The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for market analysts to grow by 23% from 2016 through 2026 and jobs for computer and information research scientists to increase by 19% over that time period. These faster-than-average growth rates reflect the reality of a data-driven economy in which information technology continues to advance.

To keep up with this dynamic market landscape, companies seek individuals who possess the skills to interpret data, provide actionable insights, and inform decisions. A business intelligence degree equips graduates with the knowledge and abilities to lead these analytical efforts.

What Is a Job in Business Intelligence Like?

Business intelligence (BI) helps professionals in management and operations make better, more informed decisions regarding cost, productivity, staff, and competition. The best online business intelligence degree options provide students with a robust curriculum that covers working with big data and the underpinning skills of data mining and data warehousing.

BI applies tools, technologies, applications, and practices to collect, integrate, analyze, transform, and present raw data as insightful and actionable business information. In addition to data mining, a business intelligence degree online program also covers querying, reporting, and online analytical processing.

The purpose of BI for a business of any size includes accelerated and improved decision-making, optimized internal business processes, and increased operational efficiency. In an online business intelligence degree, students learn to execute BI principles, methods, and strategies.

In today's economy, data drives business, and the skills and knowledge gained from a business intelligence degree can assist graduates in any industry they choose to pursue. Virtually any industry needs BI, including finance, retail, sports, government, and of course, technology.

Graduates of business intelligence degree online programs can pursue jobs as management analysts, data scientists, marketing managers, and operations research analysts. All of these jobs require candidates to possess analytical proficiency and confidence working with big data. The benefits of earning a business intelligence degree online start with the versatility of the skills and knowledge students gain. With this skill set, graduates can qualify for positions across several industries.

What Can I Do with an Online Business Intelligence Bachelor's Degree?

Business intelligence and project management online degrees prepare graduates for work in a number of industries. The following sections explore the skills and knowledge students obtain from a BI degree, along with the careers they can pursue upon graduation.

These careers enjoy above-average salaries, with the potential to grow. Other factors that could impact salary metrics include experience, location, and industry. With this said, acquiring BI skills and knowledge should set up graduates for a positive career outlook with rewarding options.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

BI, along with the subset of business analytics, centers on the collection, storage, and analysis of data. BI helps businesses improve efficiency and maximize profits.

In addition to the basics of data analysis, BI students also develop communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills. They learn to comb through large amounts of data, identify patterns and trends, and provide actionable business insights to management. BI analysts can present a more accurate picture of a business's operations, resources, and place in the market compared to the competition.

Virtually every industry can benefit from BI, translating to a robust job market for individuals with BI skills and knowledge. That said, students should continue to hone their skills for the industry or career they hope to pursue. Individuals working in BI must also demonstrate a keen business understanding.

The best online business intelligence online degree allows students to concentrate their courses through electives or a concentration, such as cyberanalytics or financial technology. For example, students interested in the retail industry can take electives on merchandising and retail analytics. They can also complete a summer internship working in the industry, or apply for a management training program to gain entry-level work experience and opportunities to put newly learned BI concepts into practice.

Regardless of the industry, however, business intelligence and data analytics command a place in today's decision-making processes. Both help drive optimum results in the business areas of marketing, human resources, customer service, and operations. With a business intelligence degree online program, students gain the skill set to make an impact on a business's bottom line.

Careers and Salary Potential

The best online business intelligence degree readies graduates for employment in various fields and many career paths. According to PayScale, the salary for a business intelligence analyst today averages $67,263, including bonuses, commission, and profit-sharing upping earning potential.

Geographic location impacts salary, as well. Jobs in San Francisco, California pay the most on average, followed by jobs in Washington, D.C. The BLS projects jobs for BI analysts to grow by 14% from 2016 to 2026.

  • Healthcare: Graduates of an online business intelligence degree can apply BI methods to better understand the financial operations of a hospital. For example, an analyst can identify profitable, underutilized, and missing services. BI can help management reduce costs, improve patient safety, and generate compliance reporting.
  • Financial Services: BI insights can help providers of financial services, such as banks, understand customer purchase behaviors, measure marketing campaign effectiveness, and make sales predictions and estimations. BI can also help create reports for regulatory compliance.
  • IT Services: Business intelligence can help IT services companies identify problems and help with prioritization. BI can help IT managers analyze the performance of hardware and software systems and networks and determine which areas need attention.
  • Consulting: Businesses employ consultants to assess operations and provide professional feedback. Consultants today make these determinations with the help of BI (data mining, data analysis, and pattern detection), which enables them to pinpoint the problem areas.
Business Intelligence Analyst

Annual Median Salary: $67,263

Business intelligence degree programs online prepare graduates for work as BI analysts, who focus on developing a comprehensive understanding of a business's operations through an analysis of the enterprise's data.

Business Intelligence Consultant

Annual Median Salary: $83,945

BI consultants help organizations adopt and learn new ways of organizing data and managing information. They help businesses improve their efficiency and profitability through knowledge of technology and business management.

Data Warehouse Developer

Annual Median Salary: $85,384

A BI degree with an emphasis on data science can prepare students for work as data warehouse developers, who develop data storage mechanisms specific to a company's needs. Data warehouses store data so individuals can access it for analytical reports.

Operations Research Analyst

Annual Median Salary: $83,390

Operations research analysts focus solely on businesses' operations. Through data mining, optimization, modeling, and statistical analysis, these analysts can determine how to minimize waste, increase profits, and streamline processes.

Market Research Analyst

Annual Median Salary: $63,120

Market research analysts study market conditions and identify opportunities. They help determine the potential for a new product or service, and they forecast trends, identify target markets, and perform competitive analysis.