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Career change: From data analyst to data architect

I currently work as a data analyst creating reports within an access environment, and in addition have Oracle SQL...

and Business objects reporting skills. However I am keen to change my career path towards becoming a data architect, and would like to know what training courses to take in order to achieve this. I would appreciate any advice you can give me towards achieving this.

I would first encourage you to think about your role as a Data Analyst, or, since you create reports, I would say a Data Access Architect. Data access is the primary area of focus in business intelligence these days. Since many companies have got their data (warehouse) act together by now, the focus is now on utilizing and exploiting that information to gain business advantage. This has led to a variety of focuses like balanced scorecard, customer lifetime value, KPIs, portals, exception reporting and the like.

You may already know some of this since you have Business Objects reporting skills. However, since you're working in Access, which has limited functionality, you may find there's a lot more interesting data analyst/access work to be done with Business Objects and tools with similar pedigree.

I would also not think of "moving" to be a data architect, by which I presume you mean building data models, but to enhance your skill set to include data analysis/modeling. This may take your career up to a more valuable Data Warehouse Architect level, which requires someone able to do a great job at multiple disciplines within data warehousing/business intelligence.

To answer your question directly, however, there are modeling courses put on by DCI, the Data Warehousing Institute and others. And I would recommend Ralph Kimball's books, especially The Data Warehouse Toolkit, for modeling skill building. Click here to read an excerpt from The Data Warehouse Toolkit

To get more information, visit the ITKnowledge Exchange and join the discussion called Data Architect career path

This was last published in February 2005

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