Good pointers for database administrators{1}

by Dean H
DBAs(Database Administrators) need to be more proactive on projects and learn how to present their values to the management.

1. Larger companies normally have different teams to work one project. As a result DBAs must collaborate with co-workers from all different background and solve different issues. Sometimes issues could be so overwhelming that DBAs can only be reactive to the issues. This approach  normally utilize the “quick fix” method where only the surface issues are being detected and do work-around to get the system to work. Of course,  many experienced DBAs apply their personal experience and instincts to find the potential issues. Most of time they are successful, however some times they would miss the issues under the surface. For example, an DBA may notice that the SQL statement is too long and could be rewritten in a more efficient manner to improve performance. However, other problems such as poorly organized data, invalid data distribution statistics, etc… can also contribute to the satisfactory performance. If the DBA is being reactive and only rely on his/her experience and instinct,  no further search/analysis are conducted. This could lead to inefficient performance and even future failure on the database.

2. Many DBAs do not realize that the measurement of activity and productivity is essential to the IT management. The main reason for IT department’s existence is increase productivity and reduce costs. This article provides some good ways to measure the DBA’s performance in number:

  • Number of columns moved to production
  • Number of hours spent on a project concentrate on single, one0dimensional tasks,
  • User dimension such as resource usage, and data clustering.
  • Transaction rates, data throughput, and perceived transaction elapsed times.

Reflection: I personally found this article closely related to my internship experience. Since my interning company is considered as one of the “big” corporations, I see how different departments work with the IT just to come up with a new module/interface. Sometimes the workload could be overwhelming and issues are so many out there that the IT team can only do it one by one, trying to locate the most important concerns and fix it so it can move one. Also, the ability to prove the value of your position, your project, even your team is extremely critical in today’s economy. Many companies are doing “rate challenges” to perform internal analysis on where the expense could be cut. If the team cannot provide good performance measure then chances are it will receive a budget cut. I think I have learned quite a few from this article and hopefully I can utilize what I learn during my internship.


Lockwood, L. (2011, November 18). Retrieved from