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Forbes recently listed BI analysts among its top 10 best-paying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs for college graduates with several years of experience. Right now, the demand for business intelligence analysts is high.

What Is Business Intelligence Analytics?

Business intelligence analytics involves gathering and analyzing information to make better business decisions. Vast amounts of information already exist in organizations – sales figures, production costs, operational overhead, website statistics, and so on. The raw data can be overwhelming and unusable; much like the Internet would be if it weren’t for search engines using algorithms and other tools to assist with analysis.

What Does a Business Intelligence Analyst Do?

A BI analyst collects, evaluates, validates, and records business, organizational and/or operational requirements. According to the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA): “Business analysts work across all levels of an organization and may be involved in everything from defining strategy, to creating the enterprise architecture, to taking a leadership role by defining the goals and requirements for programs and projects or supporting continuous improvement in its technology and processes.”

What Are Employers Looking for in a BI Analyst?

The need for BI analysts varies by industry, but one commonality is that they are often the liaison between business and technology professionals. Employers are looking for BI candidates with technical expertise, including proficiency in SQL and specific BI software programs such as Microsoft Power BI, Oracle, IBM Cognos and Tableau. The ability to create dashboards and reports for different departments is required, along with strong communication and interpersonal skills.

For individuals already comfortable using Microsoft Excel, new Excel features will make a transition to a job in business intelligence analytics easier. ONLC offers classroom and online courses focusing on the business analytics, business intelligence and publishing capabilities of Excel – Power Query (data gathering), Power Pivot (analysis), Power View (visualization) and Power BI (publishing).

Earn Your Business Intelligence Certification

Earning a certification in BI tells prospective employers you have in-depth knowledge, providing a competitive advantage over other job applicants. ONLC offers classroom and online courses for those looking to be certified in BI, including:

Data Gathering and Analysis

The business analyst role has evolved to include gathering and querying data. Often the data may come from multiple data sources. That data can then be combined and transformed into a single source of more meaningful information. This new data source can then be easily queried and displayed to managers to help them make better-informed decisions. The Power Query in Excel class can provide the analyst with these tools for data gathering and manipulation.
Modeling Techniques

After the data has been gathered and transformed into something more meaningful, sophisticated data models can be built using relationships, custom calculated fields, and hierarchies. Uncovering patterns and statistics in the raw data can provide information such as how the data relates to specific geographical regions or how it changes over periods of time. Training in techniques for modeling and summarizing data can be obtained through the Power Pivot in Excel class.

Data Visualization

After the data has been analyzed, the Business Analyst will need to present it in such a way that makes sense to management. This can be done by constructing interactive reports, views and dashboards. Data can also be displayed using charts, graphs and even three-dimensional maps. The business analyst can gain the ability to use tools for displaying data models by attending the Power View and Power Map training classes.

Dashboard Development

This series of classes provide business analysts the training they need to be able to create meaningful dashboards and then publish them so that they can be used by other members of the organization. The Power BI Desktop class showcases methods for building and publishing dashboards while the Power BI and the Analyzing Data with Power BI classes provide attendees the training they need to be able to use the published dashboards to provide valuable content to other business users.

To learn more about the business intelligence analytics courses offered online and in the classroom, contact ONLC today.



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