What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “intelligence”? Chances are pretty high that you first think of government intelligence agencies around the world, gathering information every single day from people, places, and things to make sense of complex events around the world. In the business world too, there is also a need for a certain type of intelligence called business intelligence.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence has become a crucial asset to any modern organization. The term business intelligence broadly refers to the different strategies and technologies used by enterprises to provide actionable information to end-users to make informed business decisions.

Every business collects an enormous amount of data from its day-to-day business operations. These can come both from internal and external sources such as market surveys, sales volumes, company budgeting, etc. A Business Intelligence developer or BI developer is able to leverage software tools and transform these data to get useful insights from them which will heavily impact business decisions.

Some of the most beneficial features of business intelligence are the ability to recognize business growth opportunities, raise profit share, determine employee productivity, detect risks and threats, and reduce wastage and costs. 

According to a report by Zion Research, the global Business Intelligence market rose to $16.33 billion in 2015 and is set to reach $26.50 billion by 2021.

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What is a BI Developer?

The main role of a BI developer is to develop, deploy, and maintain BI tools and interfaces. They are also responsible for simplifying highly technical language and complex information into layman’s terms for everyone else in the company to understand.

When it comes to making important decisions in the organization, BI developers provide quantifiable solutions to complex problems instead of having organizations to merely rely on their gut instincts. As such, they must be able to understand and work with all kinds of data, including historical data stored in data warehouses as well as new data gathered from sources as soon as it is generated.

BI Developer Skills

From planning projects to developing software, BI developers have an array of job roles and responsibilities which require a broad set of skills. Since business intelligence is a purely technology-driven process, a BI developer needs to have some sort of technical knowledge or a considerable amount of work experience in similar fields and familiarity with databases. However, the roles and responsibilities of a BI developer can vary depending on the project.


Source: AltexSoft

The most sought-after skills of a BI developer include:

  • Experience with BI tools
  • DB/DBA background
  • Data analysis background
  • Business analysis skills
  • Debugging/troubleshooting

While most of these skills are tech-related, a BI developer also needs to have strong communication skills in order to describe complex technical information to the non-BI developers in the company. Therefore, being able to communicate clearly and effectively is also an extremely required skill in this field.

BI Developer as a Career

A BI developer’s main focus in the company is to solve problems. They need to continuously plan and research all possible solutions for any existing problems as well as future problems that occur within the organization. Furthermore, they are responsible for building online analytical processes (OLAP) using relational and multidimensional databases.

Also Read: OLTP Vs OLAP: Top 15 Differences That Every Data Professional Should Know

The most common duties of a BI developer are:

  • Provide BI reports and tools
  • Perform SQL queries - design, code, test, and aggregate the results to create useful information
  • Write technical documents on database content
  • Map various databases used in the organization
  • Develop, design, and analyze data architecture and data warehouses

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BI Developer Salary

The average salary for a BI developer in the United States is $84,430 per year or $41 per hour. Those at the top 10 percent make over $104,000 per year and those at the bottom 10 percent make under $67,000 a year.

What is BI Developer Tools?

Business Intelligence tools are types of application software that provides powerful data analysis capabilities to support businesses in understanding major trends in their data. They can process large amounts of structured and unstructured for analysis so that a BI developer can prepare dashboards, create reports and data visualizations from them.

BI tools usually incorporate some sort of advanced analytics such as data mining, big data analytics, predictive analytics, and statistical analysis. Modern tools include flexible back-ends and simple UI interfaces. This allows people to use them fairly easily instead of having only highly specialized data architects to read them.

All BI tools ultimately help businesses to make strategic decisions. There is a long list of BI tools out there in the market today, but some of the most ones are Tableau, SAP Business Intelligence, Microsoft Power BI, Zoho Analytics.

Looking forward to your next job role as a business analyst? Check out our Post Graduate Program in Business Analysis. Click to view program details. 


If you are planning to venture into the Business Intelligence career space, Simplilearn’s Power BI Certification Course will provide you with the necessary exposure to the fundamental knowledge, processes, and technologies essential to any BI project. We also provide an in-depth Data Analyst Course in collaboration with IBM where you can learn analytics tools and techniques, how to work with SQL databases, the languages of R and Python, how to create data visualizations, and how to apply statistics and predictive analytics in a business environment.

About the Author

Nikita DuggalNikita Duggal

Nikita Duggal is a passionate digital marketer with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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