Skills Data Analyst - Informatics And Systems near Vancouver (BC)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a data analyst - informatics and systems in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 2172).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Collect and document user's requirements
  • Design and develop database
  • Design, construct, modify, implement and test data models and database management systems
  • Conduct research and provide advice to other informatics professionals regarding the selection application and implementation of database management tools
  • Operate database management systems to analyze data
  • Develop and implement data administration policy, standards and models
  • Research and document data requirements, data collection and administration policy, and data access rules
  • Develop policies and procedures for network access and usage and for the backup and recovery of data
  • Conduct research and provide advice to other information systems professionals regarding the collection, availability and suitability of data
  • Lead and co-ordinate teams of data administrators in the development and implementation of data policies, standards and models
  • Write scripts related to stored procedures and triggers

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

ReadingDatabase Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Read messages from co-workers and customers and alerts and warnings from automated systems. For example, they read brief descriptions of problems encountered with database queries in e-mail from customers. They may read co-workers' instant messages which confirm changes to files and programs. Database administrators read notifications of successful and failed backup processes from automated database systems. (2)
  • Read database standards, policies and procedures to understand database systems. For example, database administrators read standards for naming tables and queries. Database analysts read policies and procedures to learn about access rules, data integrity and security. (3)
  • Read lengthy e-mail and memos on technical matters from co-workers, customers and colleagues. For example, they may read developers' notes which document changes made to databases. They read several pages of e-mail correspondence between co-workers and customers to learn about database malfunctions, analyses and solutions. They also read colleagues' explanations of obscure error messages from database software. (3)
  • Read software and hardware help files. For example, they read numerous help files on software support websites to check command syntax and learn unfamiliar procedures such as changing database names. Typically, these texts integrate sections of programming code and sometimes screen shots to enhance their explanations. (4)
  • Read online newsletters and trade publications such as Slashdot, Oracle Magazine and FileMaker Magazine to learn about new database management products, tools, designs and configurations. For example, database analysts may read in-depth reviews written by developers and consultants on new software releases and libraries. Database architects may read articles on current trends in database modelling and administration such as clustering technologies to permit the pooling of several smaller servers and storage devices. Data administrators may read lengthy security alerts. (4)
  • May read handbooks and guides for new software and programming languages to increase their knowledge in the field of database management systems. For example, they may read books on new releases of database software to familiarize themselves with the architecture, attributes and capabilities. (4)
Database Analysts
  • Read 'requests for proposals', design specifications and other documents relevant to the design and development of database management systems. For example, database analysts read 'requests for proposals' to learn about the tasks, requirements, evaluation criteria and selection processes and to determine the resources needed to undertake projects. They may also read project charters and requirement reports to learn background information about customers' systems. They may also read 'requests for proposals' to ensure the scope and project deliverables are adequately defined and developed to achieve the desired objectives. (4)
Document useDatabase Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Locate data on labels. For example, they may scan labels on computer equipment to identify ports and power connectors. (1)
  • Enter data into lists. For example, during audits, they may enter record numbers into lists of duplicate records. (2)
  • Locate data in graphs and identify trends in plots of quantitative data. For example, database administrators may monitor data on memory usage, numbers of concurrent sessions, event waits and calls per second on line graphs and bar charts. (3)
  • Locate data in schematic drawings of system configurations and data management processes. For example, they may review schematics of server and database configurations when evaluating system efficiencies and data loads. Database analysts may study schematic representations of data models illustrating data flows and relationships among various entities. They may also locate development tasks, teams and project milestones in Gantt charts. (3)
  • Locate data in entry forms. For example, data administrators scan data migration request forms to identify sources, paths and destinations during data transfers. (3)
  • Complete forms such as database query forms, timesheets and change management process forms. For example, they enter criteria such as dates and key words into database query forms to specify data to be extracted. They enter project names and numbers, customer names and job tasks and times into timesheets. (3)
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, they scan long lists of software codes to identify errors. Data analysts scan database transaction logs for unusual activity when auditing data security. Database administrators may scan lists of database performance variables such as run times and disk growth rates to locate data on the performance of data management systems. They may also locate data on variables such as processing power and disk space usage in detailed tables of application production data. (4)
Data Administrators
  • Enter data into tables. For example, database administrators may enter alphanumeric data such as server names, Internet protocol addresses, ports, applications and application identification numbers into server tables. Data administrators may enter new data locations in tables during data file conversion processes. (3)
WritingDatabase Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Write reminders, short e-mail and notes to co-workers, managers and customers. For example, database administrators may write e-mail to advise co-workers of downtimes planned on large databases. They may write notes to database users within their organizations during the investigation of duplicate records. (2)
  • May write short descriptions of functions and features of database software for slide presentations, promotional brochures and websites. They adapt these descriptions to the interests and capacities of their audiences providing concise overviews for generalists and technical details for specialists. (3)
  • Write memos and longer e-mail to document their work and collaborate on problem solving and design with co-workers, customers and colleagues. For example, database administrators may write memos to describe changes to databases, give reasons for the changes, outline expected effects and specify backup plans. They may write e-mail to co-workers to collaborate on the development of methods to improve database performance. Database analysts may write e-mail to customers to clarify database specifications. (3)
  • Write proposals, specifications and reports for co-workers and customers. For example, database analysts may write project proposals in which they present analyses of customers' current systems and recommend database models. Database designers may draft design specifications for projects to circulate among co-workers for comment. Data administrators may write reports for managers to describe disaster recovery plans for databases, including the types of jobs to be run and locations of backup file libraries. (4)
Database Analysts
  • Write user guides and standards for customers For example, database architects write user guides to detail system configurations, database architectures and procedures for customers unfamiliar with specialized terminology. They write standards to specify system elements such as programming languages, software program versions and correct data types, formats and values. (4)
Data Administrators
  • Write standards, policies and procedures to inform co-workers and managers. For example, database managers may write security standards which stipulate methods for identifying users and granting access, defining safe server configurations and restricting updates to databases. Senior data administrators write policies concerning quality, security and database access to guide managers' choices of system configurations. They state objectives and describe options for protecting sensitive data. Database administrators write procedures for tasks such as cloning databases prior to testing. (4)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • Calculate travel claim amounts for travel to training sessions, customers' facilities and conferences. To calculate total travel claims, they multiply distances travelled in personal vehicles by per kilometre rates and add amounts for meals, hotels and incidentals. (2)

Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math

Database Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Prepare, monitor and adjust work schedules for database development projects. For example, data administrators may create schedules for teams of co-workers carrying out projects such as the migration of database objects to new locations. As projects advance, they adjust schedules for unplanned occurrences such as time overruns due to programming difficulties. (3)
Database Analysts
  • May prepare and monitor project budgets. For example, database managers budget the cost to develop data management systems. They take into consideration complicating factors such as the requirement for software to run on multiple platforms and employ web interfaces. They establish costs and revenue requirements. They monitor costs throughout projects to prevent budget overruns. (3)
Data Administrators
  • Prepare schedules for computer operations such as processing data and executing system backups. For example, they schedule batch jobs to process large volumes of data such as daily medical premium applications. They schedule onerous tasks to run at night to free computer systems for daytime use. They also take into account data dependencies, running sequences among the systems and times required for tracking and repairing failures. (4)

Measurement and Calculation Math

Database Analysts
  • Develop mathematical methods to verify data entered into databases. For example, they develop mathematical formulae to test data formats and determine time intervals. (3)
Data Administrators
  • Calculate space requirements for new databases. They consider all the components of the database systems such as the system software, configuration and control files, temporary storage spaces for downloading, indexing and loading reports, cache storage, indexed data, database log files and spaces for the archive manager. They choose the appropriate formula for each system component as determined by criteria such as the type of operating system and they find and substitute values in the formulae for variables including the numbers of items, index fields and versions of reports and the lengths of time necessary for storing reports. They apply multipliers such as compression ratios which vary according to the types of data being stored. They may need to repeat the calculations through several iterations to determine final storage space requirements. (4)
Data Analysis
  • Collect data and generate statistics to describe database performance. For example, database administrators collect data on the use of disk space over time to identify trends and adjust capacity. They also track automated process measurements such as computer running times, transaction rates and bandwidth utilization per application on servers to identify problems and tune performance. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times needed to complete various job tasks. For example, a database analyst may use past experience to estimate times needed to design, program and test each module of a customer relationship management system. (2)
  • Estimate disk and memory space requirements. For example, database analysts estimate memory space necessary for new database features and components. Data administrators estimate when to expand server capacity by analyzing data on current disk space usage and growth trends in databases. (2)
Oral communicationDatabase Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Discuss technical matters concerning the development and management of database systems with co-workers, customers and colleagues. For example, data managers may discuss the adequacy of database scripts and the resolution of challenging system errors with co-workers. Database analysts may discuss acceptable levels of data loss with customers. Database analysts may speak with colleagues about the compatibility of new versions of database software. (2)
  • Train, instruct and advise junior team members and database users. For example, they may advise junior members of their teams to use good change management practices such as clear audit trails for all changes implemented to database systems. They may train users of database systems in procedures to structure queries and format reports. (3)
  • May make presentations on software releases and database designs to groups of co-workers, managers and customers. For example, database architects present proposals for database models to customers, explaining the relationships and flows of data through the customers' systems. They match the complexity of information they present to the needs of their audiences. (3)
Database Analysts
  • Negotiate project timelines and prices and discuss database requirements and constraints with customers and subcontractors. For example, they probe to learn about information flows in customers' systems. They translate customers' objectives into specifications for database models and double check their understanding. They may also negotiate hourly rates and deliverables with subcontractors who provide services such as translation, website development and programming for database development projects. (3)
Thinking

Problem Solving

Database Analysts
  • Encounter unexpected computer system failures and equipment breakdowns. For example, database analysts may not be able to access customers' files because secure Internet connections cannot be established. They try to identify defects and bugs through analyses of process variables and transaction logs. They consult co-workers, software support help files and user group forums for information. (3)
  • Experience difficulties in developing database models and consequent delays and budget overruns. They inform customers and managers and negotiate project extensions and increased resources when possible. They review project designs and proposals to determine how to improve future project planning. (3)
Decision Making
  • Choose methods to rectify software errors and malfunctions. For example, when databases malfunction they may use temporary fixes and patches until they are able to institute more permanent solutions. They consider the urgency of the repairs, the stability of the patches and known effects on database performance before proceeding. (2)
  • May select workers for specific tasks. For example, database project leaders assign programming of specific modules to programmers and developers, matching tasks to workers' skills and availabilities. (3)
  • Select methods, times and sequences for administrative processes and database development projects. For example, data administrators decide how and when to expand database capacity. They consider factors such as data growth rates and disk usage statistics. They also select data to migrate, destinations for migrated data and new storage devices. (3)
  • Choose database designs and options. They take into account numerous factors including the projected quantities of data to process, numbers of users, types of queries required, data security needs and budgetary constraints. They consider the quality and versatility of options versus their costs. They may submit their choices to managers and customers for approval. (3)

Critical Thinking

Database Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Evaluate the quality of work done by co-workers. For example, database administrators may assess the logic of script written by quality assurance specialists before authorizing access to operational databases for tests. Database analysts may evaluate project documentation written by co-workers to ensure its adequacy, accuracy and clarity before delivery to third parties. (2)
  • Evaluate the suitability of database configurations, software upgrades, libraries and programming languages for specific uses. They run tests and read product reviews, user comments and handbooks to assess the suitability of software and database designs for specific applications. They use evaluation criteria such as compatibility with users' operating systems, reliability of vendors, provision of technical support, cost, availability of optional features and assurance of data security. (3)
Database Analysts
  • Assess the suitability of database models and designs for specific applications. They examine database structures to ensure they meet customers' specifications. They evaluate the logic of the relationships defined among data entities. They test models to gather performance data. (3)
Data Administrators
  • Evaluate the integrity and security of data. For example, database administrators conduct audits of database management systems to ensure that sensitive data is protected and no security breaches have occurred. They appraise data risk, analyze access authorities, ensure access controls are properly set, review users' activities and consider the effectiveness of backup and recovery strategies. (4)

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Database analysts and data administrators plan job tasks independently. They are frequently interrupted by co-workers and database users so they have to review priorities and revise the order of job tasks regularly. (3)

Planning and Organizing for Others

Database analysts and data administrators may aid in strategic planning for their organizations by recommending new database software applications and database configurations to enlarge the scope and range of products and services offered. Data administrators contribute to operational planning by developing database policies. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember locations of directories, files and data.
  • Remember identification numbers and passwords for numerous computer systems. They are forced to change these numbers frequently in order to minimize risks to the security of database systems.

Finding Information

Database Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Find information on database software, libraries and other tools. They search the Internet for product reviews and locate relevant correspondence on user group websites. They also discuss options with co-workers and colleagues. (3)
  • Find information about unusual database system errors and malfunctions. They produce, review and analyze internal tracking documents such as lists of software codes, result tables and graphs of performance data. They search for relevant information in on-line help files, trade publications and postings on user group websites. They consult co-workers, colleagues and software support personnel for assistance. They study results from tests and trials. (4)
Database Analysts
  • Find information about customers' data management systems and installations. They review forms and reports used in the customers' systems to understand data flows. They may visit customers' installations to observe production and discuss objectives, current practices and standards. (3)
Digital technologyDatabase Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Use word processing. They use word processing programs such as Word to create, edit and format documents such as program notes, memos, reports, user guides, standards and procedures. They may integrate schematics, tables, screen shots and pictures to supplement the text. (3)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, they create lists, tables and graphs in spreadsheets such as Excel to migrate data, manage file and disk sizes and project schedules, and track database performance variables. (3)
  • Use communications software. For example, they use e-mail software such as Outlook to exchange e-mail and computer files with co-workers, colleagues, customers and software vendors. They may create address books, manage personal agendas and maintain distribution lists to improve project management. They also use instant messaging applications such as Messenger to correspond rapidly with co-workers while working at their computers. (3)
  • Use the Internet. For example, they use Internet browsers and access vendors' websites and on-line trade publications to search for information on database errors, malfunctions and various tools. They participate in exchanges on user group forums and bulletin boards. They download shareware and program code to repair database errors and improve performance. They may also access Intranet websites to complete timesheets and answer computer assistance requests. (3)
  • Do programming and systems design. For example, they may use programming languages to code batch jobs for mainframe computers to process very large volumes of data. (4)
  • Use other computer and software applications. For example, they may use operating systems such as Unix and Linux to run applications. They may use bug tracking software such as Bugzilla to help identify errors in databases and scripts. They may also use project and issue management software such as JIRA to centralize and record communication with co-workers and customers about specific tasks. (4)
  • Use databases. For example, database analysts design, develop, program, install and test data models and database management systems. They also design and program query forms and create interfaces for various applications using database development tools such as Oracle, IDMS, SQL Server and TOAD. Data administrators install, maintain and upgrade databases in Oracle, Access, FileMaker and other database management systems. They plan and manage data security, set usage standards, write script, run batch jobs, back up data, fine tune performance, troubleshoot errors and install upgrades. They also manage the configuration of servers and physical storage devices, expand files and move data, as necessary. (5)
Database Analysts
  • Use graphics software. For example, they use programs such as Visio to create diagrams and flowcharts representing database models, data flows and management processes. They use software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Fireworks to create graphic elements in database packages for customers. They may also use programs such as Power Point to create slide presentations for co-workers and customers. (2)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Database analysts and data administrators work as members of teams. Database analysts coordinate their efforts with programmers, administrators and Internet designers to develop database management systems for customers. Data administrators coordinate and integrate their work with other analysts, programmers and developers to develop, test and implement database system components in accordance with policies and standards. (3)

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is essential to database analysts and data administrators. The field of information technology changes quickly and they need to update their technical skills and knowledge continuously to keep pace. They learn through reading help files, newsletters, trade publications, handbooks and guides. They consult co-workers frequently to discuss problems they encounter and they also contribute regularly to software user group forums on-line. They may attend training sessions, university and technical college courses and sometimes participate in conferences organized by professional associations. (4)

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