A business intelligence (BI) expert is a professional consultant who provides assistance to companies that need help with the creation or maintenance of business intelligence frameworks to help them capture and use business information. In addition to helping businesses, they can also serve as expert witnesses in court cases where business intelligence plays a role; a company defending itself in civil court, for example, might want to establish baseline information about industry standards and practices through an expert witness. Practitioners in this field typically have college degrees, sometimes advanced degrees like master of business administration (MBA) qualifications, as well as substantial experience in business.
Companies can consult a business intelligence expert for a variety of reasons. Many want to be able to collect and use data about customer habits more effectively, and can call upon an expert to help them choose software, design customer response surveys, and respond to the information they collect. The business intelligence expert can review practices at a company, provide training to employees, and make recommendations to improve the quality of information collection and utilization.
Experts can also help companies that want to expand their reach, particularly when it comes to outreach through social media and new technologies. The business intelligence expert can analyze a company’s existing strategy and develop advice, as well as offer training for staff. For example, a business might set up a presence on social networking sites and could assign a staffer to maintain them, interact with customers online, and provide support and services through this outreach. The business intelligence expert can help the company design an effective and appropriate approach to social media.
Some business intelligence experts work on their own as independent consultants while others may be employed by consulting firms who provide services to companies of a variety of sizes. For an extremely large company with numerous umbrella organizations, there may be a need for a fulltime business intelligence expert to provide ongoing training, analysis, and consulting services. The work can require traveling as well as odd working hours to connect with companies in different time zones, supervise surveys, and meet with vendors of various business intelligence software suites.
Certification is available for a business intelligence expert who wants to affiliate with a specific organization or trade group. This usually requires passing an exam, and may include specific training in the BI approach recommended by the organization. Certification can be a useful tool, as it may provide access to more employment opportunities and can increase customer confidence.