How Do I Become a Business Intelligence Expert?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson
Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

A business intelligence expert is an individual who has mastered methods for obtaining, organizing, and analyzing data that can help business professionals to make smart decisions. This kind of professional also tends to have a knack for using complex software and managing the digital databases where intelligence is stored and retrieved. To become a business intelligence expert, your first step should be to get an education in management and finance. A person who wants to be considered an expert by his or her peers needs to accumulate as many credentials as possible, so you also should consider earning a master's degree or even a doctorate degree.

Any person who would like to become a business intelligence expert should plan on getting as much experience as possible. This kind of professional tends to have one foot in the information technology (IT) field and the other in the business management field. In other words, a business intelligence expert understands the needs and functions of upper management, as well as the technology manager's need to streamline data gathering and analysis processes.

An individual who wants to become a business intelligence expert should begin working in an IT department. As you gain more experience and become more comfortable in your position, take on more responsibility. Inform your supervisor or manager that you are interested in the work you are doing and hoping to take on more challenging tasks. Many aspiring business intelligence experts take internships in IT departments or firms while they are still studying for their academic degrees.

People who are interested in pursuing careers as business intelligence experts often join professional organizations. These are groups that offer members opportunities to attend courses and seminars at which they learn about new principles and technological developments that impact their work. In some cases, these organizations offer members courses through which they can earn professional certification. These credentials can make business intelligence experts appear more qualified to clients and employers.

Continuous education is essential for any person who would like to become a business intelligence expert. As in any profession that is largely dependent on technology, business intelligence principles and practices evolve as new technologies are introduced to the market. For a business intelligence expert, education might mean learning about new management models and financial theories, and the software that is being developed to support them. It also can mean going to trade shows to learn about new products firsthand.

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      Businessman with a briefcase