All through my academic and professional IT career, I have always chosen to stay on the OLTP side. I used to think processing transactions is the real job, and analyzing the data is just a check point of how the job is done. Now I started to look at this relationship from the opposite angle: data analyzing is for decision making which determines how transactions should be processed.
I immediately rushed to the job posting sites and searched all the .NET and SQL server jobs, and I found that .NET programming jobs have a much bigger salary range with the lower end much lower than a SQL server jobs. I think it’s a little unfair because .NET programming is more difficult than data programming, but at entry level, data beats processing. Fortunately I found that the salary base are pretty close at architect level for both areas, although I believe a system architect requires a much larger knowledge base than a data architect.
I definitely need to bring my OLAP skills to the same level as I do OLTP.
For those of you who doesn’t know what OLTP and OLAP is, they are two different IT systems. OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) refers to a class of systems that facilitate and manage transaction-oriented applications, typically for data entry and retrieval transaction processing. OLAP (Online analytical processing) is an approach to quickly answer multi-dimensional analytical queries. I like the following simple comparison of the two systems.