Knowing how to properly collect and interpret data can have a significant impact on a business’ success. A business intelligence analyst reviews data to produce finance and market intelligence reports. These reports are used to highlight patterns and trends in a given market that may influence a company’s operations and future goals.
To properly access and analyze data, it’s important to have the right combination of professional experience, technical skills and education. An online Master of Science in Business Analytics degree can teach you how to create business advantages across markets and industries by deriving value from data analysis. With the flexibility to learn on your own schedule, an online program can help you develop the technical and quantitative skills to be competitive in the growing field of business analytics.
A typical day in the life of a business intelligence analyst
A typical day for a business intelligence analyst includes collecting data, analyzing it and then sharing the information with the right audience. These components can break down into more detailed tasks, all of which allow you to positively impact a company’s overall performance. The process on any given data collection project may flow like this:
- Collect business intelligence data from sources which may include industry reports, public information, field reports or purchased findings. This may mean updating your knowledge about relevant technology trends or emerging markets in your industry in addition to gathering data related to the customers and the market.
- Store the data in your company’s computer database, which may require regular updates. You may also need to establish operational procedures to utilize the database and provide technical support or software maintenance for any unique programs.
- Analyze the data to identify any trends that could impact your business’ strategies.
- Utilize the results of the analysis to support recommendations for action to improve or even grow the company.
- Prepare analytical reports to summarize findings and share with the appropriate company stakeholders through established communication processes.
Throughout this process, you’ll need to work with a variety of people, both internally and externally, to stay aware of trends in your own business and the industry at large. You’ll also need to manage the flow of information so data is analyzed, summarized and routed to the proper stakeholders in a timely manner.
A closer look at the professional landscape of a business intelligence analyst
As a whole, demand for individuals in business analytics roles is increasing due to the impact big data has on the global economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts there will be 1.5 million jobs in this field by 2018. Job growth for business intelligence analysts is expected to ranges from 5 percent to 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to BLS data compiled by O*Net OnLine.
A bachelor’s degree is typically required to begin a career as a business intelligence analyst, although graduates of a master’s degree in a field such as business analytics may gain a competitive advantage due to their knowledge of advanced skills and practices, making them potentially more qualified for higher-level positions.
Becoming a business intelligence analyst
Hiring managers for this position are usually looking for candidates with the right combination of experience, skills and education. Professional experience and technical expertise may set you apart from other candidates, in addition to having relevant degrees. Pre-existing knowledge relating to software in areas like database management, user interface and queries and enterprise resource planning can also prove beneficial.
The skills needed to be successful in this position include thinking critically, interpreting data and actively listening to clearly understand problems. Business intelligence analysts must be able to fully comprehend the data to organize it, analyze it and present it meaningfully to others. The most important skills hiring managers look for in candidates may include:
- Analytics: Professionals must find relevant data and interpret it in order to make logical recommendations on business strategy.
- Communication: Analytics can be a very technical field but professionals must be able to communicate their findings clearly to stakeholders in all departments.
Learn more about your potential career as a business intelligence analyst
Understanding how data can influence business decisions and goals is essential to be successful in a career as a business intelligence analyst. The analytic depth and business acumen taught in an online Master of Science in Business Analytics degree, such as the one offered through Arizona State University, can help prepare individuals to enter or move ahead in this field. Offered through the W. P. Carey School of Business, this graduate program fosters an environment of global thinking to prepare students to work with big data and the impact it can have on all facets of business.