Those of us who practice the dark art of crafting Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD) are known by many names, some are even repeatable. The most common titles I have observed are data modeler or data architect. Personally, I have been a proponent of using data modeler when describing my role.
I once read that if what you do matches your job title exactly then you are more likely to be unhappy. Give that some thought. This sentence gets to the root of being pegged as a one trick pony. I love data modeling, but I find more satisfaction from the non-data modeling parts of my job. That led me to the conclusion of rebranding myself as a data architect.
Data modeler originated when data modeling appeared on the scene. Developers develop. DBAs administer. Analysts analyze. Data modelers modeling seemed logical. What happened over the years is that data modelers took on new roles in metadata management, data warehousing, data governance, data quality and other data-isms.
That brings me to the realization that data architect is the best title for the work I do. An architect is the person who designs sound structures to meet client needs according to strict standards and design principles. Architects interact with a wide variety of people and perform a good bit of research before committing the design to a blueprint. These traits translate to what the data architect does.
What’s the big deal with this change in title? I do the same work I did yesterday as a data modeler. Many people will still call me a data modeler. Some still may call me worse things. It is more about perception. I have removed the connection to a single deliverable, the data model. Architect gives me more freedom to talk about a wider scope of responsibilities that center around the data model.
I admit that there is some humor in this post. This is a subject that is near and dear to many a data professional. Just remember that your reputation is built on what you do and deliver. Jobs come and go. Job titles come and go. Hopefully, what you do remains pertinent and valued in your enterprise. Feel free to express yourself as a data modeler, data architect, database designed, data analyst, or whatever.
I am presenting at Data Modeling Zone 2014 in Portland, Oregon. I hope that you will join me in my sessions: Is your data model a work of art? and Relationship versatility and the data modeler #DMzone