Business Intelligence Developer Vs Business Intelligence Expert – Business Intelligence empowers modern businesses to grow by harnessing the power of data, and Power BI developers are an integral part of that process. BI professionals analyze data, identify trends and patterns, gain actionable insights, and communicate these findings to stakeholders and business decision makers—all while liaising with other teams to help achieve business goals.
Businesses use various business intelligence tools to accomplish 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.
Business Intelligence Developer Vs Business Intelligence Expert
Below we cover everything you need to know about the Power BI developer role – the job description and attitude, 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 actionable insights valuable to business stakeholders. But mostly they specialize in creating Power BI dashboards. Having said that, 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 gain insights to improve business performance. Excel may 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 comprehensive connectivity options. You can import databases in various formats, pull data from APIs, and even connect to live data sources in the cloud.
More importantly, those who know how to use Power BI can create engaging, interactive and informative dashboards and stream data to update it in real time.
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At this point, you may be wondering how this differs from Tableau. The two tools are similar in 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 just as powerful,
Still, while Power BI doesn’t require coding, it does have a steep learning curve—so you’ll need to undergo extensive training if you decide to go that route. But it will be well worth it.
The road to becoming a Power BI developer can be long and arduous, but you will be rewarded for your efforts. According to Glassdoor, the average starting salary for a Power BI developer 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 for a Senior Power BI Developer in the US with 15+ years of experience is $112,457 per year (including bonuses). Better yet, your career doesn’t have to end there.
As a Power BI developer, you will be in frequent contact with senior management, which can be beneficial to your growth in the company.
So once you conquer the Power BI developer summit, you can climb up to Analytics Manager. That means you’ll begin overseeing the work of Power BI developers, data scientists, and other members of the analytics team, and interact with senior management and other stakeholders.
In the beginning, there will not be much difference in terms of finances. The starting analytics manager salary is around $109,000 per year. But there are plenty of opportunities for advancement, and once you’ve gained significant 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 that knowledge to relevant case studies. In that case, they open a new career development path for themselves: the data science path. Now this is a bigger leap and it will require a lot of hard work and dedication.
You still won’t be starting from scratch. The roles and responsibilities of a Power BI developer are varied, so you will already have most of the skills and knowledge required. To transition into data science, you just need to learn to code and apply advanced statistical techniques.
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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 per year, you can work your way up to $157,784 annually.
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A Power BI developer works closely with senior management to build reporting dashboards that serve the strategic needs of the business.
To be able to navigate such situations effectively, Power BI developers need extensive business knowledge and excellent communication skills. Before they even look at the data, they work with stakeholders to define the company’s goals and needs. They can then determine what to include in data analysis and visualization.
Only then can they start building Power BI reports. To build the reporting requested by senior management, the Power BI developer needs to communicate with several stakeholders within the company, such as sales, marketing, database administrators, etc. (SME) that can help them build a better dashboard.
Ultimately, they need to provide insights based on accurate, on-demand and up-to-date data, turning it into a valuable tool for senior leadership. Now let’s see what skills you need to achieve it.
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The Power BI developer level isn’t exactly entry level. On the one hand, this is due to the high level of skill required. On the other hand, it is because senior leaders trust and prefer to communicate with experts with some experience.
You can start with other data-related jobs, preferably those related to Power BI. Hands-on experience with data preparation, data portal and data warehousing projects will also give you an advantage. Once you get your foot in the door with a data-driven position, landing a Power BI development job will be much easier.
In the meantime, of course, 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’ll 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 with the basics and gradually builds your data visualization skills. In addition, it contains several exercises, which will 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 range of coding language options, their range of functionality is sufficient for data transformation, modeling and visualization with Power BI. You don’t need any previous coding experience to learn them; even if you’re starting from scratch, you can pick them up quickly.
In addition, you need a good command of Excel and SQL. After all, you need the method 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 compelling reporting and informative dashboards align with business goals and needs. Achieving that requires a combination of soft skills and business knowledge.
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Excellent communication skills and in-depth business knowledge will facilitate your conversation with senior management, enabling you to understand their needs. And analytical and reasoning skills will help you gain insights from other stakeholders in the business.
When creating the reports, you must be well organized and ready to work with your colleagues from the analysis team. This will help you gather the necessary information to develop comprehensive dashboards and maintain existing reports.
That said, none of this would matter if you can’t communicate the results effectively. Then last but certainly 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 gained, and that is key to building a data-driven business.
And remember, you need to get Power BI developer certification. Without relevant work experience, it is the only way to prove that 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 scientists play the role of Power BI developers. Since they don’t specialize in that area, they usually have quite limited Power BI skills. Why don’t companies hire specialized professionals?
We saw the numbers – not every company could afford a dedicated Power BI developer, nor does it necessarily need one. So you will likely encounter larger companies (500+ employees) throughout your job search.
Regarding the scope of work, companies in all industries could benefit
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