How to Become a

Business Intelligence Analyst

The complete career guide to be a Business Intelligence Analyst: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $87,310
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 3.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Growing Industry
    Career Attribute

Business intelligence analysts mine company and market data to help streamline processes, increase profits, and identify promising opportunities. They design algorithms and other computer software systems that intake large amounts of data and transform that data into actionable insights.

Recommended Schools

What is a Business Intelligence Analyst?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in business intelligence analyst roles:

  • Mine databases and other sources to search for actionable, data-driven insights
  • Utilize SQL and build algorithms
  • Interpret findings to form actionable and useful recommendations
  • Compile findings into reports, and present findings to company leadership

A Day in the Life

Once thought to be the human equivalent of supercomputers, the rise of business intelligence analysts continues to go higher and higher. Equally applicable in the business world, the education system, and marketing firms, these analysts build custom data-mining solutions that are able to organize large data sets that are used for streamlining operations. Taking on many forms, the role of the business intelligence analyst has become integral for a number of industries.

While building the data-mining programs is a feat in itself, the true innovation of business intelligence analysts is their ability to draw conclusions from the data at hand, creating reports and presentations to show how even small changes could translate to large gains in efficiency, productivity, profits, and other key metrics. The work that these analysts do is used by business managers or other organizational leaders in their decision-making process.

The future of business intelligence analysts is certainly bright and new innovations appear seemingly every day. For exactly that reason, competition for positions with prestigious companies and organizations can be extremely high and beneficial as hired analysts can quickly become valued members of the firm. Those that experience success as business intelligence analysts are often able to rise to more advanced positions.

Typical Work Schedule

The majority of business intelligence analyst jobs are full-time, typically executed during a traditional 9-5, Monday-Friday schedule. Overtime may be required on occasion to hit deadlines, but is uncommon.

Projected Job Growth

Increasing worldwide usage of computers, mobile phones, the Internet, and other smart devices is increasing the amount of available data exponentially. Companies rely on business intelligence analysts to mine, interpret, and make recommendation using these massive amounts of data, so demand for experienced business intelligence analysts is expected to grow significantly in the coming decade.

Typical Employers

The two industries that employ the highest number of business intelligence analysts are healthcare and technology. Consulting companies across a number of industries also depend on business intelligence analysts to form successful recommendations for improving client business operations.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Business Intelligence Analyst

As an absolute minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to find employment as a business intelligence analyst. However, master’s and doctoral degrees are not uncommon and can drive salaries higher. The primary area of study for a business intelligence analyst career is computer science because the job requires a great deal of proficiency with several programming languages. Analysts have been known to have graduated with a degree in business management, but this is more rare.

To obtain an entry-level business intelligence analyst position, it’s advisable to look for internship opportunities that may allow you to develop contacts within a company as well as on-the-job training that will bolster your real world experience. Competition for analyst jobs is quite high, and having practical experience in addition to theoretical knowledge can make a huge difference for employers that are looking for a proven track record.

Contrary to popular belief, business intelligence analysts don’t only work in the private sector. While their particular talents for optimization and efficiency may be well-suited for the corporate business atmosphere, even law enforcement agencies have started to add business intelligence analysts to their roster of employees. Working in this environment, your data research may assist in identifying criminal trends or provide statistical analysis on new ways to prevent crime.

Business Intelligence Analyst Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Business Intelligence Analyst salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Business Intelligence Analyst's can make an average annual salary of $87,310, or $42 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $64,550 or $31 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #108 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Business Intelligence Analyst. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Business Intelligence Analysts

  • 1.2%   Doctorate
  • 14.4%   Masters
  • 38.8%   Bachelors
  • 14.5%   Associates
  • 22.4%   College
  • 8.1%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Business Intelligence Analyst job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 7,800 jobs for a total of 240,800 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 3.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #506 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Business Intelligence Analysts

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Federal government, excluding postal service 78,600 -7,600 -8%
Computer systems design and related services 27,800 5,900 6%
Management of companies and enterprises 12,400 600 1%

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