business analyst
Data Solutions

Know the difference between a BI Dev and a BI Specialist before you start building your team

date: 16 September 2021
reading time: 5 min

Business Intelligence requires a detailed strategy, well-designed solutions, useful tools and specific experts in the field. BI Developers and BI Specialists are often confused or even regarded as the same experts, but their competencies differ. Let’s see why they are both essential parts of the team.

In this article, we talk about:

  • Business Intelligence (BI): its aims, techniques and tools.
  • The definitions, skills and details regarding the positions of a BI Specialist and a BI Developer.
  • Reasons why both of the experts are crucial in an organisation.

The Digital era has brought an impressive number of brand new experts and scientists over the years. A Business Intelligence Specialist and a Business Intelligence Developer are among them. But before we dive into the details of these two positions, let’s answer the significant question: what is Business Intelligence?

“Business intelligence is the process by which enterprises use strategies and technologies for analyzing current and historical data, with the objective of improving strategic decision-making and providing a competitive advantage.”

Some specialists say that BI brings order into information chaos. BI systems combine different techniques to make it possible. These are, for example:

Business intelligence systems use many different tools like Ad hoc analytics, Online analytical processing (OLAP), Mobile, Operational or Real-time BI, Software-as-a-service BI (SaaS BI), Open source BI (OSBI), Collaborative BI, Location intelligence (LI) and many other. Although existing tools are developing, new solutions continue to arise, exploring new areas like Cloud solutions. In 2018, Cloud BI adoption skyrocketed to 49%, almost doubling adoption levels of 2016 (25% of enterprise users). The global BI market size will reach 27870M USD by 2026 (from 18720M USD in 2019).

Now, let’s compare the two positions: a BI Specialist and a BI Developer.

Who is a Business Intelligence Specialist?

Meet the expert in charge of assisting businesses with intelligence and information technology solutions to improve operations and overall profitability. Their job is to help information technology professionals solve request tickets and analyse a variety of metrics in different projects.

The responsibilities of BI Specialists are:

  • processing analytics using a variety of software tools
  • sharing gathered information with other specialists
  • writing detailed reports based on the business data
  • sharing important project data that can improve productivity
  • reporting their progress to the business intelligence manager in their department
  • facilitating information gathering sessions
  • keeping accurate technical and business documentation
  • managing and analysing data structure and quality regularly to make business decisions

BI Specialists skills require: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree e.g. in Business Intelligence, Computer Science, or a related field (in some companies it may be optional)
  • Project Management
  • Knowledge of a SQL language
  • Data Warehouse
  • Cognos or another tool that helps to report, analyse and monitor incidents and metrics
  • Data Mining
  • Knowledge of an ETL tool
  • Business Analysis
  • Business Objects or another tool for reporting and analytical business intelligence
  • Tableau Software, Qlik, Power BI, Excel, or other tools for data visualisation
  • Business Intelligence

What are the most significant benefits for a company?

BI Specialists:

  • have strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • come up with efficient ways to solve business intelligence problems
  • can work in a team environment to reach all company and client goals
  • have self-start capabilities and need minimal supervision to do their tasks
  • gather business requirements for customer projects
  • conduct troubleshooting activities, as they are proficient with spreadsheets and database software
  • create new ways to relay information to clients in a more effective way
  • participate in business meetings to suggest innovative manners to make business processes more efficient
  • help train end-users and clients to become familiar with new technology and applications

Who is a Business Intelligence Developer?

Meet the engineer who uses Business Intelligence software to interpret and display data for a company. To put it in the simplest way possible, BI Developers make the data understandable for businesses and are invaluable in improving the decision-making process. This expert creates tools and revises currently used methods to improve the organisation’s research.

The responsibilities of a BI developer are:

  • setting business requirements for BI tools
  • translating business requirements into technical ones
  • leading BI software development, deployment, and maintenance
  • report curation and data modeling
  • participation in data warehouse design
  • documenting contents in a data warehouse and meta-data storage
  • creating technical documentation for BI tools

BI Developer skills require:

  • SQL and relational database, Data Warehouse
  • Knowledge of ETL tools
  • Power BI, or another reporting tool, and security rules
  • Some coding skills like VB, C#, Java, or other programming languages
  • BI tools access and analyse data sets and present analytical findings in reports, summaries, dashboards, graphs, charts, and maps to provide users with detailed intelligence about the state of the business.

What are the most significant benefits for a company?

BI Developers:

  • compile and simplify valuable information
  • transforms data into useful insights that help make better decisions
  • participate in long-term intelligence projects
  • collaborate with other data engineers in the business
  • work with end-users to develop reporting systems that provide accessible information
  • lead the process of the interface development as they have a software development background and experience with BI
  • use warehouse data to solve the company’s problems
  • act as tech specialists working on systems used for intelligence

Be one step ahead, involve BI experts

As Business Intelligence brings excellent value and develops rapidly, BI Specialists and BI Developers are more than wanted in different businesses and organisations. If you prepare to establish BI Department in your company or cooperate with outside BI Specialists, take advantage of BI experts’ support.


Read more on our blog

Discover similar posts


© Future Processing. All rights reserved.

Cookie settings