How to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

Business intelligence analysts, a type of management analyst, study data, and systems at an organization and propose ways to make it more profitable and efficient. ( Business intelligence analysts provide advice to managers about how to make companies more profitable by increasing revenues and decreasing costs. Typical duties are:

Featured Programs:
Sponsored School(s)
  • Collect and organize information about the business problem that needs solving or the procedure that needs improving.
  • Interview company personnel and perform observations onsite to determine equipment, methods, and personnel that are required.
  • Collect and analyze financial and other data, such as expenditures, revenue, and employment reports.
  • Create solutions and alternative practices that lead to higher revenues and lower costs.
  • Make recommendations for new procedures, systems, and/or organizational changes.

Business intelligence analysts may work for the company they analyze or for a consulting company that works with many companies. Some in the field may specialize in certain areas, such as corporate restructuring or inventory management. Others specialize in an industry, such as IT or healthcare.

Interested in a career as a business intelligence analyst? Below is more information.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence involves technology, applications, and practices to collect, integrate, analyze, and present business information. The idea behind business intelligence is to help companies make better business decisions. Business intelligence systems are driven by data, and provide historical, current and predictive views of the company’s operations. (

The business intelligence analyst works on sales, production, financials and other sources of business data to enhance business performance and management. Business intelligence involves the following processes: (

  • Data mining: The use of databases, statistics, and machine learning to find trends in large amounts of data.
  • Reporting: Sharing data analysis with managers so they can make conclusions and business decisions.
  • Performance metrics and benchmarking: This is the comparison of current performance data to previous data to monitor performance and goals.
  • Descriptive analytics: The use of preliminary data analysis to find out what occurred.
  • Querying: Asking questions that are data-specific,.
  • Statistical analysis: Taking results and looking further at the data with statistical tools.
  • Data visualization: Transforming data analysis into a visual representation, such as charts, graphs, etc.

What Do Business Intelligence Analysts Do?

A business intelligence analyst guides and enhances the way a company fosters collaboration between and inside departments. More of their duties are: (

  • Offer application analysis and data modeling design to gather data for the centralized data warehouse.
  • Pull data from databases and data warehouses for business intelligence reports and to improve sharing between data systems.
  • Use query and reporting analysis tools.
  • Standardize the collection of data by coming up with methods for validation reports and database design.

Where Do Business Intelligence Analysts Work?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that management analysts and business intelligence analysts held 876,000 jobs in 2018. The biggest employers of these professionals were in these sectors: (

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: 30%
  • Self-employed workers: 18%
  • Government: 16%
  • Finance and insurance: 11%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 5%

Some of the top employers for business intelligence analysts are: (

  • Travelers
  • Google
  • Verizon
  • USAA
  • CSI Tech
  • EY
  • Boeing
  • NTT Data Services
  • Wayfair
  • Indeed
  • Prosperity Home Mortgage

What Is the Job Outlook for Business Intelligence Analysts?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the related job of management analyst will experience 14% growth by 2028, which is much faster than average. Demand for business intelligence and management consulting services will grow quickly as organizations seek to boost efficiency and reduce costs in a more competitive global economy. (

Demand for management and business intelligence analysts will be especially robust in the healthcare industry. This sector is seeing higher expenses because of an aging US population. Also, more management analysts could be needed to assist people in navigating the health insurance regulatory environment.

Information technology business intelligence analysts also will be needed as companies want to hire consulting companies to help them reach the best possible level of cybersecurity. Growth should be strongest in small consulting companies that specialize in business functions such as HR or IT. Government agencies also will look for these analysts to help them reduce spending and boost efficiency.

How Can You Become a Business Intelligence Analyst?

Business intelligence analysts need the proper combination of education, training and certifications for the best employment opportunities: (

  • Education: You should have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, statistics, mathematics, or business administration. (See best Online Masters in Business Analytics Rankings). Many in the field opt to earn an MBA to increase their earning potential. Others get a master’s degree in computer science, IT, or cybersecurity.
  • Training: Most organizations want business intelligence analysts with experience in business or information technology. You may find the best way to get your foot in the door is through a business intelligence analyst internship while you are in college. But experience as a business or data analyst can be a good background to become a business intelligence analyst.
  • Certifications: The technical aspect of the job is the most vital part of working in this field. So having a certification in SQL, Oracle, or Python can be useful. Such certifications show you have advanced knowledge of programs and languages that are vital to success in the field.

What Do Exams and Licensing Involve?

If you want to get to the top of this growing field, recommends the following certifications:

  • Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP): For senior-level personnel in IT and technology fields with a focus on business analytics and data management. You need to have two years’ experience in CIS, data modeling, data planning, data definitions, ERP, application development and IT management.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: BI Reporting: Shows expertise in data analysis with Power BI and Excel. It also shows skill in data visualization, data analysis, modeling, and dashboards.
  • QlikView Data Architect: Shows knowledge of the technical areas of QlikView app development, including data modeling, design, and scripting.
  • Tableau Desktop Certified Professional: Recommended for business intelligence analysts with experience in Tableau who want to show their advanced understanding of Tableau’s functionality and the application of visual best practices. You need to already hold the Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate certification.