Business Intelligence Analysts


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Business intelligence analysts need strong math, analytical, and writing skills. Take courses in math, business, government, English, and communications. Knowledge of various database software programs is required so be sure to also take computer and computer science classes.

Post-Secondary Education

A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for business intelligence analyst jobs. Some employers prefer to hire analysts with a master's degree. Many business intelligence analysts have a degree in computer science. A good foundation for this field includes classes in computer and information science, accounting, finance, economics, business, management, political science and government, psychology, and English.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements


Business intelligence analysts who want to hone their skills and knowledge and advance their careers may receive voluntary certification. Professional associations such as TDWI (Transforming Data With Intelligence) offer the designation Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) to business professionals and IT professionals. To receive certification, individuals must have a bachelor's degree, two years of full-time work experience, and pass three exams. Certification is offered in four specialty areas: business analytics, leadership and management, data integration, and data analysis and design. Those who score above 50 percent in each of the exams are granted practitioner-level certification, and those who score above 70 percent are awarded mastery-level certification.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Most business intelligence analyst jobs require candidates have a bachelor's degree and several years of prior full-time work experience. Strong research and analytical skills are required for gathering data and understanding how to see patterns and trends in the findings. Analysts use database software to conduct their work and must be technology savvy. Critical thinking is needed to identify problems and arrive at conclusions and make recommendations for approaches and solutions to these problems. Analysts are also good listeners, paying close attention to what people are saying and asking questions to immediately clarify information. Attention to details is critical in this type of work. Strong reading comprehension, writing abilities, and clear communication skills are required to understand data and share information with others.