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A business intelligence analyst is a person who assists managers in making informed business decisions in order to sustain or improve a business organization's competitive position. He or she exploits the data warehouse of a company to mine for important facts and statistics that may help render a true picture of an organization's performance and industry standing. The analyst may also develop processes and design reports to boost the business intelligence of an organization.
It is typical for a business intelligence analyst to collect past and present data to establish trends in an organization's operation. The data can then be analyzed and used with statistical tools to develop a projection on the outcome of implementing certain business strategies based on historical data. The analyst's skills are likely to be used in discovering a organization's strengths and weaknesses as well as the threats and opportunities surrounding the business.
Someone in this job is typically systematic and meticulous with details and, as such, is often good at effectively processing large amount of data into meaningful information. He or she has strong business analysis skills and is also typically a good communicator. He or she is normally expected to be flexible and work independently or as part of a team.
Most businesses prefer to hire an analyst who has a keen understanding of the company's business processes and the industry where the organization belongs. A company may also find it desirable to have employees who can handle databases and understand information technology-driven business intelligence tools, such data mining, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and online analytical processing (OLAP). Having a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree or being a certified public accountant (CPA) can help a person get this job. A seasoned analyst normally has at least five years of experience.
A business intelligence analyst may be hired from within the organization where he or she is employed. Some employers believe that grooming a person who is already exposed to the business processes of the organization and the industry it belongs to will effectively reduce familiarization time. He or she may also be hired externally and may come from a business in the same industry as his or her prospective employer.
According to some statistics I found online, the U.S. average salary for a business intelligence analyst is $81,000 a year as of December 2013, or about 31 percent higher than the average salary for all job postings nationwide.
So when you're looking at business intelligence data jobs, keep that figure in mind.
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