What's the best way to begin a business intelligence career?

Well, the business intelligence career opportunities are many and varied, so you need to focus your career development efforts on a particular area.

So once someone has determined that they want a career in business intelligence (BI), what are their options? Where would you suggest they begin?

Well, the BI career opportunities are many and varied, so you need to focus your career development efforts on a particular area. Do you want to work with technology? Or with a business? Is your interest in developing BI systems? Is it in using those systems to drive business results? These kinds of questions need to be answered to target one, or a few, specific BI roles. And what I've done is I have divided it up into four major components:

  • You need to understand the different areas of BI and data warehousing. As I mentioned, this covers the spectrum from leadership and management to administration and technology.
  • You need to choose the roles for which you are well suited, based on your knowledge, experience, aptitude and absolutely they have to depend on your interests. We've identified 18 different roles, which are generally focused on one, possibly two, of these areas which I've mentioned.
  • You need to acquire the skills needed for the rolls, through education and experience. In TWDI's education program, we use the same five areas to identify the primary and secondary focus for each of the courses that we offer.
  • You need to establish credentials that attest to your qualification of experience and certification in related disciplines. For example, we offer an education-based certificate, "On Track", and we offer a test-based certification, CBIP.

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This was first published in July 2007

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