A data architect designs systems for business users to ensure that they get access to the enterprise data as they need it.
The role of a data architect is a very senior role. The data architects needs to have a combination of these skills:
Data architects need to understand how to leverage data to extract business value. They should have good knowledge of the industry, competition, trends and markets, so that they can design systems that are useful for the business. Data architects know how to make data available to business so that they can increase their footprint, acquire more customers, improve products and services, reduce costs and risks etc.
A data architect should have a good understanding of enterprise data strategies and associated technical solutions. They should be aware of various trends within the data engineering and data science space. They should be conversant with various technologies and tools available to build data driven solutions, their functionalities, advantages, costs etc.
There are conflicting opinions on whether data architects should be hands on or not. While many companies prefer them to be hands-on with various technologies, others want them to focus on business results.
Data architects should build solutions that can be easily adopted by business users, and hence a design thinking approach is necessary. The solutions should be designed such that they are easy to use.
Data should be easily available to the right users, and data elements should be well defined so that they are correctly interpreted. Data quality and integrity should be managed by various design techniques.
Stakeholder management skills
A data architect should be good at managing the perceptions of various stakeholders.
They should be able to convince the business users on how the proposed solutions are going to help them achieve business goals, and how the proposed solution is better than the other available options at their disposal.
They should be able to convince the management that they are on the right path to build the strategic competencies and frameworks required to become data driven.
They should be able to help the technical teams to understand the need to comply with the architectural guidelines by explaining the bigger picture to them.