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Hiring kit: Data architect

Originally Published:
Feb 2017

A data architect develops the foundational architecture of all data generated within an enterprise—an important but challenging position to fill. This kit includes a detailed job description, sample interview questions, and a basic want ad to simplify the task of finding the best candidates.

From the job description:

To make their best decisions, businesses need the best actionable information. Acquiring that information requires the sifting, sorting, and manipulation of data—lots and lots of data. But data does not just happen. It must be designed, molded, and drawn out of what is essentially chaos.

This is where the data architect is most needed. By developing the foundational architecture of all data generated within an enterprise, the data architect can set the rules, create the data models, establish the overall business implementation, and fulfill the business vision of the enterprise—at least as it pertains to data.

This set of factors requires an individual who can see the big, enterprise-wide picture as well as the small day-to-day problems that stem from data generation at the user level. A successful data architect must be able to effectively communicate with both C-level management and end users looking for answers to satisfy their specific needs.

Data architect’s role
According to the Data Management Body of Knowledge, which is published by DAMA International (the Data Management Association), a data architect’s role is to “provide a standard common business vocabulary, express strategic data requirements, outline high level integrated designs to meet these requirements, and align with enterprise strategy and related business architecture.”

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