From the digital devices we rely on to the massive computer networks managed by multinational corporations, there is a staggering amount of data created every day. While data doesn’t take up any physical space, the hardware on which it’s stored does. Data warehousing specialists are often tasked with addressing the growing challenge of managing where our data ends up and making data management processes more efficient.
Similar to the data being handled, a data warehouse is not necessarily a physical object or place. Instead, it describes a system that facilitates the flow of data through an organization. Data in a warehousing system is sourced from inputs into accounting software or sales terminals at retail stores.
A warehousing system takes this data and organizes it according to the organization’s needs. Therefore, a data warehousing specialist is often responsible for designing and implementing a warehousing system like this on a large scale. This may be done for a single corporation or as part of a contract involving different clients and vendors.
What does a data warehouse specialist do?
The exact tasks and job roles of a data warehousing specialist depend on their organization, as well as the scope of the project and the resources at their disposal.
In general, data warehousing specialists are responsible for:
- Developing processes and procedures for data management across an organization or within the scope of a project.
- Creating software applications or designing computer programs that accomplish tasks necessary for data storage and management.
- Analyzing current data warehousing processes for improvement to make procedures more efficient, or realize a different end target.
These job responsibilities, among others, contribute to the data warehousing system’s success. As explained by IBM, a data warehouse is a very large, complex database or table of information. The data takes the form of snapshots that show each change made to the database over time and information about those changes. A data warehouse for a single organization might compile data from each segment of the business, like accounting, marketing, sales and others.
After being properly sorted, the warehousing system puts data into what’s known as a “data mart.” Here, data is properly organized to allow people to easily search for specific types of transactions or for certain data points from a given timeframe. This information can then be used to make important decisions about how to manage the business.
In short, a data warehousing specialist plays a vital role in the success of businesses that rely on huge volumes of data. They design and fine-tune the tools that make this work possible.