Data Architect Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Data Architect Do?

Companies are making data-driven decisions now more than ever, and they need people to design and manage the databases where they store that data. That’s where data architects come in. A data architect visualizes, designs, and prepares data in a framework that data scientists, engineers, and analysts can use. Data architects often take data from disparate sources and develop a vision for combining those sources into a more cohesive, easier-to-use framework. A data architect must create an end-to-end vision for how a design might translate into physical databases and how to integrate disparate sources of data. Data architects work closely with users as well as developers to create plans.

Today, data architects need to be able to model and predict how changes in the way an organization acquires data could impact the way the organization uses that data, and map out the way data will flow through the various stages of a project.

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National Average Salary

Data architect salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Data Architect is:


Data Architect Job Descriptions

When it comes to recruiting a data architect, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.

Example 1

Data architects play a critical role in designing databases to organize data as well as allow authorized users to easily extract the information they need. They work closely with various departments in a company to troubleshoot technical issues, identify all sources of a company’s data, update the database regularly, and present data visually. In addition to coding skills, they also need advanced mathematical and statistical knowledge. [Your Company Name] is hiring an experienced data architect, with keen analytical skills and an eye for detail. If you have three to five years of experience, the ability to juggle multiple deadlines, and a passion for data, our company just might be the perfect fit for you.  

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Develop and implement comprehensive enterprise data strategies, including data modeling, implementation, and data management for enterprise data warehouses, and advanced data analytics systems
  • Responsible for planning and implementing data management for new data sources, publicly available data, business-to-business partnerships, and advanced data analytics systems all following the comprehensive enterprise data strategy
  • Gather requirements, gain business and IT alignment, perform vendor and product evaluations, mentor business and IT resources
  • Work with cross-functional teams to ensure end-to-end technical and business viability
  • Ensure the successful delivery of solutions, training and documentation
  • Provide leadership in establishing operational and analytic environments

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, MIS, or mathematics, as well as 10+ years of experience in information technology (IT).

10+ years of progressively responsible experience in a directly related area, demonstrating both professional and management capabilities, and extensive experience in collecting business requirements from customers and transforming those requirements into business solutions are strongly preferred.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Experience working with structured and unstructured data
  • Experience consuming/exposing data in various ways, including APIs, BI Tools, SQL
  • Ability to reverse engineer existing data flows and source-to-target mappings
  • In-depth knowledge of a wide range of established and emerging data technologies
  • Proven experience in implementation
  • Solid understanding of data architecture and data modeling techniques

Preferred qualifications

  • B.S. or equivalent in computer science or related field or a combination of technical skills and a database development background
  • 5+ years of experience designing and implementing data management solutions for a complex and integrated environment
  • 1+ years of CRM data management experience
  • Experience architecting data management solutions for the Salesforce platform and Microsoft SQL Server databases

Example 2

We are looking for a Data Architect who will play many important roles on our technology team. In this role, you will be responsible for integrating advertising platforms across clients and internal teams. We are looking for someone with excellent technical skills, a quick learner, and the ability to utilize tools and software to help our media, SEO, and analytics teams execute our marketing programs.

What you’ll do:

  • Collaborates with the analytics team to set up, maintain, and QA data feeds into our reporting dashboards
  • Helps troubleshoot data quality issues with the analytics team on an ongoing basis
  • Participates in client discussions regarding the implementation and/or integration of CRM data into their media platforms (ie SalesForce integration into Google Analytics or SA360)
  • Implements media pixels via tag management platforms on client’s website, via tagging SDR provided by the analytics team
  • Participates in client conversations to troubleshoot relevant tagging implementation issues on their sites
  • Provides data management support and consulting in support of ‘ad hoc’ client projects as needed

Who you are:

  • A builder | Entrepreneurial attitude coupled with strong business acumen. Ability and appetite to bring people together. Innate ability to marshal people and create gravity around ideas
  • Open and collaborative | Our team is close-knit and supportive and we’re working with a lot of unknowns – you must champion team environments that are comfortable and encouraging
  • Optimistic and resilient | Dig in and figure out how to work around problems. Takes care of self and team. Balance is needed to maintain stamina and positivity
  • Ego-less | We all wear the hats that need wearing, it’s a mentality that makes the team successful

What you’ll need:

  • SQL experience
  • Ability to participate in technical discussions
  • Strong communication, both verbal and written
  • Ability to adapt and maintain a positive and professional attitude under pressure and thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment
  • Ability to balance support of multiple clients at one time
  • Organized, with the ability to follow through on issues and pay close attention to detail
  • Google Tag Manager experience preferred, and/or experience with client-side JavaScript is a huge plus
  • Preferred proficiency with a cloud-relevant programming language (Node.js, Python, Go, Java, .NET, Ruby or PHP)

Example 3

We are looking for a passionate and seasoned leader and specialist to be responsible for Data Architect within client’s retail data and marketing landscape. The individual will own the task of designing and deploying product, consumer, and commerce services through standard access patterns. The candidate must be able to lead and guide engineering and integration teams on developing solutions that fully integrate and collaborate with existing IT systems to solve complex business solutions.

  • Minimum of 7 years of hands-on experience in software development and a minimum of 3 years supporting application and systems architecture
  • 5+ years of experience in data modeling (SQL) required
  • 4+ or more years of experience with Tableau or Power BI
  • 3+ years experience as a Data Architect

Required qualifications to be successful in this role

  • Experience in Big Data Architecture, Data warehousing, and Database design & Development
  • Information and Business Intelligence strategy engagement experience in banking domain
  • Solution architecture experience in translating business needs and vision into roadmap, project deliverables, and organization strategy
  • Experience in understanding Data & Process Modeling
  • Good to have programming skills in Big data ecosystem like Apache Hadoop, Hive, MapReduce, Oozie, Kafka, and Spark
  • Experience in Teradata/Oracle or any RDMS database environment
  • Programming experience in Python, Java, or Scala Preferred
  • Knowledge of data science, machine learning, and statistical modeling techniques
  • Understanding of analytical techniques including segmentation, cluster analysis, and regression
  • Excellent communication and thought leadership skill

Example 4

The ideal candidate will have excellent client management and technical skills, will be able to take the technical ownership of their projects, and has experience delivering large scale DW and analytics projects.

Key responsibilities

  • Work as part of a team, to design and develop cloud data solutions in Azure
  • Must haves: Azure portal, Data Factory, Data Lake, Power Apps, Dataverse, Power BI Datasets, etc.
  • Nice to haves: exposure to non-Azure technologies such as Dynamics 365 (CE, Projects), Sales Force, AWS, etc.
  • Proven ability to deliver high quality work on time and with minimal supervision
  • Skillful at listening, note taking, prioritizing and follow-ups while meeting customer expectations
  • Responsible for client interactions (presentations, video/audio calls, emails, chats), technical design, documentation, and implementation of BI solutions
  • Implement best practices for architectural design and data ingestions
  • Create Architecture diagrams, review it with the customer, and execute the design implementation upon approval
  • Strategic initiatives
  • Follows directions and priorities and takes responsibility for execution
  • Responsible for delivering internal strategic initiatives – including budget and resource planning, design, delivery, support roll off and status reporting
  • Achieves quarterly revenue goals

Required qualifications, experience & skills

  • Ability to manage ambiguity and solve undefined problems
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and customers at any given time, and being able to make the switch seamlessly
  • Knowledge of methodologies such as Kimble/Inmon is a must
  • Extensive experience with Data Architecture, Database Design including Data Quality and Master Data Management (MDM) tools, processes, and governance
  • Document business requirements and technical architecture/design while translating complex requirements and designs for development, testing, and implementation
  • Ability to travel up to 20%

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Associate Big Data Engineer (ABDE). Offered by the Data Science Council of America, the ABDE certificate is for candidates with an undergraduate degree in computer science who already have foundational coding skills. This credential is vendor-neutral and internationally recognized. To earn this certification, they’ll need to pass a 75-question exam online.
  • Google Professional Data Engineer. This certification is specific to Google cloud, and although there are no prerequisites, Google recommends at least three years working in the industry and at least one year designing on Google Cloud. The certification is earned after passing an exam that will take about two hours to complete.

Sample Interview Questions

  • Have you ever designed or implemented data architectures?
  • What is your approach to data modeling and database design?
  • What are your methods for ensuring the quality and integrity of your data?
  • What is your experience with big data technologies like Hadoop and Spark?
  • What are your methods for handling data migration and integration projects?
  • Do you have an example of a successful data architecture project you have led?
  • What do you do to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends?
  • How have you optimized your data architecture for performance and scalability?
  • What are the differences between a relational database and a NoSQL database, and when would you use each?
  • What is your experience with data governance, privacy, and security?

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