Pressure mounting for data workers

20 May 2008

Some 44pc of data professionals spend part of their week on business consulting activities, a new survey by International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) has found.

The CA-sponsored survey showed that data professionals are facing pressure to provide higher-level services to enterprise business customers as corporate performance and database performance become more aligned.

Of the 853 respondents, 83pc spend at least some time each week directly consulting to the business, either interacting with business unit executives and managers (29pc), business unit IT teams (47pc) or C-level/senior executives (10pc).

Some 44pc of respondents said they are spending more time than ever on business consulting activities, especially in regard to data design/modelling and data storage/archiving issues.

Nine out of 10 respondents said that database operations have a direct impact on corporate performance, either in terms of cost savings or revenue increases, with 52pc saying that it has a ‘high impact’.

Just under 40pc of respondents consider the explosion of data across their organisations to be a top priority. Over half (56pc) rated database performance as their top operational data management challenge, followed closely by data recovery and availability (55pc).

However, the skills needed to deliver the increased demands placed on data professionals are usually acquired in an ad hoc manner, the survey found. On-the-job training and knowledge transfer provided by other employees is how 67pc of survey respondents upskill.

“Data infrastructures were once relatively under-utilised, closely guarded and exclusively accessed by an IT inner circle,” commented Adam Frary, director of product marketing, CA. “Today, they’re strategic corporate information assets that are intensively leveraged across and beyond the enterprise.

“This is forcing data professionals to grapple with new performance, design, integration, security and compliance issues. To succeed, they need more training and better tools – as well as more formal guidance as to how to most effectively collaborate with business customers.”

By Niall Byrne