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January 29, 2020

Business Intelligence Analyst – Job Description


Edwin Lisowski

CSO & Co-Founder

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9 minutes

A business intelligence analyst plays a crucial role in the business decision-making process. Thanks to their assistance, a company can benefit from big data it possesses and, through that, develop rapidly. But what does a business intelligence analyst do? How to become a business intelligence analyst? This article will dispel your doubts. In this job description, we will examine a business intelligence analyst’s career path, required skills, and responsibilities.

Before we switch to the job description itself, we ought to think for a second what does a business intelligence analyst do? What does a field called business intelligence entails? And how can it be beneficial to your company? With this issue covered, it will be much easier to analyze the career path and responsibilities.

You may also find it interesting – business intelligence best practices.

What does a Business Intelligence analyst do? Business Intelligence analyst jobs.

Business intelligence is a crucial discipline that has a vital influence on the way the company grows and makes business decisions.

Simply put, business intelligence combines and analyzes big data and helps your company to turn it into useful knowledge. It’s a common expression to describe all strategies and technologies used by companies for the data analysis of business information[1].

Business intelligence cannot exist without big data, as it is a source and a base for business intelligence programs and applications. So, we have to start with big data. At some point in development, every large company possesses and gathers more and more information that it becomes to turn into big data in a short period of time. Take a look at several statistics:

  • In 2020, every person will generate 1.7 megabytes in just a second
  • 90% of all data has been created in the last two years
  • Internet users generate about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day[2]

Data is being produced in unimaginable amounts, and it happens literally every second. However, if your company cannot analyze and structure these vast amounts of information, they are useless. To prevent that from happening, over 97% of organizations surveyed in a recent study, invest in big data and AI[3]. Big data helps to harness all that information, structure it, and prepare for further analysis and examination. And this is exactly the point where business intelligence comes into play.

Business intelligence analyst jobs

Business Intelligence plays a crucial role in data analysis

BI technologies handle large amounts of an already structured and grouped data to help identify, develop, and sometimes even create new strategic business opportunities. Think of big data as a book. It may contain valid information, but as long as it’s on a shelf, covered with dust, it cannot be beneficial in any way. Business intelligence takes this book from a shelf, opens it, and tells you what the book suggests. This is a massive simplification, but more or less, this is how it works.

Thanks to business intelligence tools and techniques, it is possible to identify new opportunities and implement an effective strategy. That’s why business intelligence is a multi-disciplinary field of expertise that entails a vast knowledge of artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, but also business processes.

Now that we have had an introduction, we can tackle the main issue.

Business Intelligence Plays A Crucial Role In Data Analysis

Read more about BI for Data Analysis.

The Business Intelligence analyst job description and responsibilities

A business intelligence analyst is a professional who supervises and operates business intelligence applications and tools. They transform big data into insights that drive business value and aid the decision-making process. Through the use of various tools and technologies (such as data analytics, data visualization, and data modeling), BI analysts can identify trends and correlations that help other departments to make appropriate business decisions.

According to[4], the typical business intelligence analyst responsibilities are:

  • Develop and manage BI solutions
  • Collaborate with business users
  • Analyze business processes and requirements
  • Create and maintain documentation including requirements, design and user manuals
  • Identify opportunities to improve processes and strategies with technology solutions
  • Identify development needs in order to improve and streamline operations
  • Review and validate customer data as it’s collected
  • Develop policies and procedures for the collection and analysis of data
  • Implement new data analysis methodologies

Clearly, it’s a position that combines analytical and programming skills with business knowledge, particularly about business processes and the way corporations function. To become a successful BI analyst, you need a combination of technical, soft, and analytical skills. Analysts typically discover areas of revenue loss and identify where improvements can be made in order to save money or increase profits[5].

Therefore, you ought to acquire various skills and qualifications.

BI Analyst, man, computers

Read more about BI technology: Business Intelligence Helps Managers.

Business Intelligence analyst skills

Normally, we divide this section into three main subcategories, and this analysis is no exception. Let’s talk about business intelligence analyst skills, qualifications, and education. In reverse order 🙂


Usually, business intelligence analysts have a degree, preferably in computer science, software engineering, business, mathematics, economics, statistics, or a related field. As a BI analyst, you should master disciplines like programming, data modeling, and statistics. Most openings require a bachelor’s degree, especially for entry-level positions. However, even an MBA might be necessary to be promoted to senior positions.

Personal qualifications

Soft skills are essential. You especially need communication skills, analytical thinking, and a problem-solving approach. A business analyst has to work with many people and departments and know how to answer to their diverse needs. You will also need an ability to translate your work and responsibilities into plain language, understandable to someone who has nothing to do with BI or AI.

Skills and experience

This list causes a headache. Long story short–if you had nothing to do with programming or artificial intelligence, becoming a business intelligence analyst is a titanic assignment. As a BI analyst, you should have at least a solid background in disciplines and fields like data warehousing, data modeling, data mining, data visualization, data analysis, business analysis, database management, and business administration. The ability to know and use Hadoop, SQL, Python, and C# skillfully is also mandatory.

programming, women, computer, work

How to become a Business Intelligence analyst

As we already mentioned, if you want to become a BI analyst with no previous programming experience, your odds look pretty bleak. That’s due to lots of fields you have to catch up and at least two programming languages to master. If you start from scratch, you’ll need at least several years to gain the necessary knowledge and experience.

However, if you do have previous AI experience, things are much more straightforward. Most likely, you need to obtain professional certification. Not only will it broaden your knowledge but also increase your chances of getting this job noticeably. And you really are spoiled for choice! There are at least seven different certifications on the market.

  • Certified Business Intelligence Professional
  • MCSA: BI Reporting
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development
  • MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist
  • SAP Certified Application Associate: Business Intelligence with SAP BW 7.4 & SAP BI 4.1
  • SAS Certified BI Content Developer for SAS 9

If you’re looking for a certificate that will allow you to call yourself a BI analyst, you should go for the Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) certification. As we can read on the ICCP website, “The CBIP is the industry’s most in-demand credential for Data Professionals, along with the CDP-Certified Data Professional in Data Management. Significant promotions and salary increments have been granted to these credential holders[6]”.

There are two options to gain accreditation. You can pursue the practitioner certification (if you are at the beginning of your BI adventure), or you can apply straight for mastery.

How To Become A Business Intelligence Analyst, man, smile

Business Intelligence analyst career path

Your career path depends on your knowledge and experience. You begin as a business intelligence consultant/analyst. Probably, you’ll need a practitioner certification to establish yourself as a consultant/analyst. An average salary for both these jobs is circa 85,000 USD[7] annually in the United States.

Next, you can get promoted to become a business intelligence manager with a much higher salary, over 100,000 USD a year. Next in line is a senior manager position (120,000 USD). The two top positions are:

  • Director of analytics with a salary of about 125,000 USD
  • Business intelligence director who gets 130,000 USD a year

According to Glassdoor, an average base pay in the business intelligence sector is slightly above 80,000 annually[8]. The same source indicates that an average director’s salary is almost 105,000 USD, but the highest possible income exceeds 150,000 USD annually.

Business intelligence services baner

Begin with programming

Artificial intelligence is an immensely profitable field of work, and business intelligence is no exception. That’s why every year hundreds of people pursue this career. Notwithstanding, we have to admit that it’s a demanding field of expertise. If you want to become a business intelligence specialist, but you have no previous programming or statistics education and experience, our advice is to start here.

Learn at least one programming language that’s commonly used within business intelligence and try to gain as much mathematical/statistical knowledge as you can. And give it a shot with simpler programming positions that require less experience. It is the only way to become a business intelligence analyst if you are a rookie.

Or, perhaps, you run a company that needs business intelligence? You’re in the right place! Business intelligence services is one of our primary specializations. Our BI consultants and analysts are at your disposal. With our support, you’ll be able to introduce your company to an entirely new stage of development. Give us a call and let’s chat about your challenges!


[1] Business intelligence. Apr 20, 2021. URL: Accessed Jan 29, 2020.
[2] Christo Petrov. 25+ Impressive Big Data Statistics for 2020. Mar 18, 2021. URL: Accessed Jan 29, 2020.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Business Intelligence Analyst job description template. URL: Accessed Jan 29, 2020.
[5] Sarah K. White. What is a business intelligence analyst? A role for driving business value with data. Apr 9, 2019. URL: Accessed Jan 29, 2020.
[6] Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP). URL: Accessed Jan 29, 2020.
[7] Sarah K. White. What is a business intelligence analyst? A role for driving business value with data. Apr 9, 2019. URL: Accessed Jan 29, 2020.
[8] Business Intelligence Salaries. Apr 17, 2021. URL:,21.htm. Accessed Jan 29, 2020.


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