Understanding the role of the business intelligence analyst

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The need of a Business Intelligence Analyst is seeing a major rise in demand as more and more firms are embracing a data-driven approach to their corporate decision making. The age of cloud computing and analytics is causing firms to adapt by investing in business intelligence tools and technology to better able to translate numerical data into valuable business insights and revenue making opportunities. Last year, Chicago beat Silicon Valley in growth of tech jobs by more than 25 percent between 2010 and 2013, which also include business intelligence jobs.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of the role of the business intelligence analyst, what it involves, and some of the ways through which organizations can hire the best talent.

What is a Business Intelligence Analyst?

“As more and more information is generated, business models need reinvention, and it’s increasingly clear that mastering analytics on big data will be a key driver for the next economic cycle”

  • Dan Sommers, Gartner analyst

The role of the Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst is to be able to translate numerical data into practical business decisions. The demand for this role is growing considering that organizations are employing sophisticated data mining and analytics tools to cleanse and report their data. In fact, according to the 2014 Salary Guide of Robert Half Technology, the average salary of a business intelligence analyst, in the United States, was expected to grow by more than 7 percent to a figure over $140,000.

The BI Analyst should have strong reporting and analytical skills, as well as multiple years of experience in database queries, OLAP, and a degree in computer science, business management, or information systems.

What does the role involve?

The role of the BI analyst is to perform company-wide analysis and reporting of data and be able to critically examine and extract relevant data that can easily be translated into business opportunities and decisions. They aid business manager in facilitating their strategic decisions by making recommendations on the implications of data on the organization. They are required to ensure that the data they use is reliable and verified so that all business decisions are logically derived from highly accurate data.

More importantly, BI analysts will also use data cleansing, where they will spend time in determining and analyzing different trends and patterns to explore new business opportunities and ventures.

How organizations can secure the best Business Intelligence Analyst?

Considering the importance of having a BI analyst, organizations need to ensure that they secure the best talent to utilize big data analytics opportunities. Firstly, they need to give higher weight to BI analysts with a technical or business background. BI analysts with degrees of computer science, information systems, or business management are more likely to beneficial.

Secondly, they need to ensure that they have sufficient work experience, between 3 and 5 years as a minimum so that they can easily adjust themselves into different corporate environments. Thirdly, they need to give more importance to BI analysts who have specific BI and SQL knowledge, as well as familiarity with databases, OLAP, and data modeling.

More importantly, organizations should not concentrate on hiring BI analysts without giving due consideration to soft skills. Among these include strong communication, interpersonal skills, and presentation skills.

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Understanding the role of the business intelligence analyst
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The role of the Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst is to be able to translate numerical data into practical business decisions. The demand for this role is growing considering that organizations are employing sophisticated data mining and analytics tools to cleanse and report their data.
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