If you’re familiar with stock trading, you know why historical data is crucial before traders can decide whether to enter a buying or selling position in the stock market. Business intelligence (BI) is leveraged similarly in the world of business.
In simpler terms, BI refers to the technologies and strategies used by corporations to analyze business information. However, entrepreneurs can’t utilize BI without the people who analyze data. That’s where business intelligence jobs come in.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that business intelligence became common, so there still might be people who don’t know what it is. As a result, there’s limited information about related jobs on the internet.
Therefore, we’ve put together this article to share useful information about BI careers and opportunities.
What Do Business Intelligence Careers Entail?
BI professionals integrate data warehouses, cloud data services, discovery tools, dashboards, and ad hoc reporting. Entrepreneurs need these BI solutions to see the bigger picture in their business.
By doing so, they can get insights into the next best move for their business. It’s through this process that entrepreneurs can make better decisions. Harnessing the power of BI technologies isn’t possible without the help of BI professionals.
People with different business intelligence job titles and roles within the same workplace work together to derive better insights from data sets to help businesses reach their goals. This process summarizes what business intelligence is all about.
Business Intelligence Job Description
To give an overview, here are the everyday tasks of BI experts with a short description for each.
- Data mining: Discovering industry trends by extracting information from databases, statistics, and machine learning.
- Reporting: Showing and explaining compiled data analysis to stakeholders.
- Performance metrics and benchmark: Using dashboards to compare current performance stats and data against previous records.
- Descriptive analytics: Using initial data analysis to determine the root cause of issues, a crucial part of any career in business intelligence.
- Query: Asking data-related questions and drawing the answers from stored data.
- Statistical analysis: Using the descriptive analytics outcome and performing in-depth research on the subject using statistics.
- Data visualization: Transforming data analysis into charts, histograms, graphs, or any visual material so that data becomes digestible.
- Visual analysis: Analyzing and understanding data to get shareable insights
- Data preparation: Arranging all data sources and preparing them for data analysis
In a nutshell, BI professionals research, collect, analyze, and report important data. The data, which can be translated into insights, can help marketers and business owners reach their goals.
Types of Business Intelligence Jobs
Now that you’re familiar with the concept of business intelligence and its use let’s get down to the most exciting jobs you can find in this field and what each role entails.
Business Intelligence Analyst Jobs
You can’t leverage the gathered data and turn it into a powerful insight if you can’t analyze it. That’s why BI analysts are necessary. BI analysts mainly do two things—collect data in several databases or a centralized data warehouse and analyze and handle the data modeling design from the collected data.
The scope of the business intelligence analyst job description is broad. The tasks analysts perform in between collecting and analyzing data include checking, reviewing, and validating information accuracy.
Additionally, they create programs for acquiring new data, tracking metrics and analytics findings, and collaborating with IT departments to run upgrades. Business intelligence analysts jobs can be challenging.
At the same time, they can be the ideal positions for people who have programming skills, an excellent understanding of statistics, and knowledge of various software frameworks.
Business Intelligence Developer Jobs
To ensure data accuracy, companies need professionals to oversee BI interfaces. This is the job of BI developers. They develop, deploy, and manage BI interfaces. To this end, they use query and data modeling tools, data visualization, and interactive dashboards.
The typical tasks of any business intelligence jobs in the USA include setting up business requirements, recording data in meta-data storage and data warehouses, curating reports, and creating data models.
The BI developer role involves engineering, strategic planning, and responsibility management. Sometimes, BI developers also function as both project leaders and executors in other organizations.
Business Intelligence Engineer Jobs
BI engineers work closely with both customers and BI analysts to transform data into valuable business insights. Their primary duty is to support critical business processes.
Also, they help business owners get access to data that supports the decision-making process. The business intelligence engineer job description revolves around management, integration, design, and implementation tasks.
A business intelligence engineer’s essential duties include managing data warehouses, supporting systems integrations, designing solutions, and ongoing communication with the development teams.
Business Intelligence Manager Jobs
BI managers analyze market tactics by studying relevant products, share trends, and markets. This is how they find opportunities, which they then translate into actionable recommendations.
Aside from identifying opportunities, they also assist stakeholders, senior management, and business partners with their needs. Part of the business intelligence manager job description is the straightforward process of analyzing data.
Typically, BI managers first gather customer information. Then, they identify the customer’s life cycle and develop viable reporting methodologies before analyzing the data in the end.
BI is implemented everywhere; in the technology, healthcare, and finance industries, among others. Therefore, people who hold business intelligence positions work in varying environments.
But no matter what industry they operate in, dealing with data is their primary duty. So most of the time, BI professionals work on a computer.
Also, business intelligence careers require collective actions, which means that BI professionals must feel comfortable working in a team environment or collaborating with colleagues. Meetings, presentations, and reporting can happen regularly.
Illnesses and Injuries
Exposure to screens for several hours can strain the eyes. Therefore, BI professionals may experience eye discomforts, such as dry eyes. Also, sitting on a desk for long periods can lead to back or neck pain.
Jobs in business intelligence are among those desk jobs that can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. So, it’s crucial for people in these jobs to maintain a life-work balance.
To ensure that updates on dashboards, databases, systems and other BI tools are performed in real-time, most BI professionals work for 40 hours per week, following a set of schedules and routines.
Some companies hire people for part time business intelligence jobs. These might be companies that only need a simple task, such as updating software or analyzing small amounts of data.
Besides those who work in-office, companies may also hire people for remote business intelligence jobs. These remote positions are quite hard to find, but if you manage to land one of them, you’ll be able to work on your own schedule.
How to Get a Business Intelligence Job?
First, you need to learn the foundation skills necessary by taking a relevant Bachelor’s degree. After that, you can complete an internship program to hone your BI analytical skills.
When your internship is over, you can start applying for jobs. If you follow this route, you have better opportunities to get hired for entry level business intelligence jobs than other candidates.
If getting a degree isn’t possible for you, another equally essential qualification is getting certified for business intelligence. But remember that, before getting a certification exam, you need to understand programming and possess other required skills.
This is achievable through self-studying or other means. Once you’re certified, you can start looking for companies that have relaxed job requirements.
Evaluating large amounts of data and reporting are two of the most critical tasks in all BI jobs. Therefore, skills that revolve around these responsibilities are necessary for future BI professionals.
After analyzing the data, BI analysts need to share the insights they derived with their colleagues and clients. Thus, strong communication skills are crucial to convey accurate analysis.
Using business tools, like Tableau and R, is part of any BI professional’s everyday tasks. So proficiency on these is a must, especially for business intelligence jobs at entry level.
Other technical expertise, such as data mining and security, data design, and database architecture, is also necessary if you want to be efficient in this line of work.
Online BI jobs in the USA emphasize the importance of programming skills. A considerable part of the tasks is creating scripts that automate locating and configuring files in a dataset using Python, SQL, or other languages.
Resolving issues in stored data, like fixing unstructured data or complex data formats, is critical. The skill to solve problems for companies that rely heavily on data to run their business is irreplaceable.
In every business intelligence jobs description, the ability to immerse in a team environment is always enumerated. The only way to implement the best systems at work is to reach out and team up with other BI professionals within the organization.
Generally, the minimum education requirement for business intelligence and analytics jobs is a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in business administration, statistics, computer science, or related fields.
Some companies may hire candidates without a degree. These employers look for candidates that have technical or data and analytics experience for many years, instead. The experience requirement varies per company.
Some organizations require at least eight years of practical experience for candidates who don’t have a degree. Many senior BI analysts start an entry level business intelligence analyst career path before being promoted.
Similarly, if you’re looking to pursue a long-term BI career, taking a Master’s degree is beneficial for better job opportunities in any company.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Getting certified for your skills can significantly boost your chances of getting a business intelligence job. Here are some of the best BI certifications:
1. Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP)
Organization: Transforming Data With Intelligence (TDWI)
2. IBM Certified Designer: IBM Cognos Analytics Author V11
3. MCSA: BI Reporting
4. MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development
5. MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
6. Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist
7. QlikView Business Intelligence Analyst
8. QlikView Data Architect
9. SAP Certified Application Associate: Business Intelligence with SAP BW 7.4 & SAP BI 4.1
10. SAS Certified BI Content Developer for SAS 9
11. Tableau Desktop Certified Professional
12. Tableau Server Certified Professional
People who pursue a BI career advance to the highest paying business intelligence jobs through a promotion. Although promotion requirements are distinct in every organization, in most situations, BI analysts who’ve been with the same company for many years eventually get promoted to senior or managerial roles.
The business intelligence career path of any BI professional can take various forms. Sometimes, this career path leads to being promoted to a BI consultant, a BI project manager, or, most commonly of all, a senior business intelligence analyst.
However, it’s worth noting that the way in which your career advances in this industry is a combination of various different factors, such as your education, abilities, and performance at work.
Business Intelligence Jobs Salary
BI professionals with more responsibilities, such as BI project managers and architects, receive higher compensations, while people in entry-level positions are paid within the state’s regulated salary range.
In a summary report by the Occupational Information Network, the median wage for BI analysts was $88,550 in 2019. Like other jobs, the final salary a BI analyst receives depends on location, certifications, education, skills, and job experience.
Business Intelligence Career Outlook
BI-related jobs are projected to grow by 7% to 10% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average job growth. This is driven by the reliance of many businesses on actual data and analysis.
Through the obtained analysis, entrepreneurs can perceive the future condition of the business to make decisions based on that insight. Due to the current flexible workplaces trend, we’ll also see an increase in business intelligence jobs remote positions.
The limited number of local BI professionals will force companies to hire people outside of the US to manage large databases.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start a career in business intelligence?
The first step is to get a Bachelor’s degree. This can either be in computer science, information systems, business, or a related field.
Then you can follow this easy blueprint:
1. Apply for any business intelligence intern positions to get experience.
2. Get certified to prove your knowledge and skills.
3. Start applying for entry-level job positions, like BI analyst jobs.
4. Get a Master’s degree to pursue more significant roles in the future.
Getting a Master’s degree or higher will propel your business intelligence career. It will prepare you for leadership roles and give you the skills to take on more significant projects in the future.
What skills are needed for business intelligence?
Different job positions require different skills. Overall, technical skills are the focus of all BI-related jobs. Candidates need to have prior knowledge of databases, integration, automation, and programming languages.
Other equally important skills for careers in business intelligence are analytical skills, communication, and problem-solving skills.
Is business intelligence hard?
Jobs in this industry require technical skills, such as programming and familiarity with databases. The good thing is anyone can learn these at school or by self-studying. Technical skills are the foundation skills for business intelligence jobs.
To sum up, business intelligence is not easy for people who apply for BI positions with zero knowledge of databases and other BI-related subjects.
Is business intelligence a good career?
BI jobs can be lucrative if you decide to pursue higher roles that offer higher pay. Moreover, anyone can build a promising career out of BI, given that data will eventually be a business trend, and the business intelligence job market is stable.
It’s even a better job option if your interest lies in data analysis, problem-solving, reporting methodology development, and extensive databases management.
How to get into business intelligence?
The first step is to learn the basics of data analysis. The best way to achieve this is to pursue a degree in computer science, information systems, or similar fields. Finishing an internship program also helps.
Another way is to get a relevant certificate. There’s no assurance, but you might find companies with qualifications lenient enough to consider you for entry-level business intelligence jobs if you have a certification.