Careers Finding a Job Important Business Intelligence Skills With Examples Share PINTEREST Email Print FatCamera / Getty Images Finding a Job Job Searching Skills & Keywords Resumes Salary & Benefits Letters & Emails Job Listings Job Interviews Cover Letters Career Advice Best Jobs Work-From-Home Jobs Internships Career Planning Table of Contents Expand What Are Business Intelligence Skills? Types of Business Intelligence Skills Data Analysis Communication Industry Knowledge Problem Solving More Business Intelligence Skills How to Make Your Skills Stand Out By Alison Doyle Alison Doyle Alison Doyle is a job search expert and one of the industry's most highly-regarded job search and career experts. Alison brings extensive experience in corporate human resources, management, and career development, which she has adapted for her freelance work. She is also the founder of CareerToolBelt.com, which provides simple and straightforward advice for every step of your career. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 02/29/20 Do you have the top business intelligence skills employers are looking for? Business intelligence (BI) involves analyzing data sets and software programs in order to help a company make better business decisions. Executives and managers need to be familiar with business intelligence in order to make effective decisions for their companies based on data. However, data architects, data analysts, and business intelligence analysts all need strong BI skills as well. What Are Business Intelligence Skills? Business intelligence is a technology-driven process, so people who work in BI need a number of hard skills, such as computer programming and database familiarity. However, they also need soft skills, including interpersonal skills. Below you'll find information on business skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Types of Business Intelligence Skills Data Analysis The key task for someone in business analytics is to translate data into actionable information so that organizations can make decisions that will enhance profitability. This involves making sense of a large amount of data. People in this field, therefore, need to have strong analytical skills. They must be able to see connections and make meaning out of the data they are presented with. Analysts must design instruments for the purpose of gathering data and master statistical and analytical tools in order to interpret data. Database managementSurvey designFormulating data queriesSASSPSCoding dataDrawing inferencesApplying scientific methods to gathering dataCritical thinkingQuantitative analysisSQL programmingIdentifying high-value areas for inquiryEstablishing benchmarksIdentifying and measuring correlationsIntellectual curiosityClassifying dataStrategic planning Communication While someone working in business intelligence requires a number of hard skills, communication is a critical soft skill. A person in business intelligence needs to be able to describe the data, explain his or her analysis of that data, and then offer possible solutions. This involves describing complex technical information to non-BI professionals. Therefore, people in business intelligence need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. PowerPointGroup presentationsInterviewing stakeholders to secure informationPresenting graphical dataDrawing consensus on research prioritiesFacilitating group discussionWriting summariesTechnical writingPitching proposalsTeamworkListeningConveying complex information in understandable termsLeadership Industry Knowledge When working in business intelligence, you need to understand the industry in which you are working. For example, if you are working for a hospital, you need to have knowledge of current trends in the healthcare industry. This will help you understand and make better use of the data you analyze, and it will allow you to offer more useful solutions to executives. Industry trend analysisInterpreting professional literatureIdentifying best practicesDeveloping relationships with industry experts and influencersUnderstanding the impact of economic cycles on your industry sectorParticipating in industry-focused professional meetings and conferences Problem Solving Not only does someone in BI need to be able to analyze data, but they typically also have to offer solutions to executives based on that data. Therefore, a BI employee needs to come up with clear suggestions or solutions to help the company make better business decisions. Identifying and prioritizing problem areasDetermining factors that contribute to problemsWeighing alternative solutionsAssessing stakeholder perceptions regarding problemsEstimating costs for interventionsProposing solutionsPersuading others to adopt solutionsCreativityDecision makingResearchProject managementLeading brainstorming sessions Additional Business Intelligence Skills Here's a list of more BI skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so it's a good idea to review other lists of skills too. Adapting to changing priorities Assessing client/end-user needs Attention to detail Business strategies C/C++ Client relations Coaching Coding Collaboration Computer science Consulting Coping with deadline pressure Creating reports Creating and running what-if simulations Data architecture Data controls Data management Data modeling Data visualization Debugging data output irregularities Defining data access methods Delegating Designing enterprise-level reporting Designing/modifying data warehouses Evaluating business intelligence software Extract, transform, load (ETL) testing Facilitating the creation of new data-reporting models Finding trends/patterns IBM Cognos Analytics Innovation Insights Java Leading cross-functional teams Maintaining technical documentation for solutions Managing relationships with vendors Managing stress MatLab Mentoring Microsoft Excel Microsoft Integration Services Microsoft Office Microsoft Power BI Modeling Monitoring data quality Motivating staff Multitasking Negotiating Online analytical processing (OLAP) Organizational approach Programming Python Reporting tools Researching solutions to user problems Results oriented SAS Statistical analysis Statistical knowledge Strategic thinking Time management Training end users Translating high-level design into specific implementation steps Web analytic tools How to Make Your Business Intelligence Skills Stand Out Add Your Most Relevant Skills to Your Resume Construct your resume with action words that correspond to the skills in this list, especially those key skills that are highlighted in the job description for your target position. Lead your phrases with skills words like analyzed, calculated, and programmed. List your statements in order of relevancy to the priority qualifications of your target job. Include resume statements that demonstrate impact and results produced. Lead with words like increased, enhanced, revamped, and improved, which point to value added. Use quantitative terms whenever possible to demonstrate the magnitude of results generated—for example: "Identified options for automation that reduced labor costs by 15%." Highlight Your Skills in Your Cover Letter Incorporate statements into your cover letter regarding key analytical skills that you have applied in various roles, with emphasis on skills that have led to successes and problems solved. Make sure you touch on the requirements that employers have emphasized in their job advertisements. Prepare to Share Your Skills at Job Interviews Prepare for your interviews by making a list of the core analytical skills that best equip you to excel in your target job. Think of examples and short stories of how you have applied these skills to generate positive results in the past. Describe the situations, the actions you took (emphasizing the skills you applied), and the results of your interventions.