehouse continually needs to be refreshed with new data, to have new queries written, and to have refinements made to existing procedures. This type of software often is implemented as a pilot project to test the concept and application within the organization. Upon successful completion, the project scope could be expanded to other areas of the operation.