Working in business intelligence (BI) is a natural step for those interested in both business operations and the fields of mathematics and research. The end result: the ability to explain a business story through the quantification of business processes, and persuade the company toward action using those verifiable numbers.
Because this field is about using data to understand and improve operations, training will involve mathematics, statistics, quantitative decision-making tools and technologies, knowledge of data repositories, and most importantly, analytical skills.
Generally, business intelligence (BI) uses computer-based techniques to find and analyze business data such as sales revenue by products and/or departments or associated costs and incomes. But the job may also include:
BI analysts are information specialists who review and report on material compiled from corporate databases. Their main objective is to use their analytical skills and business expertise to help companies maximize the use of stored information.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages of business intelligence analysts were $71,100 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $54,330 and $90,740. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,660, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $110,920.