How to become a business intelligence analyst in US [2023]?

Business intelligence analysis has recently gained popularity due to the profiting relationship between data science and business. While we are familiar with how strongly business management is interwoven with data as the company produces loads daily, its consistent flow has become cumbersome for businesses to handle data without expertise. And that’s where business intelligence analyst skills come into play. 

Following the raging data influx and its utilization across myriad fields, a report estimated that the business analyst market will continue to expand its market size from US$ 23.1 billion in 2020 to US$ 33.3 billion in 2025 at a 7.6% of CAGR! This would lead to enormous job opportunities and a variety of career paths that you can benefit from obtaining the right set of skills. But first, let’s understand what exactly the role entails. 

In this article, we’ll look at a complete guide on how to become a business intelligence analyst in 2022. Let’s delve into it.

Who is a business intelligence analyst?

Business intelligence analysts or BI analysts understand the concept of both worlds, i.e., business and information technology. They lie in the middle area of both departments that are intertwined deeply. BI analysts have a firm grasp of both systems to bring the best of both worlds to the table. They have technical data mining as well as analytical skills that ensure efficiency in business. A BI analyst must be able to observe the market pattern and then implement some analytical skills to improvise the system, utilizing the raging data influx to bring valuable insights. 

What is the role of a business intelligence analyst?

Business analytics and intelligence professionals’ primary objective is to work through complex data structures and generate financial and market intelligence reports. They analyze the data and present strategies that could benefit a business’s future. They are also responsible for implementing market intelligence patterns redeemed through data into the business. They not only look for their own company but also keep an eye on the competition around them to stand out among the crowd.

A typical job description for BI analysts looks like this-

  • Scrutinizing and analyzing the financial data along with employment, labor cost, and revenue reports.
  • Compiling all the researched data into one place to structure it and obtain valuable insights, which can be further implemented to create innovative solutions. 
  • Strong collaboration skills between management and coworkers.
  • Engaging with different departments and team members to gather the information needed for the company.
  • Conducting meetings or seminars with stakeholders and managers to map out the strategy.
  • Creating interactive presentations and comprehensive reports for the entire company so that each can understand the approach that has been implemented.

Here’s how you can kickstart your business intelligence analyst journey!

Step 1: Earn an undergraduate degree in the relevant field

The first step to becoming a BI analyst is obtaining a relevant degree in the field. Undergrad degrees such as– IT, computer science, data science, business administration, economics, mathematics, or any other field would be a great starting point. These degrees are demanded from the candidate so they can have a basic knowledge of the area they’re getting into. This field provides them with thorough information about business, management, and data sciences. Moreover, you’re also required to have excellent SQL or Python skills along with knowledge of data visualization tools. 

Step 2: Gain practical experience through internships

Once you’ve earned the degree in a relevant field, the next step would be to experience real-world problems. BI analysts are expected to gain entry-level experience before attaining a full-fledged job. You can have essential practical experience through internship programs during your undergraduate. It will teach you real-life problems and how to implement IT into business. You’ll also get a chance to have hands-on experience with business reports, SQL, models, data analysis, and many other tools and techniques to boast your business intelligence analyst skills. Once you hone proficiency in teh fundamentals, you’re ready to move one step closer to your dream job. 

Step 3: Earn a professional certification

What would be best to shine among the crowd? Undergraduate degrees and internships will surely take you toward your ultimate goal of becoming a business intelligence analyst, but it is advised to have the edge over other candidates. Various certification courses, such as SL databases, Data analyst associate, data sciences, computer languages, and other related skill enhancement courses, enhance your skills. Additional certifications set you apart, helping you bag exciting opportunities. 

Step 4: Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

This step might come later because a full-time BI analyst role requires years of experience. It demands full skill development and significant experience in the relevant field. Apart from your undergraduate degree, internships, and certifications, you would still require 4 or 5 years of experience to obtain an entry-level job in BI. You can have supervisory experience with the company as a junior analyst or associated with project managers that can further prepare you for considerable roles. 

Step 5: Earn an advanced degree

As mentioned above, landing a role as a BI analyst requires a deep understanding of the field. It will either come from an advanced degree such as a master’s in business administration or computer science or 4 to 5 (minimum) years of work experience in the relevant field. You can also go for specialized advanced degrees according to your future objectives.

Skills Required to become a Business Intelligence Analyst

This list contains the most coveted skills for business analytics and intelligence professionals.

  1. Data Preparation: Data preparation skill is the most important skill required of a BI analyst, as teh foundation of data analysis is based on data preparation. An abundance of data needs to be collected, cleaned, and organized. To streamline the process, different data preparation tools, such as Microsoft Power BI, Alteryx, Tableau Prep, etc., can help you with the process.
  2. Data mining: The next biggest requirement for BI analysts is finding valuable data from the entire lot. You must know how to extract useful information from the bunch with the help of technologies such as rapid miner, Konstanz Information Miner, etc. You are also expected to have some understanding of machine learning, data analysis, statistics, data sciences, and other related fields.
  3. Statistical Analysis: Statics deal with components such as mean, median, mode, variance, etc., which come in handy when dealing with data. Other advanced terms, such as probability, combinatorics, random variables, etc., also assist while sieving through data structures. The tools associated with statistical analysis are– SAS, Pig, Hive, etc.
  4. Business Knowledge: The first part of this profile, business, signifies that the candidate should thoroughly understand how businesses regulate. This includes communication skills, presentation skills, leadership qualities, problem-solving capabilities, knowledge of market patterns, etc.
  5. Technical skills: Technical skills, including data security, data visualization, SQL and its variants, proficiency in ETL, cloud computing, data architecture, and other such tools, are necessary to hone for a BI analyst aspirant. 

Business Intelligence Analyst estimated salary

Business Intelligence Analyst is one of the most demanding jobs worldwide in STEM, with its demand growing across a variety of industries that wish to utilize the generated data flow.  Whether in technology, e-commerce, or healthcare industries, to extend better services for customers and maintain financial stability, more establishments are providing exciting opportunities to talented BI professionals. 

The average salary of a BI analyst in the US is estimated to be $89,378, which is bound to grow as high as $117,580 with experience and skill set, making it one of the fastest-growing lucrative careers. 

Aim for a Successful Career with upGrad

With such high demand and an amazing salary package, upGrad allows you to secure your position as a BI analyst in one of your dream companies. upGrad provides its student with a Master of Science in Data Sciences from IIIT-B and LJMU faculties, giving them exposure to data-related tools and technologies. This course specializes in 14+ tools and languages, 25+ industry case studies and capstone projects, career essential soft skills, and a lot more.

Register soon to kickstart your journey with upGrad!

Learn Business Analytics Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Master, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.


The role of data among businesses is invaluable today and is bound to grow even more following its profitability and assistance to provide better customer service. In order to claim a place in this rapidly growing field, you must prepare yourself with the right set of BI analyst skills and experience. Start today to embark on a lucrative path that is in-demand and future-proof!

You can also check out our free courses offered by upGrad in Management, Data Science, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, and Technology. All of these courses have top-notch learning resources, weekly live lectures, industry assignments, and a certificate of course completion – all free of cost!

Is business intelligence analysis a promising career?

Yes, BI analysis is one of the hottest career opportunities in 2022 because of its increased demand and job opportunities. It gives you a life-long learning experience and plenty of space to grow. You can also go for other job opportunities as a BI analyst.

What are the qualifications required for a business analyst?

You would require a master’s degree in business administration or sufficient years of work experience to land yourself a role as a BI analyst. You can also go for a master’s in IT.

What is the future of BI analysts?

Business intelligence software is expected to become more embedded in well-established workflows. Many vendors are already working toward this increased integration, with application programming interfaces (API) allowing for data analysis within users' existing systems.

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