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Who is a Business Intelligence Analyst and How to Become One?

Who is a Business Intelligence Analyst and How to Become One?

Many industries have come to the realization that data is the new fuel that can power growth. BI analysts are fully equipped to drive organizational effectiveness by searching for insights hidden in data.

BI analysts help organizations put the data they collect to use in order to increase efficiency and maximize profits. Using data analytics, data visualization, and data modeling techniques and technologies, BI analysts identify trends that can help organizations make business well-informed decisions to improve the organizational processes.

Watch this video on what is business intelligence. Designed especially for beginners:

What is a Business Intelligence Analyst?

BI analysts are professionals who help organizations use already collected data for organizational efficiency. BI analysts play an important part in making data useful for organizations.

BI analysts possess skills in both business and information technology domains. They have a firm grasp on each. A BI analyst evaluates their organization’s data along with competitor and industry data, in order to discover different ways to improve the organization’s business position.

A BI analyst also examines an organization’s systems, procedures, and functions, and finds areas in which the organization can increase its profit margins and effectiveness. BI analysts are also a part of the discussion on ways in which a company can develop new policies regarding data collection and data analysis. They are experts in data mining, analyzing data, and suggesting growth strategies for an organization.

When BI analyst makes recommendations for technological advancements in an organization, they are often needed to lead seminars for employees to examine the new systems.

Now, let us take a look at why you should choose BI as a career.

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What Does a Business Intelligence Analyst Do?

You must be wondering what does a BI analyst do; to answer that, let us take a look at the responsibilities of a BI analyst:

  • BI analysts review and validate customer data when it is collected. They also supervise the deployment of data to the data warehouse.
  • BI analysts are involved in the development of policies and procedures for the collection and analysis of data.
  • BI analysts create or discover new data procurement and processing programs.
  • BI analysts are required to cooperate with the IT department to deploy software and hardware upgrades to leverage big data use cases.
  • BI analysts monitor analytics and metrics results and implement new data analysis methodologies.
  • BI analysts ensure the integrity of data collection and utilization by reviewing customer files and performing data profiling to understand anomalies.

Check out the blog on Business Intelligence vs Data Analytics.

Business Intelligence Analyst Salary

As per PayScale, the average salary of a BI analyst in India is ₹592,422 p.a. However, this can be affected by various factors including experience, location, and organization. Now, let us take a look at these factors one by one.

BI Analyst Salary by Experience

The following table will show the salary range of BI analysts based on experience:

ExperienceSalary Range
Early Career (1–4 years of experience)₹544,972
Mid-career (5–9 years of experience)₹824,227
Experienced (10+ years of experience)₹1,328,895

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Business Intelligence Analyst Salary by Location

Now, let us take a look at the salary range of BI analysts based on location.

BI analysts in Chennai earn an average of 18.1 percent more than the national average. BI analysts also find higher than average salaries in New Delhi and Bangalore with 13.5 percent more and six percent more respectively. The lowest salaries can be found in Mumbai, Pune, and Hyderabad with nine percent, 1.5 percent, and 0.5 percent less than the national average.

Business Intelligence Analyst Salary by Organization

The salary offered to a BI analyst differs from organization to organization. In India, a BI analyst in:

  • Tata Consultancy Services has an average salary of ₹450,000 p.a.
  • Amazon has an average salary of ₹1,300,000 p.a.
  • Genpact has an average salary of ₹427,993 p.a.
  • eClinicalWorks has an average salary of ₹450,000 p.a.
Become a Business Intelligence Architect

How to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst?

The following steps are essential to establishing a successful career as a BI analyst:

  • Step 1: Get an Undergraduate Degree

An undergraduate degree in computer science, data science, engineering, economics, information systems, business administration, or a related field can help gain insights into organizational operations and business processes.

Having a good understanding of data before entering the profession is a must. Classes in database design, data mining, data architecture, data visualization, etc., are helpful to enter this domain. Strong skills in Excel and SQL before graduating are also preferred.

  • Step 2: Get Certified

The best professional certification to get certified as a BI analyst is the Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate. This certification will prove your skills in designing and implementing SQL and being able to deliver data-based solutions. The exam curriculum includes implementing a data warehouse and data models, querying and administering SQL databases, designing business solutions, etc. 

The TDWI Certified Business Intelligence Professional is another certification that aspirants can choose to sign up for to earn a practitioner- or mastery-level certification. At least two years of relevant work experience are required to apply for this exam.

Certification in specific computer languages, such as SAS, is also useful.

  • Step 3: Complete an Internship and Gain Entry-level Work Experience

The best way to get started as a BI analyst is by trying to acquire some experience before entering a full-time job. What better way to get that entry-level experience than an internship, unless, of course, that experience is supplemented with a higher qualification such as a master’s degree in business administration, which may suffice for some employers.

An internship in the financial industry is a good start as it will give you many opportunities to learn about the inner operations of a business. 

After graduation, you can also consider taking up a job as a data analyst, business analyst, or data report writer. You can also opt for any job that gives the opportunity to model and analyze data, query SQL, and define and manage the scope of projects.

Any of the above-mentioned experiences can help with effective networking in the industry and acquiring a good understanding of the end-to-end processes of the kind of projects that a BI analyst is required to handle on a regular basis.

  • Step 4: Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

A BI analyst is not an entry-level role, even though one may, sometimes, find that an MBA can substitute for some years of hands-on experience in the eyes of certain employers.

After developing the required skills, gaining work experience, and getting certified professionally, one can apply for the position of BI analyst.

Aspiring BI analysts will require an average of about four or five years of work experience. Sometimes, roles may also require up to eight years of work experience. At times, one or two years of supervisory experience within an organization may be required when BI analysts are up for the role of project managers and may have hiring responsibilities.

  • Step 5: Pursue an Advanced Degree

Although a master’s degree is generally not required if a candidate has sufficient work experience and the required professional certifications, an MBA is preferred for the role of a BI analyst. A candidate can also apply for the position of a BI analyst if they have a master’s in IT or a specific industry that they want to specialize in. 

Skills Required to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

There are a number of skills that are required to successfully become a BI analyst. Some of them have been discussed below:

Expert Knowledge of Data Analytics

It is important that one has an in-depth knowledge of data analytics as most of the tasks to be performed will involve dealing with data. The four main skills are data warehouse, data modeling, data visualization, and data mining.

Technical Knowledge

Along with the above-mentioned skills, one must also have technical expertise such as:

  • Excellent skills in technical languages such as Python and C#
  • Sound knowledge in:
    • Hadoop
    • SQL
    • Database management
    • Reporting

Business Intelligence Tools

To become a BI analyst, one is required to have:

  • Good communication skills as the job profile require one to have communication with team members, project leaders, organization heads, etc. One must be skilled enough to communicate their solutions in a simple yet effective manner.
  • Experience with various visualization tools, to convey one’s findings, such as:
    • QlikView
    • Tableau
    • Power BI
  • Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

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Why Should You Choose Business Intelligence as a Career?

The following are some of the most important reasons for choosing BI as a career domain:

  • Endless Career Options

BI professionals are required for decision-making at all organizational levels. They are experts in identifying patterns and revealing trends, available opportunities, problems, solutions, etc. Some of the different BI job roles include BI analyst, BI developer, BI project manager, and BI engineer.

  • Minimum Technical Knowledge

The skill set used for BI is not based on a high level of technical knowledge. The skills learned throughout your high school and college years are adequate to start a career in BI; no prior background in IT is required. Some of the skills that are required for starting a career in BI are communication skills, analytical thinking, problem-solving, team-building skills, etc.

  • Job Security

Not many know that a career in BI is a very secure one. Organizations are expanding using data, and hence, are becoming more complex. BI professionals are required at every level and in all types of organizations globally. BI finds relevance in every industry. These factors drive the growth of this domain, which culminates in boosted job security for BI professionals.

  • Decent Remunerations

BI professionals, on average, earn US$70,000 p.a. to US$90,000 p.a.; these figures increase with experience. As discussed earlier, you can explore multiple career options in the domain, which also increases the remuneration.

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Start Your Career as a Business Intelligence Analyst

In this blog, you have read in detail about who BI analysts are and what their responsibilities are. To pursue a career in this domain, you must sign up for Intellipaat’s Online Course for Business Intelligence today. This course will help you start from scratch and become an expert in the domain within a few months.

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About the Author

Data Analyst & Machine Learning Associate

As a Data Analyst & Machine Learning Associate, Nishtha uses a combination of her analytical skills and machine learning knowledge to interpret complicated datasets. She is a passionate storyteller who transforms crucial findings into gripping tales that further influence data-driven decision-making in the business frontier.