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Are You Ready to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst? Do It in 3 Steps!

There are many opportunities that you can avail as a business intelligence analyst. This blog highlights what you need to be able to function as such a specialist in your organization. Before going ahead to look at these skills, let’s first understand what it is all about.

Overview of Business Intelligence Analytics

Large companies are always collecting data. However, the need for affordable processing and storage of data has overtaken data collection. It is a general practice across various industries to store data as much as possible for the purpose of their further use. Undertaking data is the business role of a BI analyst.

There is an increase in the way the organizations use data to gain the industry edge over competition. Data is also being used to increase customer satisfaction while exploring novel ways for growth. Additionally, the companies use data to discover new areas to enhance efficiency. A business intelligence analyst occupies the IT management crossover role that mines data so as to generate report and provide information for business decisions. The job role of a BI analyst is not restricted to any industry. As a matter of fact, top fields where there are most openings are healthcare, manufacturing, finance, and insurance.

The next step is to look at the skills you need to have in order to become a business intelligence analyst.

Technical Skills

To become a BI analyst, you need to have extensive skills in database. You should be highly knowledgeable about the creation and maintenance of database. In addition to this, you should also be able to design advanced SQL queries. To launch your exposure to the world of database, you might want to start off your training with an Oracle credential, for example. However, if you are already an experienced Database Programmer or Database Administrator, you already have a good grasp of the big data concept through the learning of Apache Hadoop, as well as the ins and outs of the various platforms.

Programming Skills

The organizations, including small enterprises, all have large datasets. This means you need to develop programming skills to be able to handle the load and automate the workflows. This does not imply that you need years of training to become a Java or C++ guru. Simply focus on SQL and Python and you will be fine. Now, when we talk about languages, Python seems to be relatively simple to learn. It also makes handling complex data tasks much easier. With the background understanding of these languages, the next step is to become competent with pandas. This is a very effective data analysis and structuring tool. When you combine it with Python libraries like scikit-learn or matplotlib, pandas make Python the ideal language for the professional data analysts and scientists. It is essential to mention that there is no certification that validates the knowledge of Python. You just have to take the initiative to develop skills in it. It is important to mention that Microsoft offers different technical credentials for SQL. The MCSA: BI Reporting certification is a top certificate in the Business Intelligence certification sphere. Besides, there is MCSA: SQL 2016 Business Intelligence Development.

Knowledge of Power BI or Tableau

No doubt, SQL and Excel skills are useful but you need the knowledge of next generation tools to help you transition into the role of a business intelligence analyst. Thanks to their advanced business analytics capacities, Power BI and Tableau are famous for their capability to classify data insights and develop actionable reports. Once set up, the reports from the insights are easy to use. In fact, the managers with little to no knowledge of technology can easily understand the data flow. The core job, which is your job anyway, is to set them up.

Are You Ready to Become a BI Analyst?

The professionals in the field of IT who want to switch job roles to a BI analyst will discover that there are many opportunities in the marketplace. The organizations find it hard to fill up this job role because of lack of technical expertise in their companies. If you are able to earn a couple of certifications and develop skills and experience with database, you are almost ready to take over the job role. When you have skills with business analytics platforms like Tableau, it will be easy to attain your goal of becoming a business intelligence analyst.

It is of import to mention that the demand for BI professionals is on the rise. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projection that there will be about 14% growth in the demand for the business intelligence analysts by 2024. No doubt, the industries are becoming highly competitive, and there is a need to stay at least a step ahead of competition. With Business Intelligence, you become distinguished for a competitive advantage. However, before you make the switch from your IT career to BI, you need to learn some data analysis tools as well as sharpen your business knowledge.

It is important to reiterate the fact that working in the field of Business Intelligence requires some mix of strong business acumen, relevant skills, and IT wizardry. Fortunately, if you currently work in Information Technology and want to switch career to Business Intelligence, you already have some level of knowledge and experience that will get you there. In today’s world, BI has become relatively easier field to launch one’s career.


The world of BI analytics is a place of great opportunities. There are a lot of organizations that seek to fill up positions for the BI analysts, but the need of skills and competence is the major drawback. If you are planning a career transition from IT to BI, now is the time to take steps to become proficient in the required skills.