Who Is a Business Intelligence Analyst and How To Become One?

The proliferation of IoT-connected devices, IoT-based sensors, ever-increasing internet users, and a sharp rise in social media engagements are all boosting opportunities for businesses to capture massive amounts of data.

Many industry analysts see data as the 'new oil' that drives organizational efficiency in today's information age, optimizes performance, profitability, and experiences.

However, having a vast amount of data is useless if businesses cannot analyze it to extract actionable insights that enable data-driven, informed decision-making.

The emerging need to leverage data for accomplishing organizational goals is bringing Business Intelligence (BI) in the spotlight.

BI includes the operation and management of data processing tools and systems, such as data visualization tools, data modeling tools, decision-support systems, database management systems, and data warehousing systems.

In recent years, Business Intelligence is witnessing the widespread adoption in diverse sectors for its capability to facilitate intelligent decision-making, which accelerates process enhancements, improves productivity, and boosts the end-user experience.

Because of BI’s increased popularity, the demand for business intelligence professionals is also on the rise, as demonstrated in studies by the global research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc., and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While Gartner, Inc. forecasts that the business intelligence market will reach $22.8 billion by the end of 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that BI analysts' demand will grow by 21 percent between 2014 and 2024.

With business intelligence analyst roles gaining heightened prominence, the demand is outpacing the supply of talent, and organizations worldwide are facing a severe shortage of skilled BI analysts.

Unfortunately, not the best-case scenario for companies, but the acute talent gap broadens the career opportunities for individuals seeking to enter the exciting field of Business Intelligence. This document provides you with the information you need to start a successful career as a business intelligence analyst.

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What is a Business Intelligence Analyst?

A business intelligence analyst is an individual proficient in computer programming languages, BI tools, technologies, and systems.

BI analysts determine business-critical priorities and requirements, define KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), implement DW (Data Warehouse) strategies, and identify BI (Business Intelligence) by mining Big Data using advanced software and tools.

A business intelligence analyst's primary goal is to empower decision-makers with accurate, real-time, actionable insights that enhance workforce efficiency, increase productivity, strengthen market positioning, improve the competitive edge, and augment customer experience.

What Does a Business Intelligence Analyst Do?

Using data modeling, data analysis, and data visualization techniques, a business intelligence analyst unearths trends and patterns in data, enabling managers, executives, and departments to make intelligent business decisions.

Besides taking care of data analysis, data modeling designs, organizational databases, and data warehouses, other day-to-day activities of a business intelligence analyst involve interacting and collaborating with all stakeholders, giving presentations on key performance metrics, and writing reports to share knowledge gained from data.

The business intelligence analyst job description includes:

  • Mining and analyzing organizational data, including financial, employment, expenditure, and revenue reports
  • Compiling data about reported problems and recommending solutions that increase the efficiency of processes and performance of systems
  • Performing cost-benefit analysis on projects aimed to optimize the performance of the organization
  • Collaborating with management and coworkers to enforce improvements
  • Assessing the efficacy of adopted strategies
  • Engaging with teams to determine resources, personnel, equipment, and facilities needed
  • Consulting with relevant stakeholders and management to map strategic goals
  • Conducting interactive presentations and preparing reports for effective communication of data to a diverse audience
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Business Intelligence Analyst Salary

Ranked by American business magazine Forbes as one of the hottest jobs in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field, a business intelligence analyst can expect lucrative salaries because of the strong demand in varied industries, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, technology, and e-commerce.

According to PayScale data, a business intelligence analyst salary in the United States ranges between $48,701 and $93,243 per year, with a mean of $66,645/year.

In the United Kingdom, a business intelligence analyst earns between £35,000 and £45,000 per year, depending on the organization’s size, location, and experience level.

A business intelligence analyst in India with 1 year or less experience gets an average compensation of ₹357,394/year. The average pay package of BI professionals with one to four years of experience is ₹510,457/year, while mid-level and senior-level business intelligence analysts draw an average salary of ₹817,958/year and ₹1,179,162/year.

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How to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

Individuals who intend to pursue a career as a business intelligence analyst will require a wide range of skills, including soft skills, analytical skills, and technical skills.

Popular business intelligence analyst skills include:

  • Knowledge of data collection protocol and software
  • Expertise in integrating programs and software into data services
  • Familiarity with data mining tools, data modeling concepts, and data warehouse architecture
  • Proficiency in SQL, Python, R, C#, Tableau, and Hadoop
  • Experience in database management and business administration
  • Excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking capabilities
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Good understanding of privacy and data protection laws

Although a 4-year degree in computer science, business administration, or statistics can help you secure a job, leading employers place little emphasis on long-term academic degrees.

Instead, top organizations, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and many others, are looking for candidates with certification from industry-recognized institutions, such as Simplilearn, to fill in talent gaps quickly.

With 60+ live instructor-led online classes on data analysis, statistics, Agile Scrum methodologies, and data visualization, hands-on industry training, and access to 14+ real-world projects, Simplilearn’s Business Analyst Certification Course, in association with the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®), will ensure that you are equipped with the most in-demand tools and techniques to advance your BI career. Enroll now in Simplilearn’s JobAssist program.  

About the Author

SimplilearnSimplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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