Data engineers are engineers that handle data transformation and storage activities for any applications, while data warehouse engineers handle data transformation and storage activities associated with building a data warehouse.
Data Warehousing Engineers
They are responsible to build the data warehouse applications to support business intelligence requirements of a company. There are several niche roles within the umbrella of data warehousing engineers:
- Data Architects to design the architecture for the data warehouse. They work along with other enterprise architects.
- Data modellers to design the data model for the data warehouse, such that it is optimised for querying data.
- Source system analysts to create data mappings from source system to data warehouse.
- ETL developers to build ETL interfaces to load data into the data warehouse.
- Business Intelligence developers to build reports and visualizations for business users.
Data Warehousing engineers are high profile engineers and generally work for very large global companies, they sit in the ivory tower headquarters of these companies or offshore development centers and use high end and expensive technologies like informatica, cognos, business objects, oracle, teradata etc.
The term “Data engineer” is relatively new, and has become popular recently due to the various new applications within the “big data analytics” area. Due to various advancements in technology and digital revolution, data is now being used for many other applications, apart from just business intelligence.
Various digital products are acquiring and using data for improving efficiency, transparency etc. and understanding customer behavior patterns.Smart cities are using data to become smarter. Data is being used for automation, artificial intelligence, and swarm intelligence.
Machines are generating data, internet is generating data and all sorts of data is now available via APIs.
Data is being used in ways that is mind boggling, in our day to day lives to make it easy, efficient and interesting. As data is becoming the primary ingredient of all these applications, data engineers are required to acquire, process and feed data to various applications.
Data engineers are required to acquire and process data real time and at scale. They are exposed to new challenges related to handling data, depending on the application that they support, like handling huge volumes of data, handling unstructured data, handling high velocity, machine generated, streaming data etc.
Data engineers generally work for innovative startups, research firms etc and use open source (and mostly free) technologies to build or enhance data driven products. They use cloud services to scale their applications.
However, large companies have slowly started to recognize the value data scientists and engineers are bringing to the table. It is widely speculated that there will be a huge demand for data engineers in the near future, far greater than that of the business intelligence engineers, and hence, data engineering is currently a very popular career choice.