The Highest-Paying
Business Intelligence Careers: 2021 List

Every organization needs business intelligence (BI) to make better decisions and stay up-to-date, so there are many business intelligence careers available. This article will describe high-paying and entry-level BI careers, as well as the education required for these jobs.

If you know about or want to learn about BI tools, data analysis, database management, and data science, you should start one of the best business intelligence careers today. These careers flaunt high job security, luxurious salaries, and more than enough room for career development.

What Is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) is an analytical process that organizations use to improve their efficiency, operations, growth, and revenue. This practice involves analyzing historical and current datasets to find actionable insights. Businesses use these insights to gain a competitive advantage and optimize future performance.

To extract insights from data, businesses use BI tools. These tools include data warehouses, data visualization, reporting, dashboards, and predictive analysis. Within these tools and tasks are many different careers.

Business Intelligence Job Outlook and Salary Potential

You should enter the business intelligence field because of the high job growth and earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates an 11 percent job growth rate between 2019 and 2029 for management analysts. As BLS doesn’t have data on business intelligence specifically, we can refer to this similar report.

Besides the job growth rate for business intelligence-related industries being more than double the average rate, professionals in this field also earn competitive salaries. According to PayScale, the average salary for business intelligence analysts is $69,695. PayScale reports that this can go up to almost $100,000 for late-career professionals.

At a Glance: Highest-Paying Business Intelligence Careers

In the table below, you’ll notice some of the best tech jobs for business intelligence. The projected job growth statistics are from BLS, and these statistics refer to the number of new jobs in the period between 2019 and 2029. The data for median pay is from BLS and PayScale.

Job Title Projected Job Growth Median Pay
Data Scientist 15% $126,830
Business Intelligence Architect 11%* $112,945
Chief Data Officer 4% $107,680
Business Intelligence Manager 11%* $102,270
Data Architect 10% $98,860
Big Data Engineer 22%** $92,568
Business Intelligence Engineer 22%** $90,207
Data Warehouse Engineer 22%** $86,525
Business Intelligence Consultant 11%* $81,001
Business Intelligence Analyst 11%* $69,695

*Projected job growth is based on BLS data for management analysts.
**Projected job growth is based on BLS data for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.

The Best Business Intelligence Careers: 2021 List

The Best Business Intelligence
Careers: 2021 List

Business intelligence (BI) offers many career opportunities with high earning potential. Below are the best business intelligence careers, what they entail, and the minimum education required to work in the BI sector.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science

As a data scientist, your job demands that you learn data mining and how to clean, organize, and process data. You will work with data visualization techniques and analyze data sets to find solutions to an organization’s problems. Experts also work with data analysis tools and big data functions.

Data scientists can rely on rapid job growth, and these professionals work in various industries. To excel in this career path, you should be a creative and curious professional with technical acumen. Statistical thinking and strong communication skills are also vital.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or Computer Science

Business intelligence architects are adaptable, analytical, and creative. These traits help professionals develop data structures, maintain architectural documents, and define business intelligence standards. They also need to use and upgrade BI tools and maintain architecture for data storage resources.

The BLS reports high job growth for these experts. Without business intelligence architects, there would be no frameworks and methods to store important BI data. This means that BI architects are in demand in many different industries.

Min. Education Required: Master’s Degree in Information Technology or Data Science

Chief data officers (CDOs) create data-driven business values and manage all data-related business processes. Professionals need to assure data quality, oversee data management and operations, and develop information strategies to direct business decisions.

CDOs should have strong communication, organizational, and analytical skills. Professionals must be confident leaders and must learn project management. According to the BLS, CDOs have a four percent job growth rate, as reported under the umbrella of top executives. This means that this profession is in demand as much as the average career.

Min. Education Required: Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Statistics, or Business Administration

Business intelligence managers lead the design and development of BI applications. Experts research and translate market trends into actionable insights. They also have to set targets and ensure analysts and developers have the resources to meet those targets.

To become a business intelligence manager, you should have outstanding leadership skills, communication skills, and business acumen. The job growth for this career is almost three times higher than average jobs, which means there will be many more opportunities for when you enter the field.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or Computer Science

Life as a data architect means developing database solutions, installing information systems, and managing databases. You must also analyze a company’s technology requirements and create reports for company executives. Professionals work closely with database administrators and analysts, and they are sometimes referred to as such.

For these professionals to fulfill their duties, they must be flexible, adaptive, meticulous, and team-oriented. Working in this profession offers promising job growth. BLS confirms a projected job growth of more than double the average career.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Big data engineers are similar to data analysts, yet these professionals work with a wide range of data. Professionals manage and structure big data, data warehouses, and databases. They also design architecture for big data platforms and implement large-scale machine learning.

Becoming a big data engineer demands patience, perseverance, attention to detail, mechanical aptitude, and organizational skills. BLS estimates that these professionals will have a fast job growth rate.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Data Science

Becoming a business intelligence engineer entails setting standards for BI tools and contributing to data warehouse design. These professionals analyze data stored in data warehouses and explore how data impacts a company’s operations and revenue. Business intelligence engineers will also ensure that data is stored correctly.

Most BI developers and engineers hold business acumen and an analytical mindset. According to BLS, this profession offers a high projected job growth at about 22 percent. This is one of the best choices for business intelligence careers.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, Computer Science, or Information Technology

These engineers design databases and outline requirements for data warehousing reporting and analytics. Professionals should have strong interpersonal, leadership, analytical, and time management skills.

The BLS mentions a 22 percent job growth for this profession and others in software engineering, more than five times the average rate. Data warehouse engineers can work in many different fields, but they are mostly found in IT and data management.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or Computer Science

Business intelligence consultants optimize a company’s internal process. Professionals accomplish this through data analysis, implementation of business intelligence systems, and predictive model building. Business intelligence consultants also need to maintain performance and create relevant reports.

You can count on job security for this profession. The BLS confirms a job growth of more than double the average career, at about 11 percent. Many business intelligence consultants can also work on a freelance basis.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Statistics, or Business Administration

A business intelligence analyst has to design and develop data analysis solutions for an entire enterprise. Professionals create data mining and processing procedures, oversee data gathering, and communicate data analysis to executives. Reviewing data sources and improving data analysis are also essential tasks for these experts.

As a business intelligence analyst, you should be flexible, confident, organized, patient, and methodical. If you want to enter a business intelligence career, you should apply for one of many full-time business intelligence analyst jobs.

What Education Do I Need to Pursue a Career in Business Intelligence?

To become a business intelligence professional, you should have at least an associate degree. For most business intelligence jobs, a bachelor’s degree is ideal. Professionals have a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, Business Analytics, Computer Science, or Information Technology.

With an associate degree, your earning potential won’t be as high as with a bachelor’s degree. However, having either degree requires you to have practical experience, which employers favor.

Some senior or executive positions may require a master’s or doctoral degree. Professionals with these degrees can expect a high earning potential. If you don’t have either degree but do have vast experience, employers may still consider you for a senior position.

Common Entry-Level
Business Intelligence Jobs

If you’re fresh out of university or college without much experience, consider an entry-level business intelligence job. Below are the most popular entry-level jobs for business intelligence, their earning potentials, and their day-to-day duties.

Entry-Level Business Analyst

Entry-Level Pay: $59,645

Business analysts at the entry level work with senior analysts to collect and analyze data. They use this data to create recommendations for improving businesses systems, operations, or technology solutions.

Computer Systems Analyst

Entry-Level Pay: $56,121

A computer systems analyst determines how well computing solutions suit a business’s requirements. They have to conduct research to find new technology solutions, test these solutions, and train users. Computer systems analysts should also know the easiest programming languages and must oversee all installations.

Logistics Analyst

Entry-Level Pay: $52,217

Logistics analysts enhance a business’s overall performance by eliminating inefficiencies and optimizing revenue. Professionals oversee the whole lifecycle of a product from start to finish. This includes production, quality assurance, distribution, and purchase of products.

Marketing Analyst

Entry-Level Pay: $51,136

As a marketing analyst, you will study the market conditions and find out how businesses can leverage market trends to their benefit. Your job will entail conducting competitor analysis and collecting data on consumer demographics. You also need to analyze this data to find insights.

Junior Data Analyst

Entry-Level Pay: $48,410

Junior data analysts collect data about subjects like business operations, competitors, market trends, employee performance. They continue to translate this data into insights, from which they develop reports. Professionals present their reports to company executives to help them make business decisions.

Can I Study Business Intelligence Online?

Yes, anybody can study business intelligence online. You can opt for online courses, online degree programs, and online bootcamps. Online studying allows you to determine your preferred schedule and tailor your learning experience to your strengths and weaknesses.

Distance learning is also typically more cost-effective compared to in-person learning. This is because you don’t have to pay for student housing or transport costs. There are also hidden fees for study centers and other on-campus resources that don’t apply to online students.

Should I Pursue a Business
Intelligence Job?

Yes, you should pursue a business intelligence job. There’s a high job demand and generous earning potential, and you can study business intelligence online. Business intelligence also allows you to take on other careers, like becoming a project manager or business intelligence developer.

Every business strives for success. In turn, the need for business intelligence will only continue to rise. If you love data analysis, data science, data visualization, and big data, you should choose a business intelligence career.

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