WeWork at MrDataAssocationForJobs.NL English Speaking Jobs Netherlands 2022

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How to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst – A Complete Career Guide

As the data collected by businesses grows more and more vast and complex, it becomes that much more important for companies to utilize that data effectively. This “untidy data” can become difficult to even navigate, let alone slice, dice, and refine in order to gain real insights. That’s where a business intelligence analyst comes in.

Business intelligence analysts help a company put the data it already collects to use in order to increase the company’s efficiency and maximize profits. They comb through large amounts of data by querying databases effectively, and then produce reports and identify trends to generate actionable business insights. Business intelligence analysts must have a range of data analytics skills that serve them well in the world of big data, especially data analysis, as well as keen business understanding that is crucial in a field that hinges so heavily on soft skills like teamwork and polished communication skills in both the written and verbal realms.

What is a Business Intelligence Analyst?

Business intelligence analysts are a necessary part of making the extensive amount of data now available to companies useful. Business intelligence analysts straddle the worlds of business and information technology, having a firm grasp of each, and are able to mine and analyze data to recommend growth strategies for a company.

Once a business intelligence analyst makes recommendations for technological advances in a company, they are often needed to lead seminars for colleagues, including training managers to implement and monitor these new systems.

What does a Business Intelligence Analyst do?

In the data science workforce of today, the business intelligence analyst evaluates both the data of the company itself as well as data from competitors and others in the industry, in order to discover ways to improve their own company’s market position. Good business intelligence analysts will look into their company’s systems, procedures, and functions, and find areas in which the company can increase efficiency and profit margins.

Business intelligence analysts also must consider new ways in which a company can develop new policies regarding data collection and data analysis methodologies, including ensuring integrity of data use. Business intelligence analysts may also be charged with hiring other data specialists at times, such as data architects.

Five Steps to Launching a Successful Business Intelligence Analyst Career:

Step 1: Earn your Undergraduate Degree

Undergraduates should look for degrees in information systems, computer science, data science, business administration, engineering, economics, or a related field that gives you insight into business processes and organizational operations. You’ll need to understand as much as you can about data before entering the profession, so look for classes in data architecture, database design, data mining, data visualization, and so on. You’ll also want to have strong Excel and SQL skills before graduating.

Step 2: Complete an Internship and Gain Entry-level Work Experience

Business intelligence analysts are expected to have work experience before entering the job, unless able to supplement that experience with something like a Master’s in Business Administration, which may suffice for some employers. One good way to begin your training is to get an internship in the financial industry, which will give you the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a business.

After you graduate, consider a job as a data analyst, business analyst, or a data report writer. Look for chances in these jobs to query SQL, model and analyze data, and define and manage the scope of projects. All of these experiences will give you vital contacts in the industry, as well as a better sense of the end-to-end process of the kind of projects that a business intelligence analyst completes on a regular basis.

Step 3: Get a Professional Certification

The best professional certification for business intelligence analysts is Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate. This certification proves that you have the skills necessary to design and use SQL to deliver data-based solutions. The exam includes querying and administering SQL databases, implementing a data warehouse and data models, and designing business solutions.

Another option is TDWI’s Certified Business Intelligence Professional, which you can test for and receive at the levels of either “practitioner” or “mastery.” You’ll need at least 2 years of relevant work experience to register for this exam. You may also want to get a certification in specific computer languages, like SAS.

Step 4: Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

Typically, a business intelligence analyst is not an entry-level role, although you may find having already earned an MBA (more on that below) can substitute for some years on the ground in the eyes of certain employers according to Indeed. Once you have developed the necessary skills, gained work experience, and gotten certified professionally, you can apply for business intelligence analyst positions. You will be required to have an average of about 4 or 5 years of work experience, though some roles require up to 8 years of work experience. You will also likely need 1 or 2 years of supervisory experience within an organization, as business intelligence analysts are often project managers and can sometimes have hiring responsibilities.

Step 5: Pursue an Advanced Degree

A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) is preferred for this role, though master’s are generally not required if a candidate has sufficient work experience and professional certifications. You can also get a master’s in information technology, or a master’s in the industry you want to specialize in.

Business Intelligence Analyst Job Description

Meet with clients to identify needs and concerns

Conduct information-gathering interviews and obtain feedback from clients and customers

Collect data and extract data from warehouses for reporting, using querying techniques

Analyze current data with software applications

Create summary reports of a company’s current standings

Present recommendations to senior management about ways in increase efficiency

Oversee implementation of technological initiatives

Develop new analytical models and techniques for a company to standardize data collection

Skills Needed to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

Business Skills:

Excellent communication and presentation skills in order to share recommendations often based on highly technical data with colleagues in an approachable, easily digestible way

Superior leadership abilities, as well as ability to brainstorm and collaborate with team members on a data science project

Creative problem-solving skills and critical thinking

Ability to work within a diverse, global workforce that is oriented around customer satisfaction, particularly as many business intelligence analysts are asked to work directly with clients

Technical Skills:

Database design and data architecture

Data mining and analytics

Data security and privacy

Data visualization, including tools such as Tableau and Qlik, SAP BI

Handle all variants of SQL

Proficient in ETL (extract, transform, load)

Understand which situations need Hadoop, R, and SAS and use these effectively

Cloud computing and data storage technology, such as Google’s BigQuery and Amazon’s Redshift

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