Business Intelligence Developer Significance

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Business Intelligence Developer Significance – All information related to the past and present state of your business is recorded as bits. Marketing numbers, human resources, company budget, sales volume – you name it. The number of business domains that the data comes from can be large. However, as a business, you may be interested in extracting value from this information rather than collecting it. Be thankful that there is software for everything.

Business intelligence (BI) is a set of technologies and practices for turning business data into actionable reports and visualizations. Founded in the early 80s and evolving as a separate field over time, BI has spawned many roles and professions. We have already explained the role of an ETL developer. This material covers the main features of BI data infrastructure, so we recommend you read it to get a deeper understanding of the topic.

Business Intelligence Developer Significance

Today we will discuss the role of a BI developer, their typical responsibilities, knowledge and skills required. We also distinguish between other standard roles involved in building BI systems and the specific cases that require hiring a BI developer.

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A business intelligence developer is an engineer responsible for developing, deploying, and maintaining BI interfaces. These include query tools, data visualization and interactive dashboards, custom reporting and data modeling tools. However, since we are talking about business intelligence, we need to give a more rigorous explanation to this technological concept.

The entire BI system can be divided into its internal part and the actual user interface for interacting with the data. Why is this division so important? Regardless of system complexity, a typical BI platform has 3 layers: the data source layer, the warehouse layer, and the reporting layer. Let’s break them down:

Is where the raw data is stored. These are separate files filled with your databases, cloud storage, and unstructured data. Data sources are the starting points of any BI system because they are connected to all downstream data integration tools, repositories, and business intelligence interfaces.

Includes all technologies that facilitate the process of warehousing. They are both a single repository for all corporate data and tools that perform Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL). Data is transferred to a single database for several reasons:

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Thus, the data source and warehouse layers are the basic infrastructure of a BI system. Building and maintaining it is an area of ​​responsibility for database/ETL developers and data analysts/engineers.

Is the endpoint for the data. This layer is a true BI interface that allows users to extract and analyze data from the warehouse. Analytical capabilities may vary depending on the business requirements of the system. But in the most basic scenario, it’s SQL queries and simple data visualization tools.

Each piece of software that makes up the reporting layer is the responsibility of the business intelligence developer. As part of a business intelligence project, a BI developer takes on engineering, management, and strategic planning responsibilities. Thus, this person can be the project manager and/or executor.

As we define the position of the BI developer within the entire BI platform, let’s take a look at this person’s responsibilities.

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Project scope determines the degree to which a particular role is involved, as engineers with similar technology stacks and domain knowledge are interchangeable. Developing BI interfaces requires deep expertise in software engineering, databases, and data analysis. So, in part, data engineers with software development experience and experience with BI can lead the interface development process.

However, business intelligence tools can include many industry-specific features. BI developers also know the specifics of the business domain: This allows them to understand business requirements, implement the right data models and data representation solutions. So, the responsibilities of a BI developer are:

Business intelligence is always related to the actual business domain and specific organization’s requirements for data analysis. This means that BI tools can be very different from company to company. Let’s say there are two projects:

In both cases, the end product will be a BI platform. However, in the first case, it requires more advanced options for data analysis, because there are simply more dimensions to analyze. The information itself may require image recognition as it may be presented in any format such as an X-ray, MRI or ultrasound.

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It’s the difference in understanding the business requirements of the platform that a BI developer needs to know. Because they drive the number of reporting objects, their forms and additional functions.

After the business requirements are gathered and documented, a number of data engineers / ETL / front-end developers are responsible for translating them into technical specifications. In this case, the BI developer is responsible for specifying tasks that include the user interface and reporting capabilities. Specifically, a BI developer should decide whether the user interface should be an interactive dashboard with a drag-and-drop interface or a collection of fill-in fields with data properties, whether the system needs to visualize the data and how the user interacts with it.

All of these decisions translate into the actual tasks of the ETL development team and the BI team (front-end and back-end). The development stage can also be controlled by a project manager or BI developer.

As mentioned above, a BI developer can take on a technical lead role within a development team or share the actual responsibilities of a developer. But a BI developer can make strategic decisions about the software developed and manage its deployment process. Testing and debugging may also be the BI developer’s responsibility during the pre/post implementation phases.

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Reporting is a separate task that has less to do with engineering than with working with databases and data models. Using a BI interface, users query the database to retrieve some information. This information is then formatted into a visual form (such as a pie chart) or a textual summary of the given properties.

As the user configures what to drag and how to format it, the software is responsible for finding this information and recognizing the necessary data. This can be done using data modeling—the structure in which data is stored in a database.

Data models are defined by data analysts and ETL developers and applied to the database. However, the BI developer is the determining factor for the future model, which provides reporting requirements. These models represent the objects in the database and the relationships between them, thus defining how that data can be queried. This is part of the competency of a BI developer.

Logically, the BI developer controls how data is queried, if it is valid, and how reporting works.

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There are many ways to build a single repository for all corporate information. We discussed these methods in a special article about warehouses. Although the architectural style of the data warehouse does not directly affect reporting, the BI developer can participate in the design process.

This point goes hand in hand with the previous one. A BI developer can be involved in documenting the data structure of the warehouse as well as meta-data (additional information about the data). These documents are used in the development process and help to decide on the required reporting options.

Any system requires technical documentation. Even if the BI developer doesn’t introduce users to the platform and show them how to use it, he or she is responsible for providing guidance as a document. This documentation covers the application environment for normal users and the technology. personnel, e.g. API documentation, known technical issues, etc.

BI developer skills can vary by project. In some cases, a BI developer may have minimal interaction with software engineering and act as a SQL specialist to ensure proper querying. But for the sake of complete description, we list all possible skills that correspond to typical tasks.

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Experience with BI tools. First and foremost, every BI developer should have experience developing or configuring customer BI products. When building a custom BI product, knowledge of Python, scripting languages, and experience with data visualization libraries is a must. A good understanding of all underlying infrastructure is also required: This includes understanding of data integration tools, ETL/ELT processes, data formatting and warehouse architecture.

If we are talking about a product that uses a BI solution from the vendor side, the BI developer needs to familiarize himself with its respective technology stack. It depends on the vendor, but the most popular solutions for data pipelines, reporting, and database operations are Amazon products (such as QuickSight), the Hadoop platform, or Apache technologies (such as Apache Superset).

DB/DBA background. The main reason a BI developer should have experience working with databases is because the main subject of concern is SQL/noSQL queries. BI systems often require databases, data models, or the distribution of data across multiple databases.

BI developers can also be involved in designing and building tools for online analytical processing (OLAP cubes). It is an advanced option for multidimensional analysis using non-relational databases.

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Data analysis background. It does not require the presence of a BI developer

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