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Every job requires the proper skill set, and business intelligence (BI) requires quite a large repertoire of skills. Some of the most used business intelligence skills are technical knowledge, business acumen and analytics, teamwork, and data design and integration. The technical skills are needed to wield a database, use database mining techniques, and know how to design, store and integrate aspects of the database. Teamwork skills are needed by nearly every business, because it is rare for a person to work alone — without having to speak or integrate with anyone else — when performing business intelligence. Business acumen and analytics are essential business intelligence skills because, without them, the employee either may overlook some information or store an overwhelming amount of data.
General technical skills are essential to the business intelligence skills set. The BI worker must be comfortable with and well suited to using a computer, because this is where most of the work will be done. Along with working on a computer, the BI worker also must know how a computer works, so he or she can overcome any unexpected problems or difficulties when doing business intelligence.
Specific technical skills include working with, designing and integrating databases. Databases are the main tool used by BI workers, so it would be impossible for someone who is not thoroughly versed in these business intelligence skills to effectively work for a business. These workers constantly search through and mine databases, combine or integrate data sources, and design better databases for the company, so significant database experience is necessary.
In both large and small businesses, there will commonly be several BI workers focused on the same project; if not, the individual worker likely will have to talk with management about what data to store, optimize or mine. With such an emphasis on working with other people, another branch of business intelligence skills involves teamwork skills. BI workers must communicate with each other and with management, or data projects will never get finished.
Business acumen and analytics are important business intelligence skills, because they will help the BI worker when he or she is working alone. For example, if a manager needs information on a product to help with marketing, business acumen and analytics will help the BI worker know exactly what information is needed to make these informed decisions. Without these skills, the worker will either miss some data or will just pull all the data he or she can, which can overwhelm managers with useless information.
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