If you're a keen problem-solver and a quick learner with a technical mind, you might be a good candidate for a job in business intelligence. This is a growing, technology-driven sector with many different sub-fields, and therefore many different career paths.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence is a blanket term that refers to a range of different tools, technologies and applications organizations use to analyze, collect and present their raw data. Using this data, corporations create actionable, insightful business information that helps drive their success. The discipline of business intelligence consists of many related activities, such as data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting.
Business intelligence benefits an organization in several ways. It can help to accelerate and improve decision making, improve internal business processes, drive new revenue, identify market trends, identify and address business problems. All of these things should lead to a more efficient, profitable business.
How to Work in Business Intelligence
If you search online for "business intelligence" on a job website, you'll find a whole list of different job titles, some of which overlap. It's important to read job descriptions carefully to determine what the position entails, what qualifications are required to be considered for the job and what the salary and benefits are. The most common business intelligence job titles are business intelligence analyst, business intelligence engineer and business intelligence developer.
A business intelligence analyst spends most of their time looking at data to work out market and business trends for companies and pinpoint ways to increase profits and efficiency. A business intelligence engineer works closely with business intelligence analysts and customers to turn the data into information that is easily grasped. This role also teaches customers how to use that information to make the right business decisions. A business intelligence developer focuses on solving existing problems within the company, researching a range of options and formulating solutions to improve operational efficiency.
The Growing Business Intelligence Industry
This is a great time to get into the business intelligence industry. According to Stratistics MRC, the global business intelligence market is expected to reach $29.48 billion by 2022 with a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 11.1 percent. We live in a data-driven world, and more and more organizations are installing and using data-driven projects. On a small scale, they can do this in-house. However, using business intelligence software can make the process easier, the tools more advantageous and the outcome more profitable.
If you want to get a job in business intelligence, research open positions with the key players in this sector (such as Microsoft Corporation, Datawatch, SAS Institute and Tibco Software). If you're at entry level, look for report writer, data analyst and business analyst vacancies. Many education providers offer business intelligence programs, but if you get your foot in the door with an entry-level job, you can get certifications while working in this rapidly growing field.