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Leveraging business and marketing skills for a business intelligence (BI) career

Can a person with little expertise in technology -- but with a flair for business and marketing, and good knowledge of happenings in the IT industry -- venture into a business intelligence (BI) career? If so, what is your advice for her to excel? How can I use my current skills to get into a BI career?

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The business intelligence industry (BI) is vast, varied and growing. This means there are numerous BI career paths for aspiring professionals -- which in turn, means there are numerous skill sets worth developing out there. With that in mind, I have two suggestions for leveraging your current business and marketing skills into a business intelligence career.

1. Look at potential BI career opportunities within your current organization. Your current employer already knows you and hopefully will invest in your career aspirations. I would image you interact in some capacity with your company's BI group. Approach your manager and the BI group and investigate any potential path you may be able to follow. Pehaps suggest to your manager that he or she send you to BI training to develop the skills you will need for your target role.

2. Go to  school and/or training on BI technologies. I would suggest training in either the Microsoft suite of BI tools or beginner training on one of the big BI tools out there i.e., Business Objects, Cognos, Microstrategy etc.

Good luck.

This was first published in August 2008

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