Business Intelligence Skills

Business Intelligence Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews

Business analyst
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Business intelligence (BI) involves analyzing data sets and software programs in order to help a company make better business decisions. While nearly every industry uses business intelligence, it is particularly common in certain industries, including healthcare and IT.

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 analysis all need strong BI skills as well.

Business intelligence is a technology-driven process, so people who work in business intelligence need a number of hard skills, such as computer programming and database familiarity. However, they also need soft skills, including interpersonal skills.

Below is information on BI skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Included is a detailed list of five of the most important BI skills, as well as a longer list of even more related skills.

How to Use Skills Lists

You can use these skills lists throughout your job search process. Firstly, you can use these skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history, you might want to use some of these key words.

Secondly, you can use these in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of these skills, and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated those skills at work.

Finally, you can use these skill words in an interview. Make sure you have at least one example of a time you demonstrated each of the top five skills listed here.

Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

Also review our other lists of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Top 5 Business Intelligence Skills

Communication
While someone working in business intelligence requires a number of hard skills, communication is a critical soft skill. A person in BI 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 BI need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively.

Data Analysis
The key task for someone in business analytics is to analyze data sets and software programs. This involves making sense of a large amount of data. People in this field therefore need to have strong analytic skills. They must be able to see connections and make meaning out of the data they are presented.

Industry Knowledge
When working in BI, 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.

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.

SQL Programming
SQL (or Structured Query Language) is a language used in programming. It is used to manage data, and is therefore commonly used in business intelligence. While someone in BI would benefit from knowing a number of programming languages, SQL is the most commonly used.

List of Business Intelligence Skills

Here's a list of BI skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews, including the skills listed above. Required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so also review our other lists of skills.

A – C

  • Adapting to changing priorities
  • Analytical
  • Assessing client/end-user needs
  • Attention to detail
  • Business intelligence development
  • Business strategies
  • C/C++
  • Coaching
  • Coding
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Computer science
  • Consulting
  • Coping with deadline pressure
  • Correlating data
  • Creating data
  • Creating reports
  • Creating and running what-if simulations
  • Critical thinking
  • Customer service

D - I

  • Data analysis
  • Data architecture
  • Data collection
  • Data controls
  • Data development
  • Data management
  • Data modeling
  • Data processing
  • Data visualization
  • Database familiarity
  • Debugging data output irregularities 
  • Defining data access methods
  • Delegating
  • Designing enterprise-level reporting
  • Designing/modifying data warehouses
  • Developing complex/multi-data source queries
  • Developing complex SQL queries and reports
  • Drawing consensus
  • Evaluating business intelligence software
  • Extract, transform, load (ETL)
  • Facilitating the creation of new data reporting models
  • Facilitating meetings
  • Finding trends/patterns
  • IBM Cognos Analytics
  • Identifying business trends
  • Industry knowledge
  • Influencing others to adopt data solutions
  • Innovation
  • Insights
  • Interact with clients
  • Interpersonal

J - O

  • Java
  • Leadership
  • Leading cross-functional teams
  • Listening
  • Maintaining technical documentation for solutions
  • Managing relationships with vendors
  • Managing stress
  • MatLab
  • Mentoring
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Integration Services
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Modeling
  • Monitoring business trends
  • Monitoring data quality
  • Motivating staff
  • Multitasking
  • Negotiating
  • NOSQL
  • Online analytical processing (OLAP)
  • Oracle
  • Organizational

P - Z

  • Presentation
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem solving
  • Programming
  • Project management
  • Python
  • Quantitative 
  • Reporting
  • Reporting tools
  • Representing data graphically
  • Researching solutions to user problems
  • Results oriented
  • Running queries
  • SAP Business Solutions toolset
  • SAS
  • Software knowledge
  • Solution development
  • Solution oriented
  • SQL programming
  • Statistical analysis
  • Statistical knowledge
  • Strategic thinking
  • Systematic thinking
  • Tableau
  • Teamwork
  • Technical
  • Time management
  • Training end users
  • Translating high level design into specific implementation steps
  • Understanding trends
  • Verbal communication
  • Visio
  • Web analytic tools
  • Writing

Read More: Soft vs. Hard Skills | How to Include Keywords in Your Resume | List of Keywords for Resumes and Cover Letters | Skills and Abilities | Resume Skills Lists