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  Personal Qualities for Success
This page discusses some personal qualities for success at different Stages in Enterprise Data Management.
You might like to check out these related pages on Careers and Career Success Factors.

Here's a useful link for the UK offered by the Daily Telegraph on February 25th.2009.
It covers CVs, Interviews and has a (currently) very superficial look at choosing a job that matches your personality.

Qualities for Success as a Data Analyst
Qualities for Success as a Database Administrator (DBA)
Qualities for Success as a Database Designer
Qualities for Success in Data Governance
Qualities for Success in Data Integration
Qualities for Success in Designing Data Marts
Qualities for Success in Performance Reporting
Qualities for Success with Information Catalogues

  • Stage 1-6. Qualities for Success as a Data Analyst Over the past 15 years,I have spent a lot of time designing Data Models. When I look back over the kind of work that I have done, and the skills I have used, it seems to me that if you engaged in the kind of work that requires Data Modelling, then you are a Data Analyst. If you are not, then you are not. The six Stages in our Framework for Enterprise Data Management start at the bottom with Data Sources, then move through Data Integration, Data Marts, BI and Performance Reports and finally conclude with Data Governance. Data Analysis is a common thread running through these Stages. A core skill in Data Analysis is the recognition of generic Data Patterns and the creation of new ones. Therefore an interest in an generic approach to work is very valuable. It is also very valuable to combine conceptual skills with a practical attitude committed to deliverables. To be successful as a Data Analyst it helps to be comfortable in talking to Users with data-related problems, to come up with solutions and then to discuss your solutions with the Users.
  • Stage 1. Qualities for Success in Data Governance To be successful in Data Governance it is important to be comfortable working with senior management and to have a clear idea of what is achievable in large organizations and how to establish agreement over overall goals for an enterprise. Someone who works in this area is happy to work with senior management and will understand just enough about technology to make an effective contribution and to ensure that the role of technology is used to the maximum effect.
  • Stage 2. Qualities for Success in Performance Reporting To be competent in this area of Performance Reporting it is useful to be able to see things from the User’s perspective and formulate the layout and content of the Reports accordingly. In this Role, you would be acting as a Consultant. Consulting is something to be done when you have a good foundation and understanding of a particular a number of business areas, such as Banking, Government, Insurance or Retail. Then the consultant has to able to do these things with confidence :-
  • Assess the situation at hand,
  • Produce a Plan, which identifies the risks and benefits and includes an exit strategy.
  • Design Templates and Blueprints,
  • When dealing with multiple stakeholders, think about what each party wants and then come up with proposals where the most important people will feel they have gained the most. People who are successful working in this area are happy to work with End-Users and to formulate Report requirements in a style that can be easily understood and implemented by the developers who might be the Report specialist. They are subsequently able to implement the inevitable changes requests by the End-user and manage the expectations of the End-user and developers. Qualities for Success in creating Mashups To be successful in creating Mashups it is necessary to possess a number of qualities :- • To have some level of experience as a developer • to like to work with user people • to enjoy seeing results produced quickly that meet a clearly defined User requirement. • to enjoy keeping up-to-date with innovations in fast-moving technology • to be able to recognize innovations that are important and have lasting power.
  • Stage 3. Qualities for Success in Designing Data Marts To be successful in designing Data Marts it is important to have a talent for visualizing the User’s Requirements and for translating this to a formal design of Dimensions and Facts, together with the most important aspect, which is the derivation of the data required from the underlying basic data.
  • Stage 4. Qualities for Success in Data Integration To be competent in this area it is important to have a clear understanding of the end-to-end process of transforming Source data into Target data and to derive satisfaction from achieving the end-result of seeing good-quality data loaded and available for subsequent analysis and reporting. Someone who works in this area is comfortable working with Developers, Managers and End-Users and is able to establish mutual respect with all three groups of people.
  • Stage 4. Qualities for Success as a DBA Skills include T-SQL for SQL Server and PL/SQL for Oracle. A good Database Administrator (DBA) likes to have responsibility for a clearly defined area, for example a production Database. He (or she) is happy to be called on to provide expertise on complex topics, to make decisions and defend them against questions from Developers, Managers and End-Users. Being a DBA is like being a Referee in that if nobody complains then you are doing a good job. If the phone rings then you know nobody is calling to ask after your health or talk about the weather, especially if you are responsible for supporting live Databases. I recently held a competition for the best definition of 'What Persoanl Qualities make a good DBA ?'. The winner of the bottle of Taittinger Champagne was Glenn from Southend-on-Sea in the UK.

    Here is Glenn's winning entry :- A particular set of personal qualities is essential to be a successful DBA without going insane. Ideally the DBA should not have a life. Most employers expect their DBAs to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for every week of the year. If the DBA has any free time he will probably spend it train spotting, collecting trading cards or watching Sci-Fi DVDs. Wives and girlfriends are an optional extra and always come second to work. There is a formal dress code for DBAs which consists of a grubby anorak, crumpled corduroy trousers, smelly trainers, Star Trek T-shirt and facial hair. The Database Administrator’s motto is “Whatever it takes.” A DBA’s responsibilities will include the following:
    1. Installing database server and client software, upgrades and patches.
    2. Creating databases by using installation tools or by cloning from an existing system.
    3. Reviewing logical database designs and converting them to a physical model.
    4. Taking backups of the databases.
    5. Recovering databases.
    6. Supporting connectivity (eg. SQL*Net and ODBC).
    7. Ensuring the continuity of databases, listeners etc.
    8. Maintaining constant availability. Often by using replication or clustering facilities (eg Dataguard and RAC).
    9. Supporting disaster recovery failover.
    10. Monitoring database performance and sizing.
    11. Tuning, relocating, extending and defragmenting database objects.
    12. Purging old requests/reports from the databases.
    13. Purging application log and output files and database trace files.
    14. Managing database security.
    15. Maintaining application users/roles.
    16. Managing database privileges.
    17. Auditing activity.
    18. Supporting data load tools (eg. SQLLOADER).
    19. Ensuring database integrity.
    20. Preventing concurrency problems.
    21. Relinking of code.
    22. Managing space.
    23. Assisting with the resolution of application problems, such as gathering trace information.
    24. Supporting ad-hoc data query tools, eg. Discoverer, Business Objects.
    25. Supporting data repository tools, eg. Designer.
    26. Occasionally the configuration and support of middleware may also fall to the DBA.
    The DBA’s greatest ambition is to discover the root password to his systems so he can be even more helpful (or dangerous!)
  • Stage 4. Qualities for a Database Designer It is useful for a Database Designer be someone with a DBA background, who is likely to welcome the challenge of interacting with Users, creating a design for a new Database and, giving presentations on the design and working with Users to get their agreement and buy-in.
  • Certification Certification can be very valuable if it is accompanied with hands-on experience. One of the best sources of training for Certification is Cybex, who have a range of material for Oracle topics.
  • Specialist Expertise At this Stage, it is important to know who to ask for specialist advice on various vendor-specific Questions.
    For Oracle, a very highly-respected authority is Tom Kyte, the author of the Ask Tom Web Site. Another respected Expert is Don Burleson. Finally, here is a link to a number of very interesting articles on Getting a DBA job, how to get an Oracle DBA job and how to get a job at Oracle.
  • Stage 5. Qualities for Success in Data Sources To be successful in Data Sources requires being good with Users and Data Stewards and being aware of the need for aligning people, roles and how different but related Data Siurces fit together.
  • Stage 6. Qualities for Success working with an Information Catalogue To be successful in maintaining and publishing an Information Catalogue it is helpful to enjoy detailed work and to be committed to ensuring that all interested parties are in agreement about Roles and Responsibilities. It is also useful to have an eye for detail and to have an appreciation for the way in which the separate Components within the Information Catalogue are interrelated.

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