A business intelligence analyst is an expert at turning data into knowledge/information and using it to facilitate key business processes. The role of a business intelligence analyst is to analyse the type of information used by a business or an organisation. They work alongside IT teams to turn data into critical knowledge and information that can be instrumental in making effective business decisions. The core responsibilities of a business intelligence analyst involve developing and providing new business intelligence solutions for an organisation. The role of a business intelligence revolves around the following:
- Having a solid understanding of the core operations of the business to allow easy identification and rectification of critical issues.
- Providing information that is corresponding, accurate and reliable, whilst ensuring that it is readily available to users to enable easy integration into other system processes.
- Educating and training clients to use the information provided as an analytical tool, presenting the data in new contents and forms for the purpose of option and analysis exploration.
Business intelligence analysts liaise with clients to determine priorities, business requirements, develop and implement data warehouse and business intelligence strategy and to define key performance indicators. They are responsible for providing independent initiatives and leading the team to facilitate information gathering, and to structure and present the findings to all levels of management. The duties include working alongside development teams to design and document alerts, dashboards and reports. They evaluate functional business elements and processes and also assists in developing business cases to support IT projects and process transformation.
A business intelligence analyst will often have a technology-related degree, or they may have a degree specifically in business intelligence. Many jobs in this area require expert knowledge in technologies such as Cognos and SQL. They need to be able to think outside the box by delving into the definition, source, foundational roots and philosophy of the elements of data to create accurate information. A business intelligence analyst must have in-depth knowledge about the various methods in which data can be applied to assist in the process of business intelligence. Outside of educational requirements, there are certain skills that an employer is looking for in a business intelligence analyst, these include the following:
- Analytical skills: A business intelligence analyst should be able to analyse the data collected. Hence, a crucial element of the job is to determine the meaning of data trends.
- Time Management: Analysts work on multiple large projects with tight deadlines. Being able to manage your time well is an essential component of the job.
- Problem Solving: Capable of looking at data trends and recommending solutions to reduce loss and create more revenue.
- Communication Skills: After analysing the data, a business intelligence analyst must be able to present their findings to management.
- Report Writing: One of the core requirements is the ability to report, define or develop business intelligence structures in a way that will serve a specific purpose. This can only be well-represented by an excellent report writer.