Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

A business intelligence (BI) analyst is an information specialist who reviews and reports on material compiled from corporate databases. The main objective of a business intelligence analyst is to use their analytical skills and business expertise to help companies maximize the use of stored information. Business intelligence analysts combine computer and database knowledge with strategic insight into key business areas like customers, sales, supply chains and operations.

Due to the widespread use of corporate databases, BI analysts may find work in a range of industries and settings, from public technology companies to private retail businesses. If you have the desire to succeed in this innovative field, earning an advanced online degree and receiving specialized training can help you advance your career goals.

To become a business intelligence analyst, an individual should develop professional skills and industry-relevant knowledge through opportunities like:

  • Earning an advanced degree in business (MBA) or accounting (CPA) from a college or university
  • Completing college-level computer, mathematics or engineering courses
  • Learning specific business strategies or corporate objectives by working extensively for a particular company or industry
  • Keeping current on BI analysis developments by participating in seminars, conferences and continuing education courses

Business intelligence analysts are extremely adept at studying and making sense of vast amounts of data. Individuals in this profession should also understand how to use complex database analysis technology and industry-related (or enterprise) software. Project management experience will help BI analysts make informed decisions involving sales, marketing, staff and other key business areas.

Business Intelligence Analyst Job Description

The business intelligence analyst studies and reports on a company’s stored information, often from a number of different databases. To achieve professional success, BI analysts must have advanced expertise in business, information storage systems and data analysis. They should also be extremely familiar with the goals of the organization they are working for. In order to report detailed concepts effectively, business intelligence analysts should also possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Prior to becoming a business intelligence analyst, an individual may have extensive experience working in various management or leadership roles within a specific company or industry. BI analysts often work closely with an organization’s executive staff, including the CEO or Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Business Intelligence Analysts can work for a broad range of organizations, including:

  • Technology, pharmaceutical, or manufacturing companies
  • Government agencies or public organizations
  • Private education or research institutions

In addition to serving as full-time employees, some business intelligence analysts may also work independently as private contractors or consultants. Some business intelligence analysts may also be required to travel in order to present their reports at shareholder meetings or various company offices.

Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.



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