Business Intelligence (BI Analyst) is a professional role where the individual is responsible for analyzing data that is used by a business or organization. Data used in BI generally supports decision-making. The BI analyst works with this kind of data to maximize its utility. They use computer software programs to go through large amounts of data and locate specific pieces of information to make reports. They then use their findings to create presentations discussing the company's level of efficiency and each department's progress over a selected timeline.
A Business Intelligence Analyst works to develop and provide new business intelligence solutions. These professionals may be tasked with defining, reporting on or otherwise developing new structures for business intelligence in ways that will serve a specific purpose. Report writing can be a significant component of this role. A business intelligence analyst may also work with teams of developers. They will need to be knowledgeable about data storage structures, and about the various ways that data can be applied to aid in business intelligence.
Business Intelligence Analysts use data to figure out market and business trends for companies to increase profits and efficiency. They may work directly for a company or as a consultant. Business intelligence analysts gather this data through a number of ways, from mining a company's computer data through software, looking at competitor data and industry trends to help develop a picture of where the company stands in the industry, where they can improve and where they can reduce costs. They spend most of their time analyzing data, past trends, current conditions, etc. They are able to look at large chunks of data and understand trends, and then communicate those trends to the company.
Business Intelligence Analysts normally work in offices or laboratories in comfortable surroundings. They work on typical working hours, the same as many other professional or office workers. Evening or weekend work may be necessary to meet deadlines or to solve specific problems. Telecommuting is increasingly common for many computer professionals as networks expand, allowing more work to be done from remote locations through modems, laptops, electronic mail, and the Internet. However, some work still must be done in the office for security or other reasons.
Entry Level Education
- Business Intelligence Analysts have at least a Bachelor's Degree in Business, Management, Accounting, Economics, Statistics, Computer Science, Information Science or similar.
- More complicated jobs may require a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA).