The power of data is changing the future of businesses, impacting not only small startups but also big Fortune 500 companies.
A business intelligence (BI) developer acts as a bridge between data analysis and business strategy, offering services that influence a company’s decisions and long-term goals.
In the competitive US job market, business intelligence developers are sought-after individuals who use the tools and skills to turn data into valuable gems.
Keep reading the article to learn more about them, including their roles, skills, and salaries.
Business intelligence developer
A business intelligence developer is a professional responsible for creating and managing the data solutions that drive business decisions. They design, develop, and maintain the systems that collect, integrate, and visualise data.
Their goal is to turn raw data into meaningful insights by building robust data pipelines, reports, and dashboards.
They work closely with BI analysts and business stakeholders to understand their data needs and deliver solutions that provide insights into performance metrics and customer behaviour.
Business intelligence developer roles and responsibilities
They perform these roles in organisations:
A business intelligence developer plays a critical role in merging data from different sources into a single data warehouse. Here, they use Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) tools to move data from different platforms like databases, spreadsheets, and cloud storage into one centralised location.
They design visual representations of data that help businesses understand trends, performance, and opportunities. For this, they use reporting tools and languages like SQL and Python.
Data modelling involves designing the structure of the data warehouse. Business intelligence developers create a plan for how data will be stored, accessed, and managed. It also includes defining relationships between different sets of data, which helps ensure better data quality.
They also design interactive dashboards that offer real-time insights into business operations. These dashboards often include various metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). They aim to present data in a manner that allows even non-technical users to understand complex information.
They work on optimising database queries to ensure that the data retrieval process is fast. For this, they modify existing queries or build new ones to improve performance.
Data quality assurance
They create processes to clean the data. They often set up automated data validation procedures and also work closely with data analysts to identify any inconsistencies that might exist.
User training and support
They also train business users on how to use BI tools and dashboards. They often create user manuals or conduct workshops to ensure that even non-technical staff can make the most of the BI systems.
Data security is a chief concern for any organisation. Hence, business intelligence developers implement robust security measures like data encryption and secure user authentication to protect sensitive information from unauthorised access.
They also work closely with different departments to understand the unique data needs of each department. They may also have meetings with managers and executives to determine what data would be most useful for them.
They continuously assess the performance of BI tools and dashboards, making upgrades needed. Additionally, they stay updated with the latest BI technologies and best practices to stay ahead in the game.
Business intelligence developer skills
They have the following skills:
Knowing SQL is fundamental for business intelligence developers because it is the main language for database management. You will need to write, optimise, and execute SQL queries to manipulate data.
Understanding of ETL processes
You should be familiar with Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) processes to move data from various sources to a data warehouse. It includes both technical skills and a conceptual understanding of how data flows.
Familiarity with BI tools
You should know how to use different tools like Tableau, Power BI, or QlikView to create dashboards and visualisations that help decision-makers understand data.
Data visualisation skills
Aside from technical abilities, you should also know how to represent data in a visually appealing manner. You should know how to choose the right type of chart, table or graph to convey specific information.
Strong analytical mindset
You should have a keen eye for detail and an active mind to identify trends, make sense of numbers, and offer actionable insights.
Knowing programming languages like Python or R can be beneficial in many ways. These languages can help automate data processes, perform advanced data analytics, and integrate machine learning algorithms.
Strong verbal and written communication skills are required because you may need to explain complex data in simple terms to stakeholders or team members who may not be technically savvy.
Understanding of business processes
You should have an understanding of business operations and processes so you can design BI solutions according to the needs of the organisation. It will also help in choosing the right KPIs to track data.
Guide to becoming a business intelligence developer
Here is a simple step-by-step guide to becoming business intelligence developers:
Get the required education
The first step to becoming a business intelligence developer involves getting a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Gain hands-on experience
Once you have the educational background, look for entry-level jobs or internships involving database management, data analysis, or any related role related to BI. This experience is crucial to understanding real-world applications of your education.
Learn required skills
Focus on acquiring key skills like SQL, ETL processes, and data modelling. Online courses, certifications, and boot camps can be great ways to gain these skills. You should also familiarise yourself with BI tools such as Power BI or QlikView.
Master data visualisation
Learn how to present data in an impactful way. Courses in data visualisation can help you understand the best ways to represent data for easy understanding by stakeholders.
Work on projects
Work on small projects, either on your own or as part of your job, to gain experience.
Build a portfolio
Create a portfolio that showcases your skills and projects. This could be a personal website or a detailed LinkedIn profile.
The world of BI is always evolving. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends, technologies, and tools in the field. For this, you should try attending webinars, workshops, and conferences to network with professionals and learn from them.
Consider obtaining professional certifications from renowned sources like Microsoft, SAS, or Oracle.
Apply for business intelligence developer positions
Once you feel confident in your skills and have a portfolio, start applying for business intelligence developer roles. Customise your resume for each job to highlight relevant experience, skills, and projects.
Business intelligence developer salary expectations in the US
Data suggests that they may make around $112,665 per year in the US, with an annual base salary of $96,633 and an annual additional salary of $16,032.
The job market
The job market for business intelligence developers in the US is growing.
The increase in data generation and the need for data-driven decision-making in businesses have made business intelligence roles increasingly valuable.
Companies across various industries, from tech giants to retail stores, are seeking professionals who can help them understand their data. This rising demand has led to competitive salaries and numerous job openings, making it a rewarding field to enter.
Business intelligence analyst vs business intelligence developer
A business intelligence analyst focuses more on interpreting the data to provide actionable insights for business decision-making. They usually work closely with business leaders to understand their needs and then dig into the data to identify trends, challenges, and opportunities.
On the other hand, a business intelligence developer is more technically oriented. They are responsible for the development of BI platforms, including data integration, data warehouse design, and report generation.
Do I need a degree to become a business intelligence developer?
While not necessary, a degree in a related field is often recommended. Some people also enter the field through boot camps or self-study.
Are certifications important in business intelligence development?
Certifications can make you stand out to employers. Popular options include Microsoft’s BI Certification and Tableau Desktop Certification.
How do I build a portfolio?
Start by working on small projects that showcase your skills. Include a variety of work, like data analysis reports, data visualisations, and SQL queries.
Are there opportunities for career advancement?
Yes, with experience, you can move into roles like business intelligence architect, business intelligence manager, or even shift into data science roles.
Where can I learn more?
You can further your knowledge through online courses, books, and tutorials. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses on BI tools and technologies.
Summing it up
Becoming a successful business intelligence developer in the US involves mastering technical and soft skills.
Start by gaining relevant educational qualifications and consider specialised certifications. Hands-on experience is invaluable, so build a strong portfolio showcasing your data analysis, modelling, and visualisation skills. Don’t overlook the importance of networking and preparing for job interviews.
The road to becoming a business intelligence developer is both challenging and rewarding. Now is the perfect time to start your journey in this high-demand field.