Why are business intelligence professional titles confusing?

TDWI research has shown that the average individual holds one primary role and three secondary roles. Each of these roles requires distinctive skills and knowledge.

We've heard a lot about the inconsistencies among professional titles in the data management industry. Apparently,

it's not unheard of for two professionals to have the same title, but have entirely different responsibilities. Or, for two people to have a different title, but the same responsibilities. So what's in a title? And how does that affect an aspiring business intelligence professional?

TDWI research has shown that the average individual holds one primary role and three secondary roles. Each of these roles requires distinctive skills and knowledge. No wonder data management job titles are confusing. In the data management area, for example, a particularly confusing role is the BI architect. Research has shown that their secondary roles include data analyst, data modeler, technical architect and data acquisition architect. That's four additional roles. Not only are these different roles, but they are in different areas. A data analyst and a data modeler are in the data analysis and design area. The data acquisition architect is in the data integration area, and the technical architect is in administration and technology. I repeat, no wonder job titles are so confusing!

People need to focus on the job roles that match their interests and their skills. You should be able to evaluate a job description and decide whether the role covers the areas I've mentioned – or is concentrated in only one particular area.

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This was first published in July 2007

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