Author: Pam Clavier

7 Must-have Skills for the Business Intelligence Business Analyst

Business Intelligence (BI) is a top priority across the world: Gartner estimates that 90% of organizations have some form of BI capability…

with global BI spend for 2016 expected to reach 16.9 billion US dollars. Simultaneously, experts predict future demand for BI professionals to increase even higher than present, resulting from a future shortage. The time is rife with opportunity to explore specializing in BI. If data, information, and analytics interest you, perhaps it’s time to explore expanding your Business Analyst (BA) skillset to specialize in BI.

Related Article: 9 Key Skills Every Good Business Analyst Needs

The BI BA uses BA and BI tools and techniques to build BI solutions that align data, business, and technology to deliver actionable insights needed by the organization to support decision-making. The BI BA may be involved at various points in the BI lifecycle – from data sourcing and analysis to enhancing, integrating and presenting information – all the way to delivering analytics and actionable insights.

The BI BA role requires hard and soft skills. Hard skills are left-brain skills that can be learned through courses and experience, given an inherent or acquired aptitude. Soft skills take emotional intelligence, using the right-brain. While the well-rounded BI BA demonstrates a wide range of both these types of skills, there are a few essential skills that underpin the BI BA role that employers typically seek at a minimum. We see these as critical for the BI BA, over and above the traditional BA skill set – consisting of, for example analytical and critical thinking, problem-solving, technical writing and ability to facilitate workshops.

Starting with the hard skills:

1. Business Acumen

A fundamental skill for the BI BA is the ability to understand and converse in the business domain specific to the particular industry and organization th