Business Intelligence Developer Profession Course – Business Intelligence empowers modern companies to grow by harnessing the power of data, and a Power BI developer is an integral part of that process. BI specialists analyze data, detect trends and patterns, derive actionable insights, and communicate those results to business stakeholders and decision makers—all while liaising with other teams to help achieve goals the businesses.
Companies deploy various business intelligence tools to perform these tasks, and Power BI is among the most popular and sought-after solutions. And since working with this tool requires skills and training, Power BI developers are in demand.
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Below, we cover everything you need to know about the Power BI developer role—the job description and outlook, career development opportunities, skills and training required, helpful tips on how to become a Power BI developer, and resources to start your training .
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Power BI developers work in business intelligence (BI) — typically part of a company’s analytics team. Their main tasks are to pre-process and analyze data and design visualizations to turn them into a valuable approach for business stakeholders. But mostly, they specialize in creating Power BI dashboards. That said, various data visualization tools can be used for business intelligence.
Power BI, developed by Microsoft, allows users to work with large databases to create dashboards and derive insights to improve business performance. Excel might fail you when the amount of data increases.
In addition, Power BI is packed with useful built-in features that enable data transformation and data modeling. It stands out from other BI tools with its comprehensive connectivity options. You can import databases in various formats, pull data from an API, and even connect to data sources that live in the cloud.
Most importantly, those who know how to use Power BI can create engaging, interactive and informative dashboards with live data to update in real time.
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At this point, you might be wondering how this is different from Tableau. The two tools are similar in terms of capabilities, and becoming a Tableau developer will be just as rewarding and lucrative as becoming a Power BI developer.
The main difference is that more experienced users prefer Tableau because it is more complex. And while Tableau can handle larger amounts of data, Power BI’s capabilities are equally powerful,
Still, although Power BI doesn’t require coding, there is a steep learning curve—so you’ll need to undergo extensive training if you decide to go down this path. But it will be well worth it.
The road to becoming a Power BI developer can be long and difficult, but you will be rewarded for your efforts. According to Glassdoor, the average Power BI developer salary in the US is $92,998 per year (base salary and bonuses included).
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As you gain experience, your salary will also grow. The salary of a Senior Power BI developer in the US with more than 15 years of experience is $112,457 a year (additional payments included). Better yet, your career path doesn’t have to end there.
As a Power BI developer, you will be in frequent contact with senior leadership, which can be beneficial for your growth in the company.
So once you have conquered the Power BI developer peak, you can move up to an analytics manager. This means you will begin overseeing the work of Power BI developers, data analysts, and other analytics team members and interacting with senior leadership and other stakeholders.
Initially, there will not be a massive difference in terms of finances. Analytics manager salaries start around $109,000 per year. But there are many opportunities for development, and once you get a lot of experience, your salary can reach $169, 109 a year.
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Suppose a Power BI developer learns advanced statistics and programming and can apply this knowledge to relevant case studies. In this case, they open a new career development path for themselves: the path of data science. Now that’s a big leap, and it’s going to take a lot of work and dedication.
Still, you won’t start from scratch. Power BI developer roles and responsibilities are diverse, so you’ll already have more of the necessary skills and knowledge. To transition into data science, you’ll just need to learn code and apply advanced statistical methods.
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You can acquire the necessary skills for the job in your own time. The effort will be well worth it. With a starting salary of $108,235 a year, you can work your way up to $157,784 annually.
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The Power BI developer works closely with senior leadership to build reporting dashboards that serve the strategic needs of the business.
To be able to navigate these situations effectively, Power BI developers need a lot of business knowledge and excellent communication skills. Before even looking at the data, they collaborate with stakeholders to define the goals and needs of the business. Then they can determine what to include in data analysis and visualization.
Only then can they start building Power BI reports. To build reports requested by senior leadership, the Power BI developer will need to communicate with various stakeholders within the company, such as sales, marketing, database admin, etc. (SMEs) that can help them build a better dashboard.
Finally, they need to provide accurate, on-demand and up-to-date data-driven information to make it a valuable tool for senior leadership. Now, let’s see what skills you need to achieve this.
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The Power BI developer position is not exactly entry level. On the one hand, this is due to the vast skill set required. On the other hand, it is because senior leadership trusts and prefers to communicate with analysts who have some experience.
You can start with other data-related tasks, preferably those involving Power BI. Hands-on experience with data preparation, data portals, and data warehouse projects will also give you an advantage. Once you get your foot in the door with a data-related position, landing a Power BI developer job will be easier.
Of course, in the meantime, you need to get the necessary Power BI developer training. A bachelor’s degree in computer science would be a plus, but with or without it, you need a Power BI certification to prove your skills.
Our introductory Power BI course is a great place to start. It is suitable for beginners, as it starts from the basics and gradually builds your data visualization skills. Moreover, it has several exercises, which allow you to practice what you have learned.
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Next, we provide a detailed overview of the technical and soft skills you need to acquire to become a successful Power BI developer.
Power BI requires no coding. Instead, it uses formula languages, such as Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) and M. While they won’t give you access to the full spectrum of coding language possibilities, the range of functions is sufficient for data transformation, modeling, and visualization. and Power BI. You don’t need any prior coding experience to learn them; even if you are starting from scratch, you can pick up on them quickly.
In addition, you will need a good command of Excel and SQL. After all, you need the means to store and manage the data that goes into your dashboard. In fact, SQL queries, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) often appear as a requirement in job descriptions.
These are the main tools a Power BI developer needs for the data analysis and visualization part of the job. But a compelling report and informative dashboard are aligned with business goals and needs. To achieve this, one needs a combination of soft skills and business knowledge.
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Excellent communication skills and in-depth business knowledge will facilitate your conversations with senior executives, allowing you to understand their needs. And analytical and reasoning skills will help you get insights from other stakeholders in the company.
When creating reports, you must be well organized and willing to collaborate with your colleagues in the analysis team. This will help you gather the information needed to develop comprehensive dashboards and maintain existing reports.
That said, none of this would matter if you can’t communicate the results effectively. So last but definitely not least in terms of importance comes the presentation skills. Translating your findings into business language will help stakeholders understand the meaning of the insights they gain, and is key to building a data-driven business.
And remember, you need to get a Power BI developer certification. Without relevant work experience, it’s the only way to prove you have the necessary skills and knowledge. And that’s what employers want to see, right?
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Speaking of employers, let’s take a quick look at who you could work for as a Power BI developer.
In most companies, data analysts play the role of Power BI developers. Since they do not specialize in this area, they usually have somewhat limited Power BI skills. Why companies do not hire dedicated specialists?
We’ve seen the numbers—not every company can afford a dedicated Power BI developer, nor does it necessarily need one. So you will probably meet larger companies (500+ employees) throughout your job search.
In terms of employment, companies in all industries can benefit
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