In this era of advanced technology, the growth of businesses lies in accurately predicting and forecasting business patterns. Your ability to study data and rising trends to tell what’s attainable in a company is a huge part of business intelligence.
A business intelligence (BI) analyst works with companies to examine competitors and understand market seasons through data analysis. So, it’s a plus if you understand business patterns and have strong consulting abilities. If you want to scale through, here are ten skills to learn to be a business intelligence analyst.
1. Data Mining
A core responsibility of a business intelligence analyst is data visualization, which is only possible if you understand how to extract and mine data. A data mining skill would help you understand where to extract data relevant to the company you’re working for.
Normally, data is always available in large data sets, but with data mining skills, you can extract useful information, clean it up and make it available. The three basic methods of data mining are classification, clustering, and association.
During data classification, you divide large data sets into categories that include public data, confidential data, local data, and internal-only data. The second part of data mining is data clustering. Say you extracted public data. You have to further divide them according to their similarities.
Finally, in data association, you detect the relationship between the data you extracted and what makes them so similar. That said, you realize why having data mining skills is important to business intelligence because it forms the bedrock of business analysis.
2. Data Preparation
Once you understand how to mine data, learning how to prepare this data is next. Even though data mining requires that you put similar data together, you still need to organize and structure the extracted data. You want to turn that raw data into analytics-ready data because you can only use organized and structured data in business intelligence.
You’ll also need to be proficient in the data structures that all programmers should know because business intelligence requires some programming knowledge. As part of data preparation skills, you need to learn how to filter, clean, and transform data.
These processes will help you identify errors and retrieve and store data, giving you an edge in confirming data to make informed business decisions. It also saves your company from producing unreliable analytics results.
3. Business Knowledge
Having business knowledge and understanding of your company’s business model gives direction on how to channel company resources in the right direction. Business intelligence analysis goes beyond gathering information. You’ll need to understand how to use cleaned data to produce the results a company needs. These should be actionable information for making the right decisions.
With vast business knowledge, you can support a company’s vision by providing consultancy on leveraging market trends to improve revenue. These skills also help you interpret data in a way that aligns with a company’s vision and mission. So, you’re not compiling chunks of data. You visualize them and arrange them in a way consistent with business growth.
4. Analytical and Critical Thinking
You need to have critical thinking incorporated into the responsibility of a business intelligence analyst. Also, collecting data, analyzing, and deducing conclusions that would be useful to your company places you on a pedestal for success as a business intelligence analyst.
Analytical and critical thinking ability helps you properly scrutinize data and build something useful from your gathered data. Critical thinking also helps you recognize the weaknesses of a company’s system based on the data you’ve gathered.
For example, if you work for a food-service retailer like McDonald’s and gather data on the influx of in-person sales and online orders. Critical thinking helps you decide whether to increase your personalized online sales strategy or improve your customers’ eat-out experience. You want to also make decisions for current seasons based on the data you’ve gathered while maintaining the company’s goals.
5. Programming Languages
Programming stands at the core of business intelligence analysis. You’ll need basic knowledge of SQL programming to help you pre-aggregate, filter, and only select the data necessary for your analysis. With knowledge of SQL queries, you can create views (rows and columns of data) of a few thousand, lessening the amount of data your BI tool has to work with. This process makes analysis easier and faster.
Therefore, learning basic SQL commands and queries is an important skill for business intelligence analysts. SQL programming language is also useful for data extraction, data quality, data validation, and creating analytical reports. In addition to the SQL programming language, you also need basic knowledge of Python and R programming for data visualization.
6. Statistical Analysis
Through statistical analysis, you can discern market trends and forecast business patterns. It involves organizing and analyzing raw data to draw up reliable information. During statistical analysis, you remove all bias from the data set, leaving you with structured data.
A business intelligence analyst should have statistical analytical skills to describe patterns that can predict future changes in market demands, services, or prices, depending on what company you’re working for. You’ll need this skill to coin useful information from messy data, reducing uncertainty during decision-making.
7. Creation of Reports and Dashboard
Learning how to create reports and dashboards will help you organize and manage your company’s data. It helps you store data in patterns that make it easy to calculate the growth and performance of your company. You can also project future company trends with the report you create to present to stakeholders willing to invest in the company.
In addition to choosing the ideal reporting tool, it’s expedient for you to learn how to navigate reporting software and visualize data relevant to your company. You also want to create reports that are simple and easily understood. By developing skills in creating dashboards, representing data in an all-in-one platform becomes easy.
As a business intelligence analyst, conveying data in the simplest of ways is crucial. Thus, proficiency in creating reports and dashboards that simplify data is important.
8. Data Visualization
Data visualization skills include understanding data purpose, navigating data visualization tools, and telling a compelling story using graphs, web maps, charts, and tables. In addition, learning how to present data to a layperson using charts and graphs is essential. Combining statistical data with art and having strong visual design skills are pluses.
Once you can gather cleaned data and run them on different databases, upgrade your data visualization skills to make yourself a better business intelligence analyst. Also, learning when to use what chart type is important. You want to avoid using the wrong chart types, which may confuse people.
9. Organization and Time Management
Your ability to efficiently manage your time and interpret data promptly is important for your company’s growth. If you work for a healthcare company looking to scale its medical services and get data on the number of individuals they’ve treated in the past, you’ll need to sort these analyses in an organized manner.
A tiny error in the figures can result in a huge dent in your company’s image. In addition to being meticulous, relaying information on time, especially when providing data for shareholders who want to examine some reports before making investments, is important. You help your company make relevant decisions on time by providing the required data on time.
10. Industry Knowledge
Finally, having industry knowledge about your company is necessary. If you work in the health and fitness or digital marketing niche, you have to be familiar with the latest trends and trajectories. Read the numbers and watch what other competitors are changing. If they were rethinking their strategy, they could have made their analysis.
Analyze your company’s data and find ways to leverage that information to boost your company’s resources. However, this is only possible if you understand your way around the industry and what drives it. Aside from making you an asset to your company, becoming knowledgeable in your industry also increases your worth as a business intelligence analyst.
Become a Top-Rated Business Intelligence Analyst
In addition to acquiring high-level skills as a business intelligence analyst, you’ll also need the appropriate BI tool to help you boost your career and become top-rated. One of the best is Power BI. By using Power BI, you’ll get accurate results in no time.
So, to become a top-rated business intelligence analyst, you can start by going through some online courses to help you master Power BI.