Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics: Career ROI

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Updated: February 24, 2024, Reading time: 8 minutes

Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics - featured image

Business Intelligence and Business Analytics are two of the most in-demand skills companies seek to help them create data-driven solutions to handle common issues and prosper in an unpredictable market.

The integration of technology and data is essential in today’s business processes. As such,  if you’re interested in a business-oriented career, consider careers focusing on data, data-gathering, and data analysis!

The argument between Business Analytics and Business Intelligence is growing stronger despite each having advantages. So, let’s explore the foundations of each and discover which focus best suits you.

BI vs Business Analytics - man looking at charts

A Quick Look At the Differences Between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics

Professionals frequently interchange the words “Business Analytics” and “Business Intelligence.”

In essence, Business Intelligence uses historical data to make decisions about current operations, while Business Analytics predicts future outcomes. BI is useful for leaders seeking to identify workflow issues, increase efficiency, or meet goals, while Business Analytics offers insights for major changes.

Business IntelligenceBusiness Analytics
Average Starting Salaries$72,092$69,957
Job Growth5% from 2021–20315% from 2021–2031
Application and TechniquesFocuses on descriptive analytics, data collection, data storage, knowledge management, and data analysis to evaluate past business data and better understand currently known information.Uses data mining, data modeling, and machine learning to predict future outcomes.
Certifications* Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP)
* Certified: Power BI Data Analyst
* IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional
* PMI Professional in Business Analysis

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is concerned mainly with information. It is a technological infrastructure that gathers, stores, and analyzes data using software. Subsequently, the data is shown easily through dashboards, reports, charts, and graphs.

Business Intelligence produces data, such as third-party and internal, historical and current, and semi-structured and unstructured. Its unique selling point is that it provides customers access to data sources that convert data into valuable insights about an organization’s performance, aiming to improve its strategy and tactical choices significantly.

Business Intelligence technologies have become more intuitive and user-friendly, enabling people in various industries to realize their full potential. Apart from facilitating informed decision-making, these technologies are essential for identifying critical market trends, pinpointing issue areas, and highlighting novel company prospects.

Business Intelligence: Education and Career Path

Business Intelligence is often pursued as a concentration in Business Administration degrees. However, there are also stand-alone bachelor’s programs designed for those who want to focus solely on the intricacies of the field.

Undergraduate degrees in Business Intelligence help students gain the ability to interpret, distill, and visualize data and develop professional competencies through case study analysis and collaborative projects.

As a bachelor’s degree student in Business Intelligence, you can expect to also engage in courses focused on sharpening your leadership style. Course examples include strategic management and organizational behavior.

Bachelor’s degree graduates can pursue entry-level roles in various settings, such as research facilities, small enterprises, multinational corporations, and healthcare facilities. You can apply as a:

Higher-level roles in Business Intelligence are offered to professionals with a Master’s in Business Intelligence degree. A graduate degree attainment leads to roles such as economist, statistician, or survey researcher.

To gain advanced-level expertise in this field, professionals may opt to enroll in a Doctorate of Business Intelligence program. The program, mainly research-focused, features technology management and strategic intelligence courses.

Some of the most popular certifications for Business Intelligence include Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) and Microsoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst Associate.

Business Intelligence ROI: Education Cost and Salaries

Depending on what type of higher education institution you enroll in, you can pay an average of $9,596 for public in-state schools and $34,041 for private education annually. Because most employers prefer applicants with experience and career-specific certifications, you don’t have to pursue a master’s degree.

It allows you to focus on gaining practical experience and obtaining relevant certifications, often more cost-effective and efficient than pursuing a master’s degree.

The job future for Business Intelligence is quite promising and progressive, similar to most tech-related careers. Professionals receive attractive benefits and excellent compensation packages.

Business Intelligence analysts are paid depending on their experience. According to PayScale, early career professionals have an average annual salary of $72,092, while those in their late careers are paid $107,749 annually. To further their BI professions, some people become analysts, scientists, and consultants, while others become engineers.

A career in Business Intelligence is for you if:

A career in Business Intelligence is not a great fit if:

BI vs Business Analytics - colleagues analyzing documents

What is Business Analytics?

Business Analytics is essential for turning unprocessed data into insightful knowledge that helps business decisions. By utilizing Business Analytics technologies, organizations can enhance their productivity and streamline their operations by obtaining a more profound understanding of the primary and secondary data generated by their operations.

There are three types of Business Analytics employed in businesses today:

A Business Analytics specialist leads the Business Intelligence (BI) roadmap, vision, and strategy. Furthermore, these experts help the team accomplish its most crucial strategic objectives by accelerating the implementation of the human resource legal BI strategy.

All analytics and data-driven positions inside an organization can be categorized under “Business Analytics.” This can encompass data science as well as Business Intelligence and data analysis. These positions help with decision-making in some capacity, although they do it differently and with various technologies.

Business Analytics: Education and Career Path

Business Analytics programs are designed to help students learn the essential tools and technology for a professional career, such as SQL, statistical languages, and statistical software.

In particular, you’ll undergo training in:

While a graduate-level degree isn’t required, it is to your advantage to earn a Master’s in Business Analytics degree! This major is intense and rigorous. Emphasizing on the scientific side, students are taught advanced theories and applications pertaining to data selection, data visualization, and data mining.

Graduate students are also exposed to the concepts of data integrity, security compliance, and ethical standards in Business Analytics as a discipline and profession.

Some of the more popular career paths in Business Analytics are:

Certifications you should greatly consider for career and abilities advancement in Business Analytics are IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional and PMI Professional in Business Analysis.

Business Analytics ROI: Education Cost and Salaries

Like BI, the path to becoming an influential and well-paid business analyst is obtaining a bachelor’s degree and career-specific certifications. You can expect to pay the same average for a bachelor’s degree. However, the certifications you’ll need will significantly differ from BI.

Business analysts are also paid depending on their career experience but may have slightly lower average salaries than BIs. PayScale reports that the average annual wage of those in their early career is $69,957, while those in their late careers are paid $94,207. However, you can be paid considerably more depending on where you pursue a Business Analytics career.

More (and better) career prospects for business analysts may arise in cities offering networking opportunities and other professional development opportunities in this industry. Areas like Boston or New York could be more enticing than places with limited educational resources since certain business analyst jobs entail learning new software, technology, or applications.

A career in Business Analytics is for you if:

A career in Business Analytics is not a great fit if:

Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics - fact

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