Top Skills for Directing BI Programs: What the BI Professionals Are Saying

Author: | Category: General BI | Tags: key skills of business intelligence director, key skills of BI director, key skills of BI owner, infographic | Published: 1/7/2016

Top Skills for Directing BI Programs: What the BI Professionals Are Saying

Key Skills of a Successful Business Intelligence Director: A Powerhouse in the Enterprise (which is the basis for this infographic) reveals that data scientists are in high demand, but that business intelligence (BI) leaders—or BI maestros, as we like to call them—are especially challenging to find.

To loosely paraphrase Steve Jobs, “Musicians play their instruments. BI maestros play the orchestra.” 1

What sets true BI leaders apart?

On the foundational level, BI maestros need to master the functional, factual, analytical, and technical.

But at the pinnacle, to set them apart as successful leaders, they also have to demonstrate stellar strategy, leadership, and communications skills.

BI leaders are crucial to overall BI operations. The effective BI initiative leader must take mountains of company data and enable people not only to make sense of it, but also to affect change in organizations.

What are the top skills that companies want in BI directors?

Although core BI responsibilities of BI directors differ across companies and organizations, we’re seeing some general trends in terms of skills required:

  • 80% of job descriptions looked at on LinkedIn called for strategic ability.
  • 58% stressed leadership capabilities and experience.
  • 56% required communications skills.
Infographi for BI directors

Underscoring the value of BI initiatives and of shaping BI operations

This top set of skills are certainly qualities required of a true leader. Of course, it basically goes without saying that BI directors must obviously be leaders in the organization. However, what’s especially interesting is that these percentages reinforce the importance of BI itself, and of having a central, dedicated role that’s focused on shaping the overall direction of BI.

Companies recognize that it’s vital to analyze the data. But maybe even more important, it’s absolutely essential to direct operations—by giving people the tools and information they need to analyze the data, and to help meet strategic goals in the organization.

Half of job descriptions highlight results-oriented and analytical skills

As part of giving people the tools and information they need for data analysis, it stands to reason that BI leaders must themselves demonstrate related traits:

  • 50% of the job descriptions called for the ability to deliver results from insights
  • 50% looked for analytical and problem-solving skills

Experience with data governance is key

Providing best practices and establishing corporate policies related to data governance is important:

  • 30% of the job descriptions cited the need for experience with data governance.

We expect this percentage to rise in years to come. Data governance is a core differentiator among BI platform vendors. It meets the demands of both enterprise IT and business users with easy access to data, while still being managed and secured.

Take our BI Leadership and Benchmarking Survey!

How do your own BI responsibilities match up to your counterparts’ responsibilities?

If you’re a BI director/manager/owner, chief data officer, or anyone who leads BI initiatives, programs, and projects, we invite you to participate in our BI Leadership and Benchmarking Survey!

In this survey, which should take approximately 10 minutes, you’ll be asked about BI operations in your organization.

Incentive: The survey results and report, which we’ll share directly with you, will reveal trends, benchmarks, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you steer BI operations in your organization.

Related resources

  1. Key Skills of a Successful Business Intelligence Director: A Powerhouse in the Enterprise (related blog post that’s the basis for the infographic)
  2. Key Skills of a Successful Business Intelligence Director: A Powerhouse in the Enterprise | Infographic
  3. Becoming a Maestro in BI | Infographic
  4. The Rise of the BI Maestro
  5. Follow Pyramid Analytics on LinkedIn
  6. Follow @PyramidAnalytics on Twitter
  7. Subscribe to our blog's feed

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