A database manager is responsible for the way a company manages, organises, stores and accesses its information.
It's a role you'll often find in companies that hold a lot of information that needs putting into reports or documents, for example media companies, marketing companies, public sector organisations or financial institutions.
So, what will I actually be doing?
You'll have to work closely with the teams who need to use the data and you'll manage a database administrator or a team of database administrators to help you with the work.
Much of your job involves modelling and designing databases. This means you'll spend a lot of time working with users to find out what information they need to use, how frequently, what categories they need to split it by and what would make it easy to use. Once you've built the database, you'll need to test it thoroughly.
Your main responsibilities will include :
- Improving the effectiveness of the database tools and services
- Ensuring all the data complies with legal regulations
- Making sure the information is protected and backed-up
- Regular reporting to the teams you work with
- Monitoring database performance
- Improving the technology used
- Building new databases
- Monitoring data entry procedures
It is not uncommon to combine this position with a role in customer relationship marketing - which is a more specialised version of database management.
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The nitty gritty
Your scheduled hours should be 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday but it's likely that you'll be on-call in case of any technical problems outside of these hours.
If you find a job in-house you'll be based out of your office. If you work for a company that specialises in building databases for clients then much of your time will be spent at the client's office.
There are part-time jobs out there if you're looking for job flexibility. You may also be able to work from home if you can get online.
If you enjoy the technical side of the job you should look for opportunities to become a technical architect or an analyst.
If you enjoy the people aspects of your role you could move more into the customer relationship management side of things or into business analysis.
Money, money, money
In terms of annual income, the average database manager is on around £38,000 to £39,000.
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The good points...
As you can see, the salary isn’t too bad, which with experience can jump to around £42,000. Cha-ching!
...and the bad
With big maintenance or development projects there may be some times when you need to work in the evening or weekends as you'll need to carry out the work with minimum disruption.
Is there study involved?
You'll usually need an IT related degree but if you've worked your way up and show you've got all the right experience then the job could be yours.
It's a specialist arm of computing so up to date, professional qualifications in database packages will be important for getting started.
You should demonstrate some specific experience in managing a database, maybe from a previous role as a database administrator.
Ask your employer if they will send you on any soft skills courses. It's always beneficial to keep your communications, management and presentation skills up to date.
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Employers generally want good team players with the right technical experience. When going for a job, you should play up these skills:
- General computing skills, especially in Excel and Access
- Good communications skills
- Excellent problem solving skills
- An analytical approach
- Some understanding of the broader business
- People management experience
- Experience in managing suppliers/agencies
Apart from keeping up to date with database technologies, it will be important to keep up with the technologies that link to the database.
For example web based skills in HTML if you are managing information linked an online database and office based software like Excel and Access which will be used widely in the office.