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Computer Data Administrator
Data administrators ensure that large amounts of information are efficiently and effectively managed stored in computer databases. Data administrators ensure that information is easy to access and can be managed effectively in order to save time and money for the company.

For example, an organisation may have an electronic record of all of their customer data such as name, address, phone number, credit card number, and buying history. This information needs to be managed for a variety of purposes, for example, to send out invoices or catalogues, or log purchases and incentive program points. Such processes require special software (database management systems). Data administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of database management systems and for long range planning regarding system design and operation.

Specific duties and responsibilities vary depending on the size and type of employer. In very large organisations, data administrators may have specialised responsibilities and work in teams. In other organisations, one data administrator may be responsible for all aspects of data administration.

However, in general, data administrators:
- develop and implement data administration policies (which describe the types of information collected, who has access to data, etc.), technical standards (which ensure data security, integrity and validity) and data models (which describe data elements and how they are used)
- consult managers in the organisation to determine and document data requirements, data collection and administration policy, and data access rules
- advise others in the organisation about the collection of data and its suitability for various uses.

Data administrators also may:
- develop and administer policies and procedures for accessing and using networks, backing up data and recovering lost data
- supervise the work of database analysts who design and maintain database management systems.

Satisfying Aspects
- seeing improvements in efficiency and costs through your efforts over a period of time
- the challenge of the working with large amounts of information
- solving problems daily
- working in a field that is constantly changing and advancing

Demanding aspects
- having to work long hours to solve problems
- working under pressure
- the frustration of not being able to solve a programming problem
- the fact that the work can be very fatiguing
- having to work irregular hours on occasion

Data administrators need the following characteristics:
- the ability to learn quickly, think logically and understand abstract relationships
excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- good stress management skills
- an interest in policy development and planning
- an interest in keeping up with ever-changing technology.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics
Recommended Subjects: Information Technology, Computer Applications

Data administration is not an entry level position. Employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have several years of related experience. Prospective data administrators are strongly advised to talk to potential employers about required and preferred qualifications before enrolling in an education or training program.

Degree: Relevant degrees are offered by most universities

Diploma: Relevant diplomas are offered by most universities of technology and some private colleges

Data administrators must continuously upgrade their knowledge because systems and security threats are constantly changing.

Most data administrators are employed in the head offices of large organisations in: Some data administrators are employed by information technology consulting firms. Experienced data administrators who have post-secondary education in business administration or management may advance to senior management positions or establish their own consulting firms.

- Government departments
- Computer manufacturers
- Research organisations
- Commerce and industry
- Insurance companies
- Educational institutions and libraries
- Transport enterprises
- Mining companies
- A skilled and entrepreneurial computer programmer can start his or her own business.

Computer Society of SA   
P O Box 1714
Halfway House, 1685
ICT House
546 16th Road
Constantia Park [Unit No.3]
Tel: (011) 315-1319 Fax: (011) 315-2276

ISETT (Information Systems Electronics & Telecommunication Technologies)
P O Box 5585
Halfway House 1685
Tel: (011) 207-2600 Fax: (011) 805-6833