Business Intelligence Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-09-0825 min read

Business intelligence experts manage data analysis to help businesses understand their operations better and make informed decisions. Occupations in this field demand technical skills to provide data-driven analytics, which help firms fix problems and improve operations.

Business intelligence majors can work as analysts, consultants, and project managers in business and government organizations.

This post will explore business intelligence career projections and advancement opportunities.

Why Choose Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence, or BI, is a technology-driven process businesses use to better analyze and present data.

Many firms, corporations, and businesses invest extensively in business intelligence to determine market trends and improve their services.

Choosing a career in business intelligence means being integral to a company's data process.  You'll help them make better decisions, monitor market trends, and stay ahead of their competition.

Business intelligence jobs also pay well, meaning you'll be earning more than enough to take care of your needs.

How to Start your Business Intelligence Journey

If you want a career in Business Intelligence, then you'll at least require a bachelor's degree. You can also enroll in graduate programs if you wish to specialize. Here are the education requirements for business intelligence:

Education Requirements

Associate Degree

An associate's degree provides learners with the foundational knowledge of business intelligence. You will gain the fundamentals you need to launch a successful career in business intelligence. The two-year degree trains professionals for entry-level roles. Also, they can serve as a stepping stone to a four-year bachelor's degree.

Bachelor's Degree

Business intelligence careers often require a bachelor's degree. These programs cover general education, core disciplines, and specializations. This degree is required for analyst and consulting roles and prepares students for entry-level work and graduate school. With a bachelor's degree, you can work as a management analyst, market research analyst, etc.

Master's Degree

Individuals seeking complex skill sets often acquire a master's degree. Many business intelligence master's programs involve two years of full-time study. They build on bachelor's-level knowledge and progress beyond foundational studies. Graduates often take senior management or analyst roles.

Doctorate in Business Intelligence

A Ph.D. is the highest business intelligence degree. Graduates serve as thought leaders, decision-makers, instructors, and innovative researchers, shaping the field's future.

Academic employment, such as teaching and research, typically requires doctoral degrees. Therefore those who aspire to these fields should plan accordingly. Most Ph.D. programs take 3-5 years of full-time study, depending on how much time students spend researching and writing their dissertations.

Employment Prospects

Because business intelligence spans many fields and industries, many degrees prepare you for specialized careers. For example, some individuals may prefer financial intelligence, whereas others choose tech or marketing. There are opportunities for business intelligence professionals in most industries. All you need is knowledge and skill.

Business Intelligence Career Forecast

The forecast for business intelligence careers varies depending on the employee's job, education, and experience level. You can find statistics for different jobs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS, which records information for the related occupation of management analyst, predicts an 11% increase in the demand for business intelligence analysts from 2021 to 2031.

In May 2021, business and financial jobs paid a median annual salary of $76,570, well above the general population's median salary of $45,760.

How to Boost your Business Intelligence Career

Going back to school and getting a new degree is one of the best methods for professionals to improve their careers. Business intelligence professionals can enhance their careers through certification, ongoing education, or professional networking. These alternatives are cheaper and faster than getting another degree.

Gaining a certification may help you move up the career ladder. Certification programs can help professionals learn new skills, stay current on industry standards, and expand their knowledge base.

Lucrative Business Intelligence Career Paths

A business intelligence major opens the door to many lucrative career paths. Let's explore some of them.

Business Intelligence Analyst

Business intelligence analysts evaluate data to create financial and market intelligence reports. These studies highlight market developments that could influence a company's performance and goals.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a business intelligence analyst is $71,493. The salary ranges from $52,000 to $98,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Review and validate acquired consumer data.

  • Control the flow of information into the data warehouse.

  • Create data collecting and analysis techniques.

  • Find or develop novel methods of acquiring and processing data.

  • Work with IT to upgrade software and hardware for big data use cases.

  • Check client records for accuracy in data gathering and use.

  • Profile data to find and analyze anomalies.

Industries Employing Business Intelligence Analysts

The industries actively hiring business intelligence analysts include:

  • Healthtech

  • Security

  • Travel

  • Marketing

  • Information technology

  • Software

Analytics Manager

Analytics managers coordinate analytics responsibilities for their firms, such as collecting data, analyzing information, conducting research, and implementing analytics solutions for products or services.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of an analytics manager is $100,859. The salary ranges from $71,000 to $132,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Designing methods for efficient data analysis and reporting

  • Select and customize analytics solutions

  • Build a data analyst team

  • Correct analytical discrepancies and assure quality.

  • Gather information from numerous sources (e.g., operations,  customer feedback, IT)

  • Build technologies to turn raw data into business insights

Industries Employing Analytics Manager

The industries actively hiring analytics managers include:

  • Business organizations

  • Governments

  • Banks

  • Retail

  • Telecommunications

Data Scientist

Data scientists must learn data mining, cleaning, organizing, and processing. You'll use data visualization and analysis to solve an organization's problems. Professionals are also adept at using big data analytics techniques.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a data scientist is $97,680. The salary ranges from $69,000 to $136,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Identifying data-analytics issues that present the biggest potential gains for the business.

  • Figuring out the appropriate data sets and variables to use

  • Gathering enormous amounts of data from various sources, both organized and unstructured

  • Clean and validate data for quality, completeness, and uniformity

  • Creating and deploying models and algorithms to extract useful information from massive data sets.

  • Identifying patterns and trends in data

  • Using data to find opportunities and solutions

  • Visually presenting findings to stakeholders

Industries Employing Data Scientists

The industries actively hiring data scientists include:

  • Telecommunications

  • Retail

  • Banking

  • Insurance

  • Finance

Market research analyst

Market research analysts evaluate customer preferences, company situations, and other factors to predict sales. They assist companies in identifying what customers want, who will buy, and at what price.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a market research analyst is $63,920. The salary ranges from $37,570 to $128,320.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Predict sales and marketing trends

  • Analyze the success of marketing initiatives and tactics

  • Create and assess data collection methods like surveys, questionnaires, and polls.

  • Collect consumer, competitor, and market data

  • Use statistical programs to analyze data.

  • Create written reports, charts, and tables from the collected information.

Industries Employing Market Research Analyst

The industries actively hiring market research analysts include:

  • Publishing

  • Wholesale trade

  • Management companies

  • Insurance

  • Finance

  • Technical consulting services

Business Intelligence Manager

Business intelligence managers plan, develop, and deploy BI. They are responsible for the institution's strategic plan and business intelligence program. In addition to facilitating BI processes and procedures, they also take the lead in the strategic development and upkeep of BI software.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a business intelligence manager is $104,190. The salary ranges from $76,000 to $136,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Advocating for BI solutions to assist the firm reach its goals

  • Coordinating with tech vendors to guarantee compatibility

  • Analyzing data to find vulnerabilities in the business

  • Collaborating with upper management to establish BI-driven business priorities and plans for driving growth and success.

  • Suggesting BI process or policy changes to improve operations efficiency

  • Creating reports that track client satisfaction or inventory levels

  • Collaborating with vendors to integrate new systems or technologies.

Industries Employing Business Intelligence Managers

The industries actively hiring business intelligence managers include:

  • Healthcare

  • Finance

  • Retail

  • Manufacturing

  • Technology

Business Intelligence Engineer

A business intelligence engineer works closely with analysts, developers, customers, and clients to fine-tune BI-based tools, processes, and software.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a business intelligence engineer is $93,014. The salary ranges from $66,000 to $121,00.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Help internal and external clients generate business reports for decision-making.

  • Help database admins and devs build BI, reporting, and analytics data warehouses.

  • Assist with data admin, modeling, and integration in data warehouses.

  • Implement BI solutions for data reporting and analysis.

  • Develop BI standards to fulfill corporate goals.

  • Work with business units to discover new data needs, analytical tactics, and reporting methods.

  • Collaborate with other departments to boost productivity.

  • Help the younger engineers learn how to report and analyze data effectively.

  • Change and improve business intelligence methodologies.

  • Get answers to questions and resolve problems as they arise with business intelligence.

Industries Employing Business Intelligence Engineers

The industries actively hiring business intelligence engineers include:

  • Retail

  • Public sector

  • Manufacturing

  • Insurance

  • Banking

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts use math and logical reasoning to assist companies solve problems.

Average Salary

The average yearly salary of an operations research analyst is $82,360. The salary ranges from $48,690 to $160,850.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Identify issues in healthcare, business, logistics, or where they work.

  • Collect data from databases, sales records, and client feedback.

  • Obtain feedback from staff or subject-matter authorities

  • Analyze data and extract problem-relevant information

  • Create and evaluate quantitative models, as well as supporting software and analysis

Industries Employing Operations Research Analyst

The industries actively hiring operations research analysts include:

  • Insurance

  • Finance

  • Government

  • Private enterprises

  • Technical services organizations

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts, also called systems architects, evaluate and improve an organization's computer systems and operations. They make the company more productive in the process.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a computer systems analyst is $99,270. The salary ranges from $60,680 to $158,010.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Consult with management to determine the role of IT systems in an organization.

  • Research different technologies to see whether they can improve efficiency.

  • Analyze IT system costs and benefits to help managers select which to implement.

  • Find new uses for old computer programs.

  • Make up fresh setups by combining different pieces of technology

  • Manage the installation, configuration, and customization of new systems.

  • Verify that systems work as planned.

Industries Employing Computer Systems Analysts

The industries actively hiring computer systems analysts include:

  • Computer systems design and related services

  • Finance and insurance

  • Management companies and enterprises

  • Government

  • Information

Financial Analyst

A financial analyst gathers data, organizes information, creates excel models, analyzes past results, and makes projections and recommendations.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a financial analyst is $95,750. The  salary ranges from $57,900 to $166,560.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Advise clients on specific investments as well as broader investment strategies by creating and recommending portfolios

  • Analyze financial data from the past and present.

  • Check out the market and economic trends.

  • Review the company's financial records to get an idea of its worth.

  • Discuss the company's future with company officials.

  • Analyze the management team's effectiveness.

  • Create written documentation

Industries Employing Financial Analysts

The industries hiring financial analysts include:

  • Banking

  • Insurance

  • Investment houses

Management Analyst

A management analyst (or consultant) looks for ways to minimize costs, increase revenue, and boost profits. They offer suggestions to upper management on how to maximize productivity. A lot of management analysts work as consultants. Others may be employed by the company they're analyzing.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a management analyst is $93,000. The salary ranges from $50,010 to $163,760.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Investigating a company's problems and solutions

  • Information and data collection

  • making presentations and compiling reports

  • Examine payroll and income statements.

  • Develop alternate solutions

  • Recommend management changes.

Industries Employing Management Analysts

The industries actively hiring management analysts include:

  • Insurance carriers

  • Computer system designs

  • Banking and finance sector

  • Government

  • Technical consulting organizations

Pros and Cons of Business Intelligence Careers

There are several pros and cons to working in business intelligence. Let's examine a few.


  • The importance of business intelligence often translates to high-paying jobs.

  • There are always opportunities to advance in your job as long as you keep improving your skills.

  • You become an invaluable resource if you're good at your job.


  • Business intelligence is constantly evolving, and not everyone can keep up.

  • Some companies fail to recognize the value of a business intelligence professional. Instead, they assign them simple tasks like creating PowerPoint presentations

Skills You'll Develop While Studying Business Intelligence

Here are some skills that business intelligence professionals need to excel in any industry.

Aptitude in data analysis

Data analysis is at the heart of business intelligence (BI) and intelligence analysis. You must be able to examine multiple data sources and draw reliable conclusions.

Programming Knowledge

Programming language knowledge is another key ability for BI professionals. Many solutions involve complex programming languages like R, Python, and JavaScript, and knowing them can boost your skillset.


Apart from having technical skills, you'll need to explain your results to others. If you're in back-end business intelligence, you won't have to talk to people as often. However, if you choose to work in the front end, you'll be tasked with explaining complex technical ideas to laypeople. Effective communication skills are a must in this position.

Data visualization

As a BI analyst, you must find data trends and illustrate them. Business Intelligence professionals need data visualization skills. You should be familiar with charts depicting data, such as bar charts, area charts, heat maps, scatter plots, treemaps, etc. All these charts help decision-makers visualize data and grasp slowly evolving trends or rapid shifts.


BI professionals must be able to analyze data and give executive solutions. Thus, a BI specialist must provide concise recommendations or answers to aid the organization in making more informed business decisions.

How to Prepare for a Business Intelligence Career

1. Earn a degree.

Students interested in a business intelligence career should consider a major in computer science, information systems, business administration, data science, or a similar discipline. Before entering the field, take courses in data mining, data visualization, database design, data architecture, and other related subjects. You should also be proficient in Excel and SQL before graduation.

2. Complete an internship.

Gaining work experience in the financial sector is a great way to get started in your chosen field of study.

Think about working in the fields of data analysis and business analysis or as a data report writer when you graduate. You'll learn about  SQL queries, data modeling and analysis, and project definition and management.

All of these experiences will provide you with industry contacts and a better understanding of the end-to-end process of business intelligence analyst projects.

3. Consider professional certifications or an advanced degree

Microsoft's Data Analyst Associate certification is widely considered to be the gold standard for business intelligence professionals. This certification shows you can build and implement SQL-based data solutions.

The test encompasses SQL database querying and administration, data warehouse implementation, and business solution design. The TDWI Certified Business Intelligence Professional certificate is another great choice. You can test for it and get it at the "practitioner" or "mastery" levels.

You can also go for a master's in business intelligence, data science, economics, or any related field.

4. Apply for jobs

Start applying for jobs. Use LinkedIn, job boards like Indeed, and Ziprecruiter, reach out to recruiters, and put yourself out there.

Business Intelligence Resources to Help Your Career

Professional organizations are a great place to find additional resources to help your business intelligence career.

Here are some organizations for business intelligence professionals:

How to Switch to a Business Intelligence Career

Consider an internship if you recently graduated or are still in school and want to work in business intelligence. Internships are a terrific method to obtain hands-on experience in a genuine working environment. They can also help you determine what you want to pursue and what working environments you love and provide mentorship possibilities.

If you're not in a BI role but want to try it out, volunteer for data-related projects. Start by interviewing data team members if that's not possible. If your company employs a BI product that lets you analyze data, discover how it works and what you can learn from it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) is turning data into useful insights to guide tactical and strategic business decisions. BI software collects and processes vast volumes of data, then delivers the results in various formats (graphs, dashboards, maps, and charts, for example).

The term "business intelligence" can also describe a collection of resources that help businesses quickly and easily get valuable insights into their current and future states.

What certification do I need for a Business Intelligence career?

A bachelor's degree is enough to qualify you for most business intelligence jobs. However, adding a few certifications to your resume is a great way to stand out.

Here are a few business intelligence certifications to consider:

Can I get a Business Intelligence degree online?

Yes, you can. Several accredited online colleges and universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees in business intelligence. Make sure you choose an accredited college for your business intelligence degree.

You can check out a college's accreditation status on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation Website.

What fields can Business Intelligence Professionals work in?

Business analysts, data engineers, data analysts, and statisticians are just a few of the many occupations that fall under the umbrella of "business intelligence."

These professionals find work in marketing, logistics, IT management, education, business management, and more.

Is there a high demand for Business Intelligence majors?

Yes, business intelligence majors are in high demand. Business intelligence is a booming field with many attractive job opportunities.

Final Thoughts

BI professionals are needed in healthcare, education, finance, and law enforcement. Business intelligence analysts can give data-driven insights to help organizations compete and stand out. Thus, they're highly sought-after. You can stand out in this competitive employment market with the correct talents, experience, and problem-solving interests.

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