Business intelligence is a field that is dominated by people who have excellent educational qualifications backed by years of work experience. While we all know that intelligence analysts are hired by governments and military to build a strong network of intelligence unit for safeguarding the nation against terrorists and similar minded organizations, business intelligence analyst jobs are more concentrated in the business world.
Business intelligence analysts (BIAs) are professionals in the IT world who have to club their technical knowledge and business understanding to help a firm make wise decisions. A BIA can help the management to take effective decisions in critical matters like customer support, logistics management and in achieving firm's goals and aspirations. BIAs are hired in all major fields of work, be it pharmaceutical, IT consulting, information technology (IT) services, insurance, law enforcements or education.
Salary of Business Intelligence Analyst
Business intelligence analysts jobs have been rated amongst the highest paid professions in the year 2011 in the field of IT jobs. Further, this profession has seen an increase in demand in the recent few years. Moreover, firms and companies are raising their standards of recruitment making this field has become very competitive. Employers are is willing to hire skilled BIAs who can help their firm take effective decisions in a business environment that is constantly changing. The salary range of a business analyst, as per various sources is approximately between US$70,000 to US$125,000. The lower spectrum of salaries or starting salaries is between (US$50,000 - US$70,000) are earned by BIAs with one to 5 years of work experience.
The mid level BIAs, that is those having at least 5 or more years of experience can easily earn anywhere between US$70,000 - US$100,000. Senior business analysts who have excellent educational qualifications (adequate degrees and loads of certifications) besides lots of work experience are able to earn six figure salaries. While considering salary of business analysts, one needs to consider various other factors that determine salary range of an individual in the professional market. These may include but are not limited to work experience, educational qualifications, location of the job and market conditions and employer type (private/public).
What do Business Intelligence Analysts Exactly Do
Data and statistics matter to the core when it comes to the analysis of performance of an individual or a firm. Analysis of the data, reports, statistics and records collected through different sources as well as from the firm's performance forms the key part of a business intelligence analyst job description. By using numerous types of analysis tools, skilled business intelligence analysts, work to analyze data like inventory, sales and customers so that they are able to come up with predictions about firms growth trends that can help the company management take more informed decisions.
Business Intelligence (BI) analysts also prepare reports regarding performance of different departments of the firm in various fields, be it selling or profit generating. These data are stored as firm's operational data in the database of the company. If these data are left without any analysis, they're mere numbers with no use. However, when these data are critically analyzed by BI's, it helps firms to know about their growth trends, strength areas and weaknesses. In fact, corporate data are used as a major tool by companies to gain a competitive advantage in the fierce business competition. When viewed from this angle, the roles of business analysts is very crucial for an organization in this era.
Now, senior managers and leaders not only rely on intuition, gut instinct and visionary approach while taking big decisions but they also deeply analyze data and statistics regarding their firm's performance in the market. Numbers speak of themselves and by mathematically analyzing data, a firm becomes more aware of its business operations. This can help a company to make changes in marketing strategies, supply chain operations and improve overall efficiency of the firms. Hence, it can be stated without any doubt that hiring a business intelligence analyst in a corporate firm is of great importance.
Qualifications and Skills to Become a BI Analyst
- Deep understanding of the goals, mission and objectives of the firm. Being well aware of their business techniques and the firm's position in the market.
- Proficient in handling database and data analysis technology.
- Knowledge about computer science, well versed with technology regarding database management. Added to that an MBA or CPA is also essential as understanding of business of the firm is a critical part of BI analyst job.
- Technical certifications, knowledge of several computer programming languages and several industry oriented courses in the same field can compensate for a relevant degree but that is required to be backed up by reputed certifications.
- A Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is essential for employment growth and only professionals with 5 years of work experience and those who have done 21 hours of professional development courses are allowed to sit for the exam of this certifications. This certification is managed by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). The minimum requirement to obtain this certification is high school diploma or its equivalent degree.
- Many BIA's move on to take doctoral or PhD degrees in business administration.
- Ability to work under pressure.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Strong analytical and logical thinking skills.
- Must be a team player.
By reading this CareerStint article, you must have got some idea about the business intelligence analyst jobs. The most notable aspect of this profession is the technical and business challenges besides the well paying salary. As the business world becomes more complex and becomes interdependent on lots of factors for its success, decision-making policies of firms will evolve as the differentiators of success in the market. This will certainly create demands for business intelligence analysts and so the future of this profession is extremely bright with numerous job opportunities.