Top‌ ‌Business Intelligence
Careers‌ ‌of‌ ‌2021‌

Business intelligence (BI) has become indispensable in today’s tech scene. It allows companies to access data analysis that significantly improves the way they deal with their target market. Working in this industry demands passion, dedication, and a knack for data and tech tools.

These requirements mean that business intelligence isn’t for everyone. This is why the demand for skilled BI professionals is high and benefits are lucrative. We’ll break down the top business intelligence careers of 2021 in this guide. Whether you want to become a business intelligence analyst or a statistician, you can find the career for you.

What Is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) professionals use software to translate data into actionable insights. These insights inform business owners and key decision-makers about the company’s state of business. BI tools work by accessing and analyzing datasets to present analytics in maps, charts, graphs, dashboards, summaries, and reports.

These findings aim to provide users with detailed and specific intelligence on a company’s business affairs. This can help them make business decisions. The term BI is also used to refer to a wide array of tools that offer quick, digestible insights into an organization’s present state.

Where Do Business Intelligence Professionals Work?

You will often see business intelligence professionals in logistics, healthcare, and business as they help organizations streamline their operations. These professionals also gather employee and customer input to review sales and operations data. Then, they collate data and transform it into actionable plans.

Business Intelligence Job Outlook and Salary Potential

There are many valuable reasons to consider a career in business intelligence. Businesses across different industries constantly need skilled and reliable data professionals. However, the supply is low, which means the demand for people with the right skills is very high.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have specific information on business intelligence careers, there are statistics on management analysts and operations research analysts. The BLS lists the projected job growth for management analysts between 2019 and 2029 is at 11 percent.

The BLS also reports that management analysts earn an average salary of $87,660 per year. This number can be much higher based on a variety of factors, including location, level of experience, and employer. Read below to learn how much you can earn in a business intelligence job. All information has been sourced from the BLS and PayScale.

Highest-Paying Business Intelligence Careers at a Glance

Job Title Education Requirement Projected Job Growth Median Pay
Data Architect Bachelor’s Degree 10%* $121,210
Machine Learning Engineer Bachelor’s Degree 7%** $112,806
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Master’s Degree 4% $107,680
Business Intelligence Manager Bachelor’s Degree 11%*** $102,235
Statistician Bachelor’s Degree 33%**** $93,290
Business Intelligence Consultant Bachelor’s Degree 11%*** $81,309
Business Intelligence Developer Bachelor’s Degree 10%* $81,203
Business Intelligence Analyst Bachelor’s Degree 7%** $69,635
Statistical Analyst Bachelor’s Degree 33%**** $68,571
Business Intelligence Administrator Bachelor’s Degree 10%* $55,894

*Data taken from Bureau of Labor Statistics computer and information technology database administrator job outlook
**Data taken from Bureau of Labor Statistics computer systems analyst job outlook
***Data taken from Bureau of Labor Statistics management analyst job outlook
****Data taken from Bureau of Labor Statistics mathematician and statistician job outlook

Why You Should Pursue a Career in Business Intelligence

There are a couple of reasons why you should consider starting a career in business intelligence. First and foremost, the demand is high, and the supply is low. This means that qualified candidates can expect lucrative pay when hired by reputable companies.

Secondly, the job growth rate for these careers is four percent or higher. Four percent is the average projected growth outlook for all careers in the United States, according to the BLS. This suggests that these jobs are most likely to stay in the market for quite a long time. This also suggests job stability.

If you have a passion for this kind of work, a BI career could not only be lucrative but personally fulfilling. At the end of the day, it’s rare to find a job that you’re happy to do and also pays well.

The Best Business
Intelligence Careers in 2021

Business intelligence experts are tasked with managing data analysis and other crucial information to come up with a holistic view of business operations. Business intelligence professionals can work either in the public or private sectors. Read below to learn more about the best BI career paths.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Data Science

A data architect is a senior-ranking official responsible for creating data collection and management systems. They translate different business requirements into technology and data standards. They are also responsible for designing and visualizing data management frameworks.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Data Science

Machine learning engineers are proficient in researching, building, and designing self-running applications and software to automate predictive models. They also build artificial intelligence (AI) systems that bank on data sets to develop and generate learning-capable algorithms capable of making predictions.

Since designing machine learning systems needs thoroughness and precision, a machine learning engineer must be apt to assess, analyze, and organize data. To become a machine learning engineer, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Min. Education Required: Master’s Degree in Information Technology

If you want to climb higher as the organizational leader in a tech company, the highest position you can reach is CTO. In this role, you lead a company’s tech department. You will develop procedures, policies, and best practices to improve services and products. You’ll also use business intelligence to make high-level decisions.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Analytics or Data Science

The primary responsibility of a BI manager is to ensure the overall success of big data analysis. They usually coordinate with other internal teams to deploy and build apps, portals, and data warehouses. To get this job, you should pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Analytics.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics or Mathematics

This BI expert is well-versed in different statistical components and strategies. These can give them a detailed data view so that business intelligence professionals can analyze data. Statisticians need to know how to use tools like Pig, Hive, Spark, Hadoop, and SAS. If you enjoy working with numbers and data, this could be the career for you.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Analytics or Data Science

BI consultants help companies discover better and more efficient strategies to manage business data. They also work to improve existing software and implement better systems to further the business’s operational efficiency. Consultants can work within companies or through freelance and solo work.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Data Science

BI developers are usually tasked with designing valuable and relevant solutions to address client requirements. They are also tasked with building ETL (extract, transform, load) systems to serve as data integration support. If you work as a BI developer, you will also be managing database applications like SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Analytics or Data Science

An individual working in this field is often tasked to develop a deep and comprehensive understanding of departmental databases, data warehouses, production systems, and business processes. They usually work and collaborate as cross-functional teams to build BI tools and aid in BI solutions.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics or Data Science

A BI expert can also start working in the statistics field, where they are expected to know different statistical components like variance, range, median, and mean. These can help them develop data insights. It will also help if they’re capable of using tools like Hive, Hadoop, Pig, and SAS.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Analytics

These professionals typically work with database management apps and systems to discover more efficient ways to leverage data for presentation and analysis. Since BI tools can help businesses develop informed choices, administrators are also tasked to generate custom and standard reports to make sense of available data.

Business Intelligence Salaries by Location

According to PayScale, a business intelligence analyst in San Francisco, California earns an average of $92,503 per year. In Miami, Florida, a business intelligence analyst only earns an average of $64,155 per year.

Salaries vary across the country. Cities like Seattle and San Francisco are centers for tech careers, but they are also some of the most expensive American cities to live in. If you’re considering a career in business intelligence, look at the average salaries for BI positions in your area.

What Education Does a Career in Business Intelligence Require?

What Education Does a Career in Business Intelligence Require?

The most common path to take to start a business intelligence career is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, Computer Science, or Business Analytics. You can expect to finish these programs in four or more years. However, there are different paths to consider if you want to start a career in business intelligence.

Suppose you want to increase your earning potential and career level. In that case, you can also explore the possibility of earning a master’s degree and doctoral degree in the fields mentioned above. Most master’s and doctorate programs take two or more years to complete.

While this article discusses the highest-paying business intelligence jobs, there are also entry-level careers that often accept graduates from bootcamps or associate degree programs. These are more affordable options than a four-year bachelor’s degree that can allow you to enter the field faster.

Can I Study Business Intelligence Online?

Yes, you can study business intelligence online. You can choose one of many online degrees from reputable colleges and universities. Individuals who don’t have the luxury of time and resources to take the traditional route can also enroll in intensive business intelligence courses offered in coding bootcamps.

Apart from universities, colleges, and bootcamps, you can also take advantage of the courses offered by platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, edX, and even Harvard University.

The courses on these platforms differ, so you should visit each site to download the course syllabi. The enrollment process is pretty straightforward for online courses, and many of them are offered for free.

Is a Business Intelligence Job Good for Me?

Yes, a business intelligence job is good for you, especially if you enjoy working with numbers and data. However, any job that doesn’t align with your preferences and skills is not worth pursuing. You should explore your passions before you start spending time on a career.

According to PayScale, entry-level business intelligence analyst jobs pay an average salary of $56,659. This is higher than the national average for careers. Business intelligence will offer a lucrative career with lots of options for upward mobility to anyone interested in tech.

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