By Jeff Erickson
When technology turns a corner, as it has with the Oracle Autonomous Database, people who work with that technology rightly ask what it will enable them to do. With the self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing autonomous database services in Oracle Cloud, the question for DBAs becomes, instead, “What will it allow me not to do, and how can that make me more valuable?”
This is a time for DBAs to look up from patching, tuning, backing up, and other database maintenance tasks that can take most of a DBA’s time and take stock of just how much their expertise means to the increasingly data-driven organization they work for, says Andy Mendelsohn, Oracle’s executive vice president of database server technologies. “Now they can use their database knowledge to get more involved in capturing value out of the data,” he says.
But how? The transition from turning knobs in the database to capturing value from data will mean learning new technologies, collecting new certifications, and developing new communication and networking abilities—with the simple aim of making IT applications work better for the organization. With that in mind, here are three ways to become more valuable in the age of autonomous databases.
“If you’re not spending time managing schemas, extending tablespaces, or creating new users, this is a great time to explore all the new, powerful analytics capabilities in the database,” says Keith Laker, a senior principal product manager for data warehousing and big data at Oracle. “You’ve always wanted time to see more of what it can do,” he says. “Now we’re giving you that opportunity.”
Oracle Autonomous Database services for transaction processing and data warehousing are built on Oracle Database 18c, the latest edition of the leading enterprise database platform.
Jump in and “push the boundaries of the in-database analytics and business-focused machine learning algorithms” for security, authentication, and auditing, Laker implores. For example, he says, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse comes with an extensive library of machine learning algorithms that can help you predict customer behavior, target your best customers, develop sophisticated customer profiles, identify cross-selling opportunities, and detect anomalies and potential fraud. These capabilities, he says, will drive the next level of business-driven, analytical innovation.
Once you start using this tool [Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler], you’ll understand what database design is all about. ”—Penny Avril, Vice President of Product Management, Oracle
Although some of the mundane work of database management is taken over by autonomous database services, the valuable work of data modeling requires people. A well-thought-out data model can help an application work more smoothly and can avoid performance problems down the line, says Oracle’s vice president of product management, Penny Avril. Data modeling is not as predictable as backup, patching, and tuning work, but it’s interesting work for DBAs, she adds. “The fun parts of what you do are still there,” Avril says. “You couldn’t get to them before, because you were too busy keeping the lights on. Now you can, and you become more valuable than ever.”
The fastest way to improve data modeling, says Avril, is to download Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler and begin using it. Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a free graphical tool that enables you to create, browse, and edit logical, relational, physical, multidimensional, and data type models. The data modeler provides forward- and reverse-engineering capabilities and supports collaborative development through integrated source code control. “Once you start using this tool,” says Avril, “you’ll understand what database design is all about.”
“There are more in-house developers at our enterprise customers than ever before,” says Maria Colgan, a master product manager at Oracle, and she notes that they all need access to data and database services.
If DBAs are spending less time provisioning, patching, and tuning databases, she says, they can engage developers and help them understand what the database can do. For example, “If developers can do something their application needs inside the database, such as quickly returning highly aggregated datasets, they can save themselves a whole lot of effort and make their application more efficient,” Colgan says.
Likewise, says Colgan, a DBA’s knowledge of datasources and formats is in high demand by data scientists and business analysts who need access to clean, real-time data to do their work.
With less time spent managing databases and more time helping the company use data to innovate, “DBAs will become even more valuable partners for developers, analysts, and business leaders,” Colgan concludes.
LEARN more about Oracle Autonomous Database.
DOWNLOAD Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler.
Illustration by Wes Rowell