Ntirety recently sponsored a survey of 281 data managers and professionals who are subscribers to Database Trends and Applications. The survey uncovered some trends and information of interest to anyone in IT with responsibility for databases or database administrator management.

The key findings:

  • Data managers and professionals are embracing their expanded roles and are motivated not just by money, but by the technology challenges and learning opportunities the database field now offers.
  • More than two-fifths of data professionals say they will be leaving the field within the next decade, either due to retirement or to move into business roles. Overall, however, data professionals are bullish on their long-term prospects. There is a yawning gap in age differences: younger professionals are highly optimistic about growth in the field, while their more senior counterparts are more pessimistic.
  • Data professionals want to be more where the “action” is. Data science represents the next growth stage for the database professions. While traditional database roles and challenges dominate data professionals’ days, virtualization also dominates the database scene.
  • Most data professionals admit their jobs are stressful, and there is a substantial pool of dissatisfaction due mainly to the need for emergency “firefighting” that gets in the way of more innovative, higher value tasks; lack of staff support; and salary stagnation.
  • Respondents are more energized by technology opportunities than other factors in selecting or preferring employers. Data management professionals tend not to be job hoppers. Data professionals are highly educated, and show a strong desire to keep learning and growing professionally.
  • Data professionals are highly educated, and show a strong desire to keep learning and growing professionally.

Enterprises today face a shortage of database talent that is only going to grow more acute. More than two-fifths of data professionals indicate they will be leaving the profession within the next 10 years, while others seek to move into data science or analysis roles.

Here are some ways organizations can address this ever-widening gap:

  • Motivation and quality of work: As this survey shows, data professionals aren’t necessarily drawn by the incentives most commonly used to attract and retain employees: salary and benefits. While these are important, database professionals in this survey say the aspect of their jobs that appeals to them most—and the reason they are likely to change jobs—is the opportunity to work with interesting technologies. Data professionals’ jobs need to be structured to allow for work with new solutions, versus maintenance-type tasks.
  • Training and development: There is a need to provide for ongoing training of data professionals in the latest technologies and techniques. As their skills advance, your company will as well.
  • Cloud: The cloud offers a means to leverage large-scale datasets, while letting a qualified third party worry about skills and staffing. The capacity of the cloud is virtually unlimited, meaning there will be no restriction in terms of storage capacity or administrators to handle the workloads.
  • Database automation: There are a number of emerging platforms that help automate many of the rote processes associated with database management. This takes away the headaches of finding and maintaining personnel who will stay with these jobs for any length of time. It can also free up data professionals to pursue activities of greater value to the business.
  • Use a Managed Service Provider like Ntirety!

Read the complete survey: The Vanishing Database Administrator