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What is Business Intelligence? Roadmap to a BI Developer / Analyst in 2024

Preamble : The Importance and Role of Business Intelligence (BI)

Businesses are moving at neck-breaking speeds and so is their competition. For these businesses to have an edge in the market, every decision they make must be informed. Irrespective of the industry, every business has access to a lot of data that they can leverage to their advantage. But unfortunately, very few do.

In a world of constant change and uncertainty, BI is a critical tool for helping organizations stay ahead of the curve. Business intelligence combines the insights from data collection, preparation and analysis with visualization techniques to deliver actionable information so leaders can make informed business decisions.

In today’s business world, your company cannot succeed without a culture of BI. It provides you with the insights and capabilities to make better decisions, manage operations more effectively, and ultimately serve as a reliable partner for your customers.

Top 7 Reason BI Play's a Significant Role in Shaping Organizations Data Driven Strategy

The human mind is better at understanding pictures and visuals than plain text and numbers. When we look at a table containing a few text labels and numbers, our mind doesn’t interpret that information quickly. It takes some effort for our brain to even understand what is being presented to it.

But when the same data is presented in a graphical form, our brain not only quickly understands, but also quickly observes any patterns in the data. This is the power of data visualization and the primary reason why data visualization has become so popular in recent times.

Here are the top 7 Examples of Fruitful Impact of having a great business intelligence system and team in place is crucial for any business.

1. Ability to gain customer insights

With effective business intelligence, businesses can better understand their customers by analyzing their buying patterns and creating user profiles.

This helps them to create better products and product experiences for their customers. One example where a business can leverage the power of BI to understand their customers is customer segmentation.

2. Improved business operations visibility

Organizations that leverage business intelligence will have better control over their business processes. They have better visibility of what’s going on in the organization.

Having an active vigilance over the processes and standard procedures helps to rectify any error rather quickly. This also helps the business to become prepared and not reactive.

For example, for a logistics company struggling with delayed deliveries, knowing where and why the delays are happening, could prove quite valuable. This kind of insight into their business operations could help the business to largely improve their services.

3. Get Actionable Insights

The most important thing while taking any business decision is to have enough data to back the decision. With traditional reporting, it’s not as easy and convenient to get actionable insights as it is with business intelligence.

Actionable insights are those metrics that actually enable you to take any action, rather than just a ‘feels good to hear’ number. One example of an actionable metric is the % of customers who abandon their carts rather than the number of transactions metric.

This metric gives us an idea of where the customers are dropping off and enables the business to take the necessary action to try and reduce the cart abandonment rate.

4. Improved efficiency across the organization

Having a proper business intelligence system in place considerably improves the efficiency of the overall organization. This in turn positively impacts the overall revenue of the organization.

By making meaningful data accessible across various teams in the organization reduces the waiting time on the report requests and increases the productivity of all teams in the company.

Data should be accessible by everyone and not be limited to a few privileged teams. This helps everyone in the company to stay informed and make knowledgeable decisions.

5. Real-time data availability

A business intelligence system provides near to real-time data at all times. This in turn reduces the risk of any possible human error while preparing any critical data reports.

Having access to real-time data enables the business to stay informed about the health of the company at all times.

This helps the organization to take data-backed decisions every time they need to make one. No more waiting till the report from the analytics team arrives!

6. Better Marketing & Product efforts

A business intelligence system enables the marketing team of the organization to create better marketing campaigns that provide better Return on investment (ROI) by providing them a convenient way to access data regarding the current and past campaigns.

It also provides key metrics such as customer acquisition cost (CAC), cost per lead (CPL), click-through rates of the campaigns (CTR), and many other crucial metrics required for a successful marketing campaign.

BI Teams also empower product teams with actionable telemetry data for Products, Usage and Customer Journey that enables people to enable better processes in place and remove roadblocks in product that abandons customer's nirvana moment.

7. Gives the business a competitive advantage

Apart from all the benefits of using business intelligence, another great benefit of using BI is a competitive advantage.

Business Intelligence enables businesses to have insight into what their competitors are doing and enables them to make informed and educated decisions for plans.

Also, a company that keeps an eye on its internal systems at all times, stays ahead of a company that doesn’t.


Now that we clearly realize Business Intelligence is a must have for any organization to survive in today's fast paced data driven environment, where Going Concern is much more determined by the pace of Technological development instead of traditional financial solvency.

Let's look into tools and technologies that are enabling the BI Landscape. Let's divide them into three major areas of concern.

1. Data Delivery, Storage & Processing

2. Dashboards, Stories and Analytics

3. Predictive Modelling and Forecasting

We will try to cover them in the same order for your better understanding of the field.

Data Delivery, Storage & Processing:

The first process into the Business Intelligence is the conveyor belt of Data Ingestion

Processing and Storage for BI Consumptions. The major processes involved are connecting various traditional and modern data sources, Extract | Transform | Load data from & to storage to delivering datamarts for BI tools to consume.

Below are the Top players known for their modern stack of connections, processes and automated data mangement and datawarehousing facilities. Mostly modern BI tools are friendly to connect with them.

2. Dashboards, Stories and Analytics:

As soon as the Cleaned & Validated Data is recieved from Database in the form of Datamarts, BI tools come into play to present Exploratory data analysis, refreshing up established KPIs, Analytics and Charts.

This happens in a blink and with the first sip of tea from Marketing Manager here comes the latest reports refereshed from yesterdays progress of key campaign run of facebook along with impact on sales data where required target accounts are met.

This all magic happens courtesy of below vendors bringing latest Data crunching technologies to our desks at nearly $10 - $100 per user per month.

3. Predictive Modelling and Forecasting

Business Intelligence tools help achieve diagnostic and descriptive analytics quickly at scale, however there more to analytics with next stages involved to predict the future.

Here the most advance player come into play who deploy latest cutting edge Machine Learning Technologies to production on practical business use cases. Below are some vendor enabling some wow-factor stories in various industries world wide from predicting inventory demand to predicting the next crime street to modelling the expected churn.


Who is a BI Developer and BI Analyst ?

Now that you're super clear about What is Business Intelligence and What Landscape is involved in this billion dollar industry, you must be half a clear that a BI Analyst / BI Developer is involved in utilizing the power of above tools and techniques to solve major business problems by a Data driven approach.

A business intelligence analyst, also known as a BI analyst, uses data and other information to help organizations make sound business decisions.

Though exact job descriptions can vary, a business intelligence analyst’s role can be broadly broken down into three parts:

Breaking down key business data:

A business intelligence analyst might gather, clean, and analyze data like revenue, sales, market information, or customer engagement metrics of a business. BI analysts can also be asked to program tools and data models to help visualize or monitor data.

Interpreting the data:

Finding patterns or seeing areas in the data that signal a potential for improvement in business practices is a key part of a BI analyst’s job. For example, a BI analyst might analyze market trends to understand how a company might need to adapt its product.

Sharing findings:

Sharing findings can include anything from visualizing data in graphs and charts, to putting reports together and presenting in front of other teams or clients. Business intelligence analysts will also make recommendations to improve or grow the business based on their findings.

Now that you're clear on the role, a Business Intelligence Developer & Analyst is just like water fitting any container, hence the role fits any industry which consumes data. Who doesn't?

Business intelligence analysts can get their careers started in analytical roles like data analyst. They can go on to become business intelligence consultants, business intelligence architects, managers, or other senior positions.

The beatuty of this field enables you to stay connected to your own domain and apply real world data analytics to solve problems within your role.

As a data analyst, you might work in one of many different industries. Sometimes, your career path might take you deeper into the specialized knowledge of that industry.

  • Business analysts use data to help make an organization’s IT processes, organizational structures, or staff development more efficient and effective.

  • Financial analysts use data to help guide investment opportunities, identify revenue opportunities, and mitigate financial risk.

  • Operations analysts are tasked with optimizing a company’s performance by identifying and solving technical, structural, and procedural issues.

  • Marketing analysts, also called market research analysts, analyze market trends to help determine product and service offerings, price points, and target customers.

  • Systems analysts use cost-benefit analysis to help match technological solutions to company needs.

  • Health care analysts use data from health records, cost reports, and patient surveys to help providers improve their quality of care.

  • Product Analyst use products telemetry data and usage data patterns to derive product insights.

  • Sales Analyst uses companies CRM data to effectively analyze and prioritze sales lead funnels and conversion cycles.

  • Edtech Analyst collects the data of the students and helps the teacher recognize and understand the student’s abilities and challenges and facilitates a fixed cultural process that includes information about the student to ensure optimal outputs.

  • Production Data Analyst helps plan and execute efficient production flow for the company’s good, data or information. They work to design scheduling and staffing models that provide the best optimization of labor costs, production, volume & efficiency.

  • Digital marketing analyst contributes to overall marketing teams strategy and also analyzes vast amounts of social metric debris to produce actionable insights for marketing team.

  • Insurance underwriting analyst is someone who analyzes and optimizes premium on portfolios for insurance companies. An another contribution would be claims analyst.

Apart from Functional roles, a Business Intelligence Analyst might have more to do and have so many options of growth.

We hope you liked this Article that gives a clear picture of What and How of Business Intelligence. But wait we didn't cover how would you become one?

Don't worry, Karachi AI - The Premier institute for Data Science is been producting serveral Business Intelligence Analyst and Developers in the past years with the state of Art program that teaches you major BI tools and technologies along with general Business Analytics knowledge to implement in various industries and sectors.

Check out below:

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