Ranjeet Walunj

October 23, 2008

Business Intelligence and career options

We have learned about the basics of business intelligence in the previous post.

Business Intelligence (Or BI) is a vast topic which covers various aspects of DSS (Decision Support System).

BI means attain complete wisdom from knowledge which will help taking the best possible decision yielding the best possible result.
To understand knowledge it would be better to have a look Hierarchy of knowledge from following chart.

knowledge discovery to wisdom -- based on Giarratano and Riley 1998

As you can clearly see that from the raw data across multiple systems (after filtering the noise) an information is gathered and stored.

i.e. processed data is referred as ‘information’ depicting how much we understand from the underlying data.

This information when used to solve problem becomes ‘Knowledge’ — Knowledge about knowledge becomes the ‘Meta Knowledge’ which in turn provides ‘wisdom’ to the system.

Broadly “Business Intelligence Roadmap” defines following process for complete project life cycle of BI system.

  1. Justification
    • Business case Assessment
  2. Planning
    • Interprise Structure Evaluation
    • Project planning
  3. Business alalysis
    • Project Requirements Definition
    • Data Analysis
    • Application Prototyping
    • Meta Data Repository Analysis
  4. Design
    • Database Design
    • ETL Design
    • Meta Data Repository Design
  5. Construction
    • ETL Development
    • Application Development
    • Data Mining
    • Meta Data Repository Development
  6. Deployment
    • Implementation
    • Release Evaluation

To complete above BI project lifecycle following team structure is required:

Role Major Responsibilities
Application lead developer Designing and overseeing the development of the access and analysis application (e.g., reports, queries)
BI infrastructure architect Establishing and maintaining the BI technical infrastructure (in some organizations, overseeing the nontechnical infrastructure as well); usually reports to the strategic architect on the extended team
Business representative Participating in modeling sessions, providing data definitions, writing test cases, making business decisions, resolving disputes between business units, and improving the data quality under the control of the business unit represented by this role
Data administrator Performing cross-organizational data analysis, creating the project-specific logical data models, and merging the logical data models into an enterprise logical data model
Data mining expert Choosing and running the data mining tool; must have a statistical background
Data quality analyst Assessing source data quality and preparing data-cleansing specifications for the ETL process
Database administrator Designing, loading, monitoring, and tuning the BI target databases
ETL lead developer Designing and overseeing the ETL process
Meta data administrator Building or licensing (buying), enhancing, loading, and maintaining the meta data repository
Project manager Defining, planning, coordinating, controlling, and reviewing all project activities; tracking and reporting progress; resolving technical and business issues; mentoring the team; negotiating with vendors, the business representative, and the business sponsor; has overall responsibility for the project
Subject matter expert Providing business knowledge about data, processes, and requirements

You can pick up any of the specialization and work towards achieving it. I would try to update this list with other possibilities and details.

I’ve been trying to get data for average salaries earned by BI experts in india, however here is the data from UK market which clearly shows the growth potential.

This document is prepared with the help of following excellent book:
Business Intelligence Roadmap: The Complete Project Lifecycle for Decision-Support Applications — buy here


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