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What Does a Senior Database Administrator Do?

Florence J. Tipton
Florence J. Tipton

Senior database administrators may work in a variety of industries to plan, design, and implement database systems for organizational use. Generally, a senior database administrator supervises the installation of a new or upgraded database. Often, the role of the senior database administrator is also to coordinate performance activities related to connectivity and functionality issues. Companies may rely on the technical expertise of a senior database administrator to maintain the security and high quality of database systems. Another function for most database administrators is to resolve complex system issues.

There are several functions that usually summarize the responsibilities of senior database administrators. Development and design of databases systems are typically initial responsibilities for people in this position. Coordinating performance activities is another function that supports the development and design phase of a database system. Administration functions are normally part of ongoing maintenance or system upgrades.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

In general, senior database administrators are responsible for the initial programming, development, and design of database systems. This is where a database administrator starts the process for developing the functionality of the system based on business requirements. Design may involve ensuring the system can handle required volumes of data. After completing the database system, the next phase is usually to coordinate testing and installation with end users.

For most companies, the senior database administrator is responsible for a broad range of duties. Many are expected to oversee every aspect related to database administration after the system is successfully installed. One continuous duty may involve data protection to ensure databases operate in a secure environment. Daily database maintenance for end users and customers is another common duty.

Typically, a senior database administrator has the ability to analyze and resolve complex system issues. This involves troubleshooting mishaps with end users and customers who utilize the database. Troubleshooting highlights the reason a system outage may occur, causing a lapse in functionality. A person in this role works to determine the cause and restore usage as quickly as possible.

Most database administrators perform analyses of the company’s database system and peripheral equipment that can affect system performance. For example, when a problem does occur, the senior database administrator may diagnose the issue by looking at server hardware or software. He may also analyze complicated data with prepared reports on the performance of the system. The analysis of this type of information might provide solutions to improve performance.

Relating to administration functions, responsibilities may consist of several types of duties. The database administrator might monitor system performance on a daily basis. In many cases, duties consist of providing technical support, security, and maintenance. Some may also write different system-related documents such as technical descriptions, guides for system functionality, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and other resource material for end users and information systems staff.

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