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Communication skills a must for business intelligence professionals

Today's enterprises want business intelligence managers and staffers with good communication skills and a solid understanding of the business, advises careers expert Matt Mueller.

What qualifications and capabilities are organizations seeking the most in business intelligence professionals...

when looking to fill open positions these days?

The No. 1 capability we hear from our clients when searching for either full-time hires or consultants to work on BI projects may be a surprise: communication skills. An effective BI manager, architect or developer must be able to have a productive discussion with a nontechnical business user or executive stakeholder. 

The ability to interact with the business is critical now. Business intelligence professionals are expected to have a balance of business and technology skills, and they're expected to understand the business and be able to gather requirements and develop BI applications that deliver what the business needs. As a result, more and more companies are looking for BI professionals who are comfortable working with their business counterparts and can provide recommendations and insights to help create innovative -- and useful -- BI systems

More and more companies are looking for BI professionals who are comfortable working with their business counterparts.

The No. 1 qualification is experience with the BI tools, technologies, platforms, etc., that the organization is using. Hiring managers want someone who can hit the ground running and do the job immediately, without a lot of training. I, personally, don't agree with the notion that business intelligence professionals need to be versed in using the exact tool set that a company has in place. A tool is a tool, and many of the most prominent BI and extract, transform and load (ETL) tools are very similar to one another. A sharp BI developer should be able to pick up new BI or ETL software in a few weeks, at most.

One other attribute to consider is career progression: Organizations want someone who can grow within their companies. Too many short stints at different employers won't reflect well on a job candidate, as it can be difficult to make significant contributions if one is always moving from company to company.

Next Steps

More advice from Matt Mueller: Get the right big data skills

How to gain big data expertise

Survey shows salaries vary widely for business intelligence professionals

This was last published in March 2015

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What is the hardest part about finding qualified BI professionals for open positions?
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The hardest part of finding a qualified BI to fill an open position in our organization is the amount of technical experience they have. We look for people that have experience working with software programs like Oracle or Microsoft power BI. Also having a grouping of skills is hard to find in personnel. For instance, someone who has experience with SQL programming, Database familiarity, and data modeling makes for a well-rounded candidate.
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Too many people employed to perform the job of BI are too analytical and not creative enough. With voice, for instance, it is too difficult to measure true sentiment utilizing existing tools, so BI consultants have floored tools they know very well, but a prejudice towards features not true accuracy. The first step should be to acknowledge the weighting that should be given to each tool that must be used (or create a new tool if the weightage is too low). Whether it's Big Data or Live Data the tone needs to be adequately recognizable into mood, from there into some phonetic / musical frequency adjudication system for every key consumer segment then then matched out to an agreed group size of that consumer demographic. Psycographic segmentation might need to be established early in the experience through the testing of various voice styles and tones as an introduction to each segmentation. Once a true spectrum of audience is understood you can start cross referencing and refining to establish an even more quantified customer type. Then the challenge is to either a) change the experience for every identified segment or b) cheaper, simply pitch one of 100 researched preferences to the audience who match and then and only THEN starting product development and identification. Perhaps a simpler goal (starting point) would be Team Leader's in call centre's and taking a measurement of their bias in scoring QA tests and match that to a datbase with best phonetic representation of say 7-10 criteria. From there the data sets can commence taking on some form. Each TL is used for standard QA scoring based on their own criteria, then we see if the difference between their interpretation and the phonetic judgement based upon those 7-10 agreed criteria is closely alligned. We establish our best research team based on the closest TL's listening in on calls to further refine and re-calibrate the slice and dice of the call and recognisable variances in pitch at various stages and final mood sentiment.

This is not even half my pitch. It's already changed and better...

Just spent 20 minutes on it twice and it had an error send.

Point is we create better tools, by first measuring properly what the existing ones can do when matched with certain agents and certain styles. Look fr mood, timing, outcome of call etc an then find another 3-4 which are real and create them.

Use voice and speech experts, data anaylists and a guy called Serg.

Use the BI guys for just 2-3 parts of this. In fact I'll recruit them
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