How to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

As technology continues to shift and offer more and more ways to use big data in business, the role of an analyst has and will continue to evolve. From consumer behavior to operational efficiency, data analysis and data science have become key contributors to a business’s bottom line. 

Additionally, the job outlook and payscale for business intelligence analysts are promising. With a median base salary of $87,660 annually, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth in the field to increase 14% from 2020 to 2030.

If you’re considering a career as a business intelligence analyst, here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

What is a Business Intelligence Analyst?

A business intelligence analyst seeks to understand the evolving needs of a business, as well as any technological solutions that might be available to meet those needs. For this reason, a business analyst will work closely with a company’s IT department to provide tech-related services that can help the company grow and prosper. 

Similarly, a business intelligence (BI) analyst will analyze and interpret data relating to revenue, sales, and other metrics. In sharing these findings, analysts will compile reports and present them in front of colleagues, upper management, or potential clients. 

Since this role requires strategy and communication skills across multiple channels, a business intelligence analyst needs to be capable in those areas. The role also demands the ability to present the same data to various audiences, from internal departments within a company to external stakeholders. 

How Do I Become a Business Intelligence Analyst?

According to the International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA), a successful business intelligence analyst should be focused on finding ways to be an “agent of change” for a company. These changes could include everything from the software the company uses to policy changes implemented for cutting costs or increasing marketing efforts. If this sounds like the perfect role for you, below are some steps you should take to steer your career path in that direction. 

1. Start with an Undergrad Degree in Business or Technology

Having the right educational background can make a significant difference if you plan to become a business intelligence analyst. In your pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, some areas of focus worth considering include business, accounting, technology, and business management. The undergraduate courses you take to attain this degree will help instill the fundamentals necessary to help you advance quickly in the field and increase your marketability. 

2. Become Technologically Proficient in Different Areas

Since this role will require the use of various technologies and software to collect, organize, and analyze data, being tech-savvy will put you ahead of the game. In particular, some common functions and tools used in business intelligence include data visualization software, cloud services, and machine learning with artificial intelligence. 

Even if you haven’t fully developed your expertise in tech before pursuing a career as a business analyst, there are multiple free online courses available. Mastering several of these courses would be an excellent addition to your resume and show potential employers you’re able to learn more about the technology related to the field. 

3. Earn an MBA in Business Intelligence or Analytics Management

By earning a master’s degree in business intelligence or analytics management, or obtaining an advanced certificate from an accredited university, you’ll be more than ready to pursue a job in this field. Employers around the world need the skills of business analysts to help them keep up with the competition and stay relevant.

A Career for the Future Has Never Looked Brighter

If a career in business analysis sounds interesting, start by exploring the ways you can bolster your skill set. To increase your marketability and earning potential in the field of business intelligence and analytics, a solid foundation rooted in business and technology combined with an MBA is the best route. And, with an excellent job outlook over the next decade, pursuing a career in this field has a high chance of landing you the dream job you’ve always wanted.


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