What Is a Business Intelligence Analyst?

A Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst helps organisations make data-driven decisions by analysing and interpreting complex data sets and providing insights and recommendations to stakeholders. 

They use BI tools, data visualisation techniques, and statistical methods to identify patterns, trends, and relationships and then communicate their findings through reports, dashboards, and presentations. 

What does a business intelligence analyst do?

A Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst is responsible for analysing and interpreting complex data to help organisations make informed decisions. Their duties include:

  • Collecting and cleaning data from various sources.
  • Designing and maintaining data models, reports, and dashboards.
  • Analysing data to identify trends, patterns, and relationships.
  • Developing and implementing data-driven solutions to business problems.
  • Communicating insights and recommendations to stakeholders through reports and presentations.
  • Staying up-to-date with industry trends and new technologies.

How to become a business intelligence analyst

To become a Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst, you typically need the following:

  • Education: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as computer science, mathematics, statistics, or information technology, is generally required.
  • Relevant experience: Gaining practical experience through internships, projects, or entry-level positions can be helpful.
  • Technical skills: Familiarity with BI tools, data visualisation techniques, and programming languages such as SQL, Python, or R is crucial.
  • Strong analytical skills: The ability to analyse large data sets, identify patterns, and draw conclusions is essential.
  • Communication skills: BI Analysts must effectively communicate their findings and insights to stakeholders.
  • Professional development: Keeping up-to-date with industry trends, new technologies, and best practices through continuing education, attending conferences, and participating in professional organisations can be beneficial.
  • Certification such as Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate or Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist could help demonstrate expertise and boost employability.

Skills required by a business intelligence analyst

The following skills are typically needed for a Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst:

  • Technical skills: Knowledge of BI tools and data visualisation techniques, proficiency in SQL and at least one programming language (such as Python, R or SAS)
  • Analytical skills: Ability to analyse large data sets, identify patterns and relationships, and conclude.
  • Communication skills: Ability to communicate findings and insights to stakeholders through reports, presentations, and visualisations.
  • Problem-solving skills: Ability to develop and implement data-driven solutions to business problems.
  • Data management: Knowledge of data warehousing, data integration, and data cleaning.
  • Attention to detail: Ability to identify and correct errors in data and processes.
  • Collaboration: Ability to work with cross-functional teams, including IT, finance, and marketing.
  • Adaptability: Ability to learn new technologies and adjust to changing business requirements.
  • Business acumen: Understanding of business operations, trends, and goals.

Project management: Ability to plan and execute projects, including defining project scope, budget, and timeline.

Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst: Career and Job Scope

The scope of a Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst career varies depending on the size and nature of the organisation they work for and the individual's experience and skills. Generally, the career scope includes the following:

  • Job growth: The demand for BI Analysts is growing as organisations increasingly rely on data-driven decision-making.
  • Career progression: BI Analysts may advance to more senior positions, such as Business Intelligence Manager or Data Scientist, with additional experience and skills.
  • Diverse industries: BI Analysts can work in various sectors, including finance, healthcare, retail, and technology.
  • Working with technology: BI Analysts use various BI tools, data visualisation techniques, and programming languages to analyse and interpret data.
  • Collaborating with stakeholders: BI Analysts work with cross-functional teams, including IT, finance, and marketing, to understand business requirements and communicate insights.
  • Impact on business decisions: BI Analysts play a crucial role in helping organisations make informed decisions by providing data-driven insights and recommendations.

Overall, a career as a BI Analyst offers opportunities for growth, diversity, and impact, making it a rewarding and challenging field.

Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst: Job titles with salary

The following are some standard job titles for Business Intelligence (BI) Analysts and their average wages in the US (based on 2021 data). Remember that salaries can vary depending on location, industry, experience, and other factors.

  • Business Intelligence Analyst: $79,000 - $119,000 per year
  • Data Analyst: $64,000 - $107,000 per year
  • Data Scientist: $115,000 - $167,000 per year
  • Business Analyst: $73,000 - $110,000 per year
  • Data Engineer: $116,000 - $150,000 per year
  • Data Warehouse Analyst: $89,000 - $125,000 per year
  • Business Intelligence Developer: $93,000 - $131,000 per year

It is important to note that salaries can vary significantly based on location, industry, experience, and company size. You can use online salary tools, such as or Payscale to get a more accurate estimate of wages in your specific area and industry.

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