What Does A Business Intelligence Analyst Do? | Is a Job in BI for You?

Are you passionate about using data to influence decisions and development? If yes, you can consider becoming a business intelligence analyst.

In an organization or business, growth doesn't just happen. It is a result of calculated decisions, strategies, and informed decisions. Such decisions and strategies are taken after collecting data, studying trends, and analyzing data.

So, how do you analyze data for decision-making? That's the work of a business intelligence analyst. What is a business intelligence analyst job description? The analyst is responsible for collecting data and analyzing it to produce market intelligence reports. The intelligence reports are used in highlighting trends that influence the company's decisions and goals. Here are the best business intelligence courses we've reviewed. Moreover, find out what the Business Inteligence Developer job description is.

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The analyst uses education, professional skills, and technical skills to collect and analyze data.

A Typical Day in the Life of a BI Analyst

What is the business intelligence analyst role? Business Intelligence analyst is not entry-level work. You need to have a higher level of analytical skills. A typical day in BI analysts' life involves collecting and analyzing data and sharing it with the necessary authorities. The goal is to positively influence the company's performance by making the right business decisions using the available data. The data collection process through to when the data is presented to the right audience involves various steps. These steps include:

  • Collecting the data: the first step involves the business intelligence analyst sourcing data from various sources, including public information, industry reports, purchased findings, and field reports. The Bi analyst may have to update knowledge regarding available technological trends and the emerging trends in the said industry. It can also involve collecting data regarding the customers in the market
  • Data storage: after collecting the data, you should ensure its safe storage. You can store it in the organization's computer database, and you may have to do regular updates. You should then come up with operational procedures to use the database. If you use any special software for data storage, you may have to perform regular updates or get a technical team.
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  • Analyzing the data: in the next step, you need to analyze the data to identify trends that can influence your business decisions and strategies
  • Use the data results: use the analysis to present recommendations to authorities and managers to take action.
  • Prepare analytical reports to share with shareholders

Throughout the entire process, you'll work with various people internally and externally. Thus, you stay on top of emerging trends in the company and the whole industry. You'll also manage the information to ensure you collect, analyze and submit the data to the stakeholders in a timely manner.

As a BI analyst, you need to transform data into business value. Use data modeling techniques, data analytics, data mining, and data visualization to help managers and executives to make proper business decisions.

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BI analysts are useful in business administration as they help identify revenue loss areas and suggest measures that can lead to profits.

You can use BI tools and software to compare data and trends and present the findings.

What Is Needed to Join Business Intelligence?

BI analysts carry out data analysis and data modeling using data they collect from multiple databases in the company or a centralized database.

It is a job that requires hard skills such as programming, data modeling, and statistics. You may also need soft skills such as analytical thinking, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and communication.

To be a BI analyst, you require a bachelor's degree in mathematics, economics, accounting, management, business, computer science, business information technology, etc. Senior business intelligence analyst jobs may require you to have an MBA. Otherwise, there are lots of business intelligence analyst jobs that only need an undergraduate degree.

According to PayScale, a business intelligence analyst's average salary is $66,645 per year, with a salary range of $48,701 to $93,243.

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Business Intelligence Analysts Job Description 

Business intelligence analyst job descriptions can vary from one company or organization to the other.

According to a sample BI analyst job description, some of the responsibilities you can expect include:

  • Review and validate collected customer data
  • Oversee the deployment of data to the database warehouse
  • Come up with procedures and policies regarding the collection and analysis of data
  • Identify and develop new programs for data procurement and processing
  • Cooperate with the IT department in the company to do software and hardware upgrades that enable you to leverage big data uses
  • Monitor the results of analytics and metrics
  • Implement new methods of data analysis
  • Review customer files to make sure the integrity of data collection and utilization
  • Perform data profiling to discover any anomalies and understand them
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Business Intelligence Analyst Skills 

To succeed as a business analyst, you need a mix of hard, soft, and analytical skills. You require the skills to help you to mine data using complex software and tools. You have to analyze the data you mine to identify trends that can influence the market.

You can then communicate the findings to other departments in the organization. You can also use the results to suggest possible solutions, especially to prevent loss of revenue.

Some of the BI analysts skills include:

  • Data mining
  • Data modeling
  • Business Intelligence
  • Data warehouse
  • Business analysis
  • Database management and reporting
  • Microsoft Excel and Office
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Tableau and data visualization
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Is Business Intelligence Analysts a Good Career?

There is a demand for business analysts in the market. As such, there are high prospects of getting a job after graduation. It becomes better if you have a thing for business and good interpersonal skills.

Companies are always looking for a business intelligence analyst with quantitative and analytical skills to get useful insights from huge amounts of raw data.

Unlike data science, the barrier for entrance into business intelligence analysis is much lower. For data science, you are required to get a doctorate in the field to practice. On the other hand, you only need an undergraduate degree to become a business intelligence analyst. Getting an MBA in the field enhances your employability and worth.


Business Intelligence Analyst Interview Questions 

If you are looking for a business intelligence analyst job, you may never tell what the interviewer will ask you during the interview. However, it doesn't hurt if you go prepared to tackle any question or task that they throw your way.

Some interviewers can ask you to analyze data in real-time during the interview. Other interviewers may ask you the normal questions about your work experience, your goals, etc.

So, what type of interview questions can you expect in a business intelligence analyst job interview?

  • Explaining data challenges you encountered in the past and how you handled them
  • The interviewer can test your ability to find data trends by testing you using the company's data tables
  • Demonstrating your experience in modeling, joining, and blending
  • You can be asked to describe the different parts of an SQL statement
  • The interviewer may test you on your knowledge of common BI analyst terms such as data visualization, weighted average, truncate, and union, among others
  • You can be asked questions about the famous BI tools and programming languages such as SQL, Python, Tableau, Hadoop, C#, etc
  • You can be put to task on real-time problem-solving skills using BI tools, Microsoft Excel, etc.
  • You can encounter a brain-teaser to test your problem-solving skills and critical thinking

BI Analyst Certification 

Every professional offering service requires to be certified by the necessary certification body. Business intelligence analyst certification is offered by Transforming Data with Intelligence (TDWI). The Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) is the certification tailored for BI analysts.

The certification has different levels. If you score a 50% in all three exams, you are certified as a practitioner. The level demonstrates your knowledge of BI concepts, tools, and techniques.

If you score 70% or higher, you get a mastery level certification. The mastery level certification demonstrates your ability to lead a team at the project or program level. It also shows that you can mentor other BI analysts.


To get the CBIP certification, you need two or more years of full-time experience in data definitions, data modeling, CIS, metadata systems development, and systems analysis. It would help if you also had experience in data planning, IT management, application development, and programming.

You should also have at least a BA or an MA in accounting, computer science, informational systems, mathematics, engineering, business administration, mathematics, statics, and sciences.

You also have the option of getting certified on specific BI tools such as SAS, Python, Hadoop, and other programming languages. If you notice a particular tool included in the job description, you can get certification to increase your chances of landing the job.

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A business intelligence analyst is a lucrative job that involves helping companies collect, analyze, and interpret data to enhance organizational growth. To become a BI analyst, you need a BA or MA in computer science, statistics, etc. You also need to be certified by the relevant bodies to practice. Companies are in demand of BI analysts to handle data that will help them make informed decisions. As such, you are almost guaranteed a job if you take business intelligence as a career.

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