The business intelligence analyst (BI analyst) gathers data from an organization’s database or from other sources to help the organization. Business intelligence analysts compare competitor data and market trends data to enable process improvements through analytics, modeling, visualization and database management techniques. They also collaborate with the company’s executives to find potential solutions.
This guide will help you better understand what becoming a business intelligence analyst entails and how to prepare your resume. If you feel you’re a good fit for this type of career, let’s take a closer look at the following resume formats, one of which you will choose to create your resume.
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Job duties of a business intelligence analyst
The essential job duties of a business intelligence analyst are:
Using data mining and the organization’s resources to collect and organize data.
Analyzing and validating data.
Supervising deployment to the data warehouse.
Examining market trends.
Devising better methods and models for enhanced data procurement.
Producing reports based on current and previous market trends.
Synchronizing with the Information Technology department to develop new data models and implement software upgrades.
Constructing and maintaining design documentation, descriptions and user manuals.
Executing new and improved data analysis and business process techniques.
Implementing metrics optimization to produce better results.
Communicating task requirements to other employees with clarity.
Collaborating with managers and executives of other departments.
Business intelligence analyst median salary
According to PayScale, an American compensation software that provides employee wages data, the median annual salary of a business intelligence analyst in the United States, as of September 2021, is $69,755. There may be variations in compensation based on the employee’s experience and performance.
Top skills for business intelligence analysts
A business intelligence analyst is responsible for enhancing a company’s business intelligence system to improve their decision-making by providing quantitative and qualitative data analysis and reporting. To do this, you’ll be designing and defining a unified data structure and developing the overall architecture of aggregating data and metrics to support the organizational goals. This role requires you to be analytical and an excellent communicator with business acumen and problem-solving aptitude. Now, let’s look at the rest of the top skills.
- Interpersonal skills Apart from analyzing data, one of the primary responsibilities of a business intelligence analyst is to collaborate with teams to integrate systems. For this, you will need strong interpersonal skills to lead, facilitate and support cross functional team projects across the entire organization. However, in some companies, you won’t just be collaborating, as you’ll also train peers and work teams on multiple application functions, technical skills, or subject matter expertise. Honing your people skills is not just recommended; it’s a must for getting the job.
- Exceptional analytical skills You must possess a creative yet analytical mind with a problem-solving aptitude to analyze data, translate it into informative visuals and reports, identify trends and develop sound recommendations. After all, it’ll be your job to identify opportunities to improve and streamline processes and strategies with tech solutions and connect the dots across functional lines. A business intelligence analyst produces clear and actionable reports that identify key performance indicators, areas of opportunity and risk, root cause sources and business impact.
- Advanced communication and technical skills Excellent verbal and written communication skills go hand in hand with interpersonal and analytical skills. You must demonstrate an ability to communicate observations and actions from the data with visualization applications (i.e., Domo, Tableau, etc.), deliver clear written reports, presentations and graphically present complex data to key stakeholders. As a business intelligence analyst, you’ll also master specific software to build your reports and analyses, such as SQL, MicroStrategy, Microsoft Excel, Tableau and Python.
- Data analysis You serve as a subject matter expert for data analysis methods and tools, as well as data visualization best practices. To successfully do this, you must have a firm grasp of statistical concepts and experience putting them into practice. You must have a solid understanding of statistical techniques, strong problem-solving skills and the ability to drive actionable insights by performing data analysis of several large and complex databases. Using cutting-edge operational research and modeling methods, you will also apply various analytical techniques to identify business-critical trends and insights by utilizing big data.
- Project management Managing shifting business priorities, demands and timelines is possible by applying project management principles and techniques. Project management skills facilitate completing projects with minimal supervision while collaborating with others, by prioritizing tasks to meet deadlines, giving you confidence in your decision-making and time-management abilities.
- Innovative As this role involves employing numerous data mining and analysis techniques, it is the responsibility of the business intelligence analyst to formulate new solutions for quicker performance. Improving procedures for collecting data and reducing the complexity of the analysis process is an integral part of the role. It is also essential to learn new relevant software and keep up with any updates. It’s also necessary to conduct unit testing and troubleshooting. You must ensure any improvements are implemented and work as expected, including developing system test cases, assisting with User Acceptance Testing and troubleshooting application issues resulting from data inconsistencies or anomalies.
Business intelligence analyst education and certifications
DegreeThe minimum requirement to become a business intelligence analyst is a bachelor’s degree in IT engineering, computer science, engineering, business, statistics, mathematics, finance, economics, accounting, supply chain management, analytics, information technology, or other relevant fields. Some companies do prefer candidates with a master’s degree.
The best bachelor’s degrees with the most success getting jobs is in computer science and engineering with a minor in statistics and data science, or a blended major in computer science, economics and data science. MIT’s Schwarzman College of Computing offers this same program. Alternatively, you can consider some of Arizona State University’s degrees in Business Statistics, Business Technology, Business Data Analytics, Data Science or Information Technology.
On top of the educational requirements, companies ask that you have between three to five years of experience in a related role.
CertificationsEmployers don’t tend to ask for certifications. However, the BI analyst role is specialized and requires mastery of many skills. Getting a certificate or taking courses in the following areas can boost your resume and get you the job!
Business intelligence analyst software: There is much software you can potentially use in your career as a business intelligence analyst . Some of the most sought-after are Excel, Oracle, Domo, Tableau and Cognos. Employers also expect you to know SQL and, more recently, they expect you to be familiar with Azure. Because Microsoft has retired most SQL courses to focus on Azure, you can take any of Udemy’s courses in SQL, such as their Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) Training.
As for other software, most companies offer certifications or training for their software. As such, you can get the following certifications:
For Microsoft software:
Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel Associate (Excel and Excel 2019)
Or, learn to use Power BI in Microsoft Learn
For Oracle software:
For Domo, Tableau and IBM software:
Data analysis certifications: Some for-profit educational companies, such as Coursera and even Microsoft, offer courses specifically to develop, specialize, or get certified in data analysis. If you’re interested in getting one of these, you can check out the following:
Offered in Coursera:
UC San Diego’s Big Data Specialization
Offered by Microsoft:
Programming languages: BI analysts should know a few programming languages. If you want to get certified in the most popular ones or learn how to code in them, Coursera has an excellent offering of options you can choose from, such as:
University of Michigan’s Applied Data Science with Python Specialization
Johns Hopkins University Data Science: Foundations using R Specialization
Duke University’s Statistics with R Specialization
IBM Data Analytics with Excel and R Professional Certificate
Business intelligence analyst resume-writing tips
To procure a prestigious job as a business intelligence analyst in a renowned organization, you need to draw the attention of recruiters through an exceptional resume. With our practical resume-writing tips, you will be able to prepare a creative yet polished resume.
- Aggregate all analytical and social skills. Recruiters look for adaptability in your skill set and you need to focus on mentioning all your skills based on your education and experience. The resume should constitute technological expertise, analytical knowledge and cordial communication skills. These are important to show your ability to execute skillfully.
- List your achievements. Mentioning your competencies will make your resume powerful. Make sure to point out all the achievements, awards and recognitions from university or previous employers.
- Accentuate your previous innovations. Innovation is an integral part of any job role and denoting previous innovations or creative implementations in business intelligence will be an advantage.
What are the top companies hiring business intelligence analysts in the U.S.?
Organizations from different domains such as finance, banking, health and retail employ business intelligence analysts for their process improvement. Companies like Verizon, Google, Capgemini, Abbott Laboratories and Schneider Electric are recruiting BI analysts.
What is the leading role of a business intelligence analyst?
A BI analyst is primarily employed to improve an organization’s business processes through data mining, data analysis and comparing other organizations’ data following the market trend.