How to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

With the explosion of the information technology industry, companies have to deal with more and more data. Analysts need to categorize and refine the information to improve efficiency and revenue.

They help transform large databases into concise and easy-to-understand reports. Therefore, they must have a variety of analytical abilities, including data analysis and good business knowledge.

But, how to become a business intelligence (BI) analyst? Scroll down for details!

What Does It Mean To Be a BI Analyst?

The business analyst acts as a mediator, moderator, and connector to bring the business requirement and IT resources together.

To bridge the gap between management and business analysis, a business analyst might mix technical and non-technical talents. 

Business intelligence is all about understanding a company’s historical performance to understand its present status and affect future actions.

team of business intelligence  analysts

Experienced business analysts are clear communicators, smooth facilitators, exact analysts, and team players.

It might involve having a firm grasp of the tools and products used in the area. It distinguishes you as a brilliant expert and helps you stand out in the sector, which is beneficial to your career.

Analysts are critical to making the vast amounts of information presently accessible to meaningful businesses.

A business intelligence analyst may examine data and uncover insights to help a company make better choices about its future activities.

For example, your company may use business intelligence to predict what things consumers will buy next based on their previous purchases. 

After making suggestions for technical advancements in a firm, an analyst is often called upon to hold seminars for colleagues, including teaching managers how to deploy and monitor these new systems.

What Is a BI Analyst’s Job Description?

The analyst in today’s data science workforce analyzes internal corporate data and data from rivals to find methods to better their own organization’s market position. 

They will examine their company’s systems, methods, and operations to identify areas where you may improve efficiency and profit margins.

They must also examine innovative approaches for a corporation to build new regulations for information gathering and analysis processes and ensure data integrity. 

They may sometimes be responsible for recruiting additional information professionals, such as data architects.

Below is a list of duties you may be responsible for if you want to work in this field.

  • Consult with customers to determine their requirements and issues.
  • Conduct information-gathering interviews with clients and consumers and solicit feedback.
  • Use querying strategies to collect and retrieve data from warehouses for reporting.
  • Use software apps to analyze current information.
  • Create executive summaries of a company’s present position.
  • Make suggestions to upper management on how to improve efficiency.
  • Ensure to implement technology efforts correctly.
  • Develop new analytical models and methodologies for a company’s data-collecting to be more consistent.

How To Become A Business Intelligence Analyst

You can consider the 8 step guide below to become a BI Analyst.

learning late

1. Obtain Your Bachelor’s Degree

Completing a four-year bachelor’s degree program is the initial step toward becoming an analyst. 

Computer science, data science, statistics, business administration, economics, and related areas are common majors. But, whatever subject you pick, courses in statistics, technology, and data analysis will help you in your career.

Undergraduates should seek degrees in information systems, computer science, data science, business administration, engineering, economics, or a comparable discipline that will allow them to understand corporate procedures.

Before joining the field, you’ll need to learn as much as possible about information, so seek courses in data architecture, database design, data visualization, etc. Before you graduate, you should have solid Excel and SQL abilities.

2. Complete An Internship

An internship in the financial sector, which will allow you to learn about the inner workings, is an excellent place to start your training.

Consider a career as a data analyst, business analyst, or information report writer once you graduate. Look for opportunities to query SQL, model and analyze information, and design and manage project scope in these positions. 

These experiences will provide valuable industry connections and a better understanding of the end-to-end process of projects that an analyst works on.

Many bachelor’s degree programs provide an internship option in the discipline of business or a specialized industry, such as accounting.

An internship program may help you get the required work experience you’ll need to qualify for the job while also allowing you to start building your professional network.

be a professional

3. Obtain Professional Certifications

To qualify for a position, specific organizations may demand specialized certificates. There are a variety of professional certifications you may pursue to demonstrate your expertise and understanding in areas linked to the position. 

Data Analyst Associate is the most significant professional credential for business c analysts. This certification validates your ability to create and implement data-driven solutions using SQL. 

This test covers the ability to compile and manage SQL databases, build a data warehouse and data models, and develop business solutions.

Another option is the TDWI Certified Business Intelligence Professional, which you may test for and earn at the practitioner or mastery levels. You must have at least two years of relevant professional experience to take this test. 

You may also consider obtaining a certification in SAS’s particular computer language.

Credentials such as the CBIP or Microsoft’s Certified Solutions Expert in Business Intelligence will also help you.

4. Develop Your Skills

Because various occupations demand distinct skill sets, the abilities required for a BI function may vary by position. However, there are specific general hard and soft abilities that you should have:

  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to analyze data
  • Communication
  • SQL expertise
  • Industry-specific expertise

The abilities required for database administration, data query writing, and critical thinking to decide how to obtain information are data analysis. You’ll also need to know how to organize the information you get. 

You should be able to identify problem areas, establish elements that may contribute to difficulties, and produce solutions and cost estimates for fixing problems.

Because the abilities required for each role vary, we’ll take the example of data science skills needed for a BI analyst. These skills are necessary for a BI analyst:

  • Modeling of data
  • Data warehouse expertise
  • Exploration of data
  • Analyzing information
  • Critical thinking and communication abilities
  • Python and C# are two examples of programming languages
  • Reporting and database management

Different abilities are required depending on whatever area of BI you work in. A summary of some of these more technical abilities is as follows:

  • C and C++ are two programming languages.
  • Making data-driven reporting
  • Data management
  • Debugging and evaluating software
  • Visualizations of data
  • Quality control of data
  • Excel and Power BI
  • Analytical statistics

5. Pursue a Master’s Degree

It’s necessary to gain a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), although it is not essential if the individual has adequate work experience and professional qualifications. 

A master’s degree in information technology or a master’s degree in the sector you wish to concentrate on is also an option. A master’s degree may assist them in advancing their careers and boosting their earning potential.


6. Gain More Relevant Experience

Examine the job criteria for the opportunities you’re interested in to see whether you must have a certain quantity of relevant work experience to apply for the position.

Many employers favor applicants with relevant job experience in information technology (IT), management, or business intelligence. 

Internship programs and entry-level employment in your fields, such as data analyst or business analyst, may help you get the experience required.

7. Looking For A Job Position

Once you have the requisite education, experience, and certifications, you may begin searching for open opportunities to apply.

For information on the skills and credentials the company is seeking, read the job description for each position you’re interested in applying for.

You might also inquire with your present company to see whether a job is open.

8. Prepare A Resume and Apply

Once you’ve located the roles you want to apply for, utilize the information from the job descriptions to construct a CV tailored to the position. 

When presenting your experience and talents, you may utilize an online resume builder to help you target keywords from the job description.

A resume may promote your talents and education, and it should include certifications and any side projects that highlight your expertise.

After completing your resume, go back to the original job ad and apply for the position that interests you. You may submit your updated CV for consideration for a promotion if your present company has an opening for an analyst.

A business intelligence interview may comprise a mix of skills and behavioral questions to identify a candidate’s soft and hard talents. 

Employers may be searching for proof of your ability to communicate, solve problems, and operate in a team.

You may also wish to show that they are familiar with standard analytical tools and solutions that they may utilize in their daily job. 

Some firms employ quizzes or case studies to assess a candidate’s ability to grasp an issue and develop a solution. 

The organization wants to examine how the applicant would handle difficulties with unknown parameters. Hence the question may not have a real solution.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a BI Analyst?

Competencies in Business:

  • Excellent communication and presentation skills to communicate ideas with colleagues
  • Superior leadership skills and the ability to create and work with team members on a data science project
  • Problem-solving creativity and critical thinking
  • Ability to work in a varied, multinational workforce that prioritizes customer satisfaction
multiple skill sets
Skills for BI analyst

Technical Knowledge:

  • Data architecture and database design
  • Analytics and data mining
  • Data privacy and security
  • Tableau and Qlik are two examples of data visualization software.
  • Handle all SQL Proficient variations in ETL (extract, transform, load)
  • Understand when you need Hadoop, R, and SAS and how to utilize them efficiently.
  • Google’s BigQuery and Amazon’s Redshift are examples of cloud computing and data storage technologies.


How long does it take to be a business intelligence analyst?

To become a business analyst, you’ll need at least four years of experience. 

To get appropriate entry-level experience, you will need to finish at least a bachelor’s degree and an internship within this period.

Does business intelligence need coding?

For data processing to yield relevant insights, Business Intelligence (BI) requires coding. You will need to employ coding in the BI project lifecycle’s data modeling and warehousing phases. 

However, coding is not necessary for the other phases of the BI lifecycle. Anyone with essential programming experience may begin a career in BI.

Is being a business intelligence Analyst hard?

To be effective as a BI analyst, you’ll need hard and soft abilities. You must be well-versed in business and competent to interpret data.

Is business analytics a promising career?

Individuals who like sorting, viewing, and using the information to solve issues, give business insight, and make choices would enjoy the job with great income in business analytics. 

For example, data-driven insights may assist organizations in evolving product development in ways that anticipate their customers’ wants.

Is a business analyst a stressful job?

A business analyst position, according to Forbes, is “usually less stressful than high-demand financial occupations” and may provide tremendous flexibility.


Now that you’ve had a glance into the world of business intelligence, you can use these talents to get your ideal BI job. It is pretty simple if you are still a student since you may major in information systems or business analytics. 

An internship might help you acquire experience before landing your ideal position if you currently work in the field.