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Business Intelligence Analyst

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What does a business intelligence analyst do?

Business intelligence analysts combine data analysis, IT and overarching business expertise to help businesses make sound decisions in the present that facilitate future growth. The highest priority of business intelligence analysts is to break down key business data from sources such as sales, the overarching market, competitors, customer engagement and productivity in order to identify patterns and present findings to stakeholders throughout the enterprise. 

How do you become a business intelligence analyst?
Answer Part 1

Most business intelligence analysts possess a bachelor’s degree and may have earned additional certifications to build on their skills.

Answer Part 2

There is no set path for becoming a business intelligence analysthowever, there are many things one can do to build their qualifications for this role. Though not always a necessity, most business intelligence analysts will possess a bachelor’s degree, often in a field such as mathematics, finance, computer science, data modeling or a similar field. For more advanced business intelligence analyst roles, many candidates will also have earned a master’s degree in business administration or a similar field. There are also several online courses and certificate programs available, such as those from Udemy and Udacity, that can allow professionals to develop essential business intelligence and data analysis skills while gaining experience in real-world scenarios.

In addition to a strong educational foundation, business intelligence analyst candidates should have some work experience in a related role. This may include time spent in data entry, business administration, sales, marketing or any field that allows the candidate to gain experience in analyzing data or learning business acumen.

What is the salary of a business intelligence analyst?
Answer Part 1

The average base salary of a business intelligence analyst in the US is $87,611.

Answer Part 2

According to Built In, the average base salary for U.S.-based business intelligence analysts is $87,611. Business intelligence analysts in the United States also receive an additional cash compensation of $7,194, raising the average total compensation for business intelligence analysts to $94,805. Built In reports business intelligence analyst salaries based on responses gathered by Built In from anonymous business intelligence analysts. 

What skills does a business intelligence analyst need?
Answer Part 1

Business intelligence analysts must be proficient in data analysis and visualization, as well as possess strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Answer Part 2

Those in business intelligence analyst roles are expected to be highly capable in managing data and making data accessible to others throughout the organization. This includes working with common data tools, such as Excel and SQL, as well as having familiarity with tools that facilitate machine learning solutions. Managing data is only the start for business intelligence analysts, as it is also essential to understand the data and draw insights that will influence decisions made by department leaders. Accordingly, an expertise in data visualization and working with tools like Tableau and Power BI is also necessary for capable business intelligence analysts.

Beyond purely having strong analytical capabilities, business intelligence analysts must also have familiarity with data programming languages like Python, Java and R. Additionally, having a strong awareness of financial and business intelligence, including how to scale a company for long term growth, being able to discern competitor strengths and weaknesses, and being able to communicate effectively, whether in large group settings or through text exchanges, are all essential skills for a business intelligence analyst.

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