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How to become and succeed as a Data Architect

It is one of the most sizzling and impressive-sounding job titles which will ever appear on a resume … but what exactly is a Data Architect?

Data architects develop the underlying architecture to analyse and process data in the way an organisation needs it. A data architect creates the blueprint of a data science project by integrating, centralising, protecting and maintaining the source of data from a wide range of data management systems and technologies. The ultimate objective of data architects is to make sure the entire data environment is always available, stable and secure.

There are many technical skills required to become and work as a data architect, including a solid grasp of data-driven programming languages like SQL, Hive, XML, Spark etc; proven expertise in data warehousing and data mining solutions; detailed knowledge of database architecture as well as hands-on experience with ETL, spreadsheet and BI tools.

Data architects also possess a wide range of business skills in order for them to perform at their best on a daily basis. Generally they analytical-type people who enjoy problem-solving, have a vast understanding of the IT industry, are expert managers and effective communicators. 

The average Data Architect salary in Australia is $120,000 per year or $61.54 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $42,783 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $204,000 per year.

Key responsibilities of a Data Architect
  • Develop data models for database structures
  • Design, document, construct and deploy database architectures and applications (e.g. large relational databases or NoSQL databases)
  • Create a complete picture of how data will flow
  • Take care of technical functionality like scalability, security, performance, data recovery, reliability, etc.
  • Maintain a corporate repository of all data architecture artifacts
How to Become a Data Architect

Earn a bachelor’s degree: A bachelor’s degree program in computer science, computer engineering, information technology, or a related field can help prepare students for future careers as data architects. An IT degree program may include coursework in database systems, data management, Web development, programming, operating systems, technology architecture, and systems analysis. These programs also could cover IT problem-solving skills.

Gain Work Experience: Becoming a data architect may require 3 to 10 years of experience in the IT field. While there is no specific route to becoming a data architect, potential job candidates need extensive skills in database design, development, management, modeling, and warehousing. Entry-level IT jobs in programming or database administration can help aspiring data architects gain the experience needed for a job in data architecture.

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