What is a Business Intelligence(BI) Analyst and What Does a BI Anlyst Do? Options

ncdit Posts: 189 Points: 1098
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 11:24:02 PM

A business intelligence (BI analyst) is a professional role where the individual is responsible for analyzing data that is used by a business or organization. Data used in BI generally supports decision-making. The BI analyst works with this kind of data to maximize its utility.

As companies become more and more sophisticated in how they use data to make business decisions, there will continue to be a sharp increase in demand for resources who know how to manage and interpret increasingly large data sets. Virtually every company can benefit from having a skilled BI person/team analyze any measure of data: from sales/marketing initiatives to customer retention to manufacturing processes. Simply put, a modern business is blind without having the capacity to fully understand the numbers behind their business operations.

BI analyst work closely with clients and IT teams to turn data into critical information and knowledge that can be used to make sound business decisions. It is essential that BI Analysts build an understanding of the business at a level of detail that enables them to identify and address critical issues. They provide data that is accurate, congruent and reliable, and ensure the information is easily available to users for direct consumption or integration with other systems.


ncdit Posts: 189 Points: 1098
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 11:30:14 PM

Essential Skill Sets for BI Analyst

For the technical skill sets, it may be critical to have experience in:

  • Relational databases – The limits of working with the table schema of the database developer make understanding relational databases important.
  • SQL – While less frequently used, this specialized language for updating, deleting, and requesting information from databases can facilitate the solving of more complex problems.
  • Basic programming skills – Due to the underlying scripting language in reporting software, a basic foundation in programming is needed.
  • Reporting software familiarity – Business intelligence (BI) professionals should have a general understanding of the underlying theory and application of key reporting software on the market.
  • Analysis skills – In business intelligence, analytics is a subset involving statistics, prediction and optimization – a means to business knowledge discovery. It can involve anything from data mining to predictive modeling to prescriptive analytics.

In addition to technical skills, business intelligence professionals should build their soft skill sets, or skills that allow them to lead not only the business but also people using the insights uncovered:

  • Macro-perspective – Adopting a different perspective or mindset – broader and more team-oriented with an eye to impact on the enterprise – is also critical to success in the business intelligence space.
  • Communication skills – The organization’s business intelligence teams should place the strongest communicators at the forefront of every project and leaders should consider special training for their teams to ensure the basics are grasped.
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