I am now working in engineering and find I am constantly looking at business processes and developing ways of improvement. In addition to my normal role, I take on the task of analyzing and adding smarts to the business process. Over time, I have come to realize my interests are in a more business intelligence (BI) role. I would love to able to work within a range of industries (not just oil and gas). Where can I go from here, and how?
With your background, you will have a great opportunity to know where BI can be most effectively leveraged inside business processes – akin to a movement we are calling operational business intelligence. This is a growing area of focus in the BI field and I find that few in business understand BI enough -- and few in IT understand business process enough. I would think about focusing on this area of BI for your career -- which includes utilizing enterprise information integration (EII), master data management (MDM), operational dashboards, data stream processing and complex event processing -- rather than jumping into the fray of a traditional BI job or career.
As for working in a range of industries, consultants, over time, get to work in many industries. If you are willing to travel, you might consider getting into BI consulting. Consultancies will need operational business intelligence in the next few years, so that could make for a great career.
This was first published in August 2008