Database Administrators: It’s All in a Day’s Work

How safe is my credit card information online? Can customer service employees access my flight information 24 hours a day? How accurate is the information being presented in the database? How meaningful is it?

These are just a few of the questions that might come across the desks of database administrators (DBAs). For this reason, database administration plays a critical role in an organization, said Craig Thorsted, MBA, CISA, who serves as a course mentor for Western Governors University in Utah.

“In some cases, if a database goes down for a large organization like an airline, they could be losing $100,000 an hour for that information not being available,” said Thorsted, who himself has more than 14 years’ experience as a DBA.

Without a doubt, the life of a DBA is never boring.

Path to DBA

Thorsted first became interested in database work when he was in the U.S. military. He helped with the initial development of a network called MILNET (Military Network), which essentially laid the groundwork for what we now know as the Internet. As exciting as his involvement in this project was, Thorsted saw much room for improvement — a realization that fueled his passion for the work.

For example, when working for Tooele Army Depot, which maintains massive stores of ammunition and parts, Thorsted said he recognized the mainframe computer was highly inefficient.

“There was no real-time processing involved. And there was no ability to relate things,” he said, explaining that all the data was…


Meagan Polakowski

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