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How to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst in 2020

Hi everyone! Welcome to another 365 Data Science Special! It’s time to discover one more way to break into data science! Yes, you guessed it right– we’ll talk about becoming the BFF of business performance – the Business Intelligence analyst! We’ll take a good look into who the BI analyst is, what they do, and how much zeroes are tacked on the end of their salary. Last but not least, we’ll discuss what skills and academic background will help you become one. And if you yourself are considering a career as a BI analyst, great choice! BI analysts are some of the most in-demand data science professionals across many, many industries and business fields at the moment. However, if you lack the academic background or relevant skills for the job, it’s easy to get discouraged.

That said, you should know that acquiring these skills is absolutely possible, even for complete beginners. There are plenty of qualification programs and online certificate data science trainings. One of these is the 365 Data Science Program, so, before we move on, we’d like to quickly tell you about this awesome all-around training. The program contains the full set of data science courses you need to develop the entire set of skills for the job. It’s completely beginner-friendly, so even if you don’t have any maths or statistics knowledge, it will help you first build those foundations before moving on to more advanced topics. Building up your programming skills happens naturally, with courses on Python, SQL and R, and plenty of exercises and projects to really make your knowledge stick.

Once you’re comfortable with programming, the program teaches you how to create machine and deep learning models with the latest frameworks like TensorFlow and TensorFlow 2. And if you’d like to build a more specialized skillset, you can do that with courses on Time Series Analysis, Credit Risk Modeling and more. As we mentioned, there are plenty of real-world exercises and projects and as data science as a field evolves, so does the training, with new courses and resources getting added on almost monthly bases. So, if you’d like to learn more or enroll using a 20% discount, there’s a link in the description you can check out. Alright – let’s talk about the BI analyst and everything you need to know about that career choice.

First things first – becoming a BI analyst is one of several ways to get yourself on the data science track, and if that’s what you’re aiming for, just keep in mind the other options, too: • data analyst; • data architect; • data engineer; • and, of course, the data scientist. We’ll be making videos for each one of these, so keep an eye out on our channel. So, who is the BI analyst and what makes them so special? BI analysts are fierce business performance ninjas who possess a blend of business vision, consultant abilities and profound understanding of data. They join forces with senior management to shape and develop a data strategy.

Analysis of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), accurate overview of business performance and identifying areas that need improvement are also specialties in the BI analyst’s domain. So far, so good. But what exactly does a BI analyst do? Well, they focus primarily on analyses and reporting of past historical data. Once the relevant data is in the hands of the BI Analyst (that’s… monthly revenue, customer, sales volume, etc.), they must quantify the observations, calculate KPIs, and examine the measures to extract insights. Of course, the most important aspect of a BI analyst’s job is to continually improve their company’s competitive positioning.

Therefore, they examine their competitors, data trends, seasonality, and other random effects to quickly identify issues and best practices. On top of that, they create killer graphs and dashboards to review major decisions and measure effectiveness. So, in a word, if you want to have an impact on the business world, become a BI analyst. Well, maybe that’s easier said than done. But let’s see how much a BI analyst makes per year, maybe that’ll have some inspirational effect on you. Well, according to Glassdoor and PayScale, if you’re new to the profession (with 1 year of experience or less), you can count on $66,000 average pay.

Once you’ve gained a few years of experience and you’ve honed your persuasion skills, your median annual pay can reach $79,000 (plus $5,185 average bonus). You want to work across the pond? That’s alright! An entry-level BI analyst in the UK can expect to earn an average total salary of £26,000. And, by all means, 1-4 years of experience will grant you a total compensation of £29,000. So, what are the steps and qualifications you need to become a BI analyst in the first place?

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Well, if you want to pursue the BI analyst career path, consider gaining some experience as a data analyst or a business analyst. A BI analyst career has a lot to offer but you definitely need some high-level skills to get started. That said, it makes sense to talk about the education and the skills themselves. We’ll start with the academic background. In general, landing a job as a BI analyst should come relatively easy, if you have a BA in one (or more) of the following: • computer science; • mathematics; • statistics; • finance; • business administration; • or economics or related field. But don’t be quick to discourage if your background is in contemporary dance or Classical Indian literature, because, as we mentioned in the beginning, there are plenty of specializations and all-around online certificate courses that will give you the knowledge and confidence required for the job.

And here’s a small tip: if you’re new to the data science field, an internship in the financial industry would be a great start. Not only will this help you understand all business processes, but you’ll also get a good idea of what projects a BI analyst undertakes. Okay! From academia to the competitive data science job market – here are the skills you need to become a full-fledged BI analyst. A data science job is all about the skillset, and the BI analyst path makes no exception. There’s a plethora of technical, practical, and soft skills you should work on to fit the bill. First, let’s take a look at the technical side of things! To become a BI analyst, you’ll have to demonstrate excellent Excel, SQL and Power BI skills, along with some serious Tableau Desktop and Server abilities.

Such competencies are key to developing graphs, dashboards, reports, and presentations of project results. And those are of major importance to a BI analyst’s job. What about Python and R? Highly desirable, so make sure you put them on your things-to-learn list, too! All in all, if there’s a tool or technique that will help you identify, analyze, and interpret trends or patterns in complex data sets, just master it! You’ll thank yourself later.

Okay – what about practical skills. It’s right here: • strong planning and organization skills; • learning concepts quickly, and applying them to come up with creative solutions; • analytical skills; • impeccable attention to detail, • working independently in a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment; • designing rich data visualizations and dashboards to communicate complex ideas to business partners and leadership; • presentation skills; • persuasion, flexibility, and adaptability. But, if you want to really stand out, there’s one more secret ingredient you should add to your BI analyst qualifications – soft skills. You’ll need: • team-player mindset in a high-pressure environment; • verbal and written communication skills; • willingness to assist and coach other project teams when required. Combine those with a fast understanding of other people’s needs and… You’re moving right on top of any data science company’s recruitment list! Alright! That’s our review of the BI Analyst job.

Hopefully, you got a sense of what to expect from the position and what you need to aim for if you want to land a job in the field. However, some extra career insights are always desirable. So, if you feel like you still need additional career advice and a more detailed analysis of the career opportunities in data science – we wrote a very long article about this, and the link is in the description, if you want to learn more. In the meantime, thanks for watching and good luck on your data science journey!

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