Business Intelligence: 5 Non-Technical Tips

Igor Comune
Microsoft Power BI
Published in
4 min readNov 16, 2023

--

These 5 tips are mainly for people who want to enter, whether it is career transitioning or if you’re a young professional searching for a position within the IT sector.

Source: https://fia.com.br/blog/bi/

Intro

If you are a guy that wants to seat at your desk alone, write some DAX/SQL/Python codes as a true nerd genius...

You are completely outdated.

If you want to work with Business Intelligence, you should learn and try to master those 5 tips.

Index

  1. Communication
  2. Accountability
  3. Business Rules
  4. Be an Artist
  5. You Know Nothing

1. Communication, Communication and Communication

Business intelligence professionals are tasked with deciphering complex data sets and transforming them into actionable insights for decision-makers. Communication skills enable professionals to bridge the gap between technical intricacies and the understanding of non-technical stakeholders, fostering collaboration and informed decision-making. In essence, the most important skill for a business intelligence professional is the ability to articulate complex data findings in a way that is accessible, persuasive, and aligns with the overarching goals of the business.

You’ll need to adapt yourself according to your audience.

How to develop Communication:

  • Active Listening: Good communication starts with effective listening.
  • Clarity and Conciseness: Clearly express your ideas and thoughts.
  • Nonverbal Communication: Pay attention to your body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

2. Accountability

Accountability is a cornerstone for success in the realm of Business Intelligence (BI) professionals. In a landscape where data-driven decision-making is pivotal, BI professionals play a crucial role in collecting, analyzing, and translating complex data into actionable insights.

How to develop Accountability:

  • Set Clear Expectations: Clearly define expectations for yourself and others. When responsibilities and goals are well-defined, it becomes easier to measure accountability.
  • Take Ownership of Your Actions: Accept responsibility for your actions, decisions, and their consequences.
  • Establish Goals and Deadlines: Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.

Reading Suggestion: Extreme Ownership of Jocko Willink, Leif Babin. This book really changed my mind about accountability.

3. Business Rules

Understanding and adhering to business rules is paramount for professionals in the field of Business Intelligence. These rules serve as the foundational guidelines that govern how data is collected, processed, and utilized within an organization. Knowledge of business rules ensures that BI professionals can accurately interpret and analyze data in alignment with the specific requirements and goals of the business.

How to develop your understanding of Business Skills:

  • Collaborate with Business Stakeholders: Engage in regular discussions with business stakeholders to gain insights into their specific requirements and expectations regarding data usage and reporting.
  • Document Business Rules: Create comprehensive documentation outlining the business rules that govern data within the organization.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated on industry standards, regulations, and best practices related to data governance and business rules.

4. Be an Artist

Think like an artist, try to create to Wow effect in your audience.

Achieving the delicate balance between structure and innovation in dashboard design is akin to navigating the fine line between order and chaos, where creativity enhances comprehension without compromising the clarity essential for informed decision-making. In the world of business intelligence, the art of crafting dashboards epitomizes the synergy between creativity and organization.

How to develop your creativity:

  • Embrace Diverse Experiences: Engage in a variety of activities and expose yourself to different cultures, arts, and disciplines.
  • Practice Mindfulness and Reflection: Take time for quiet reflection and mindfulness exercises.
  • Encourage Curiosity and Questioning: Cultivate a curious mindset by asking questions and challenging assumptions.

5. You Know Nothing

But you can learn EVERYTHING.

Imagine, DAX, SQL and Python. Could you now remember the syntax of a left join in each one them?

DAX:

EVALUATE
SUMMARIZE (
Table1,
Table1[CommonColumn],
"SumColumn", SUM (Table1[Value])
)
LEFT OUTER JOIN
SUMMARIZE (
Table2,
Table2[CommonColumn],
"CountColumn", COUNT (Table2[Value])
)
ON Table1[CommonColumn] = Table2[CommonColumn]

SQL

SELECT
Table1.CommonColumn,
SUM(Table1.Value) AS SumColumn,
COUNT(Table2.Value) AS CountColumn
FROM
Table1
LEFT JOIN
Table2 ON Table1.CommonColumn = Table2.CommonColumn
GROUP BY
Table1.CommonColumn;

Python

df_merged = pd.merge(
df1,
df2,
how='left',
on='CommonColumn'
)

Now, try to imagine, Pivoting tables, melting tables, aggregating functions and other methods of data modeling. It’s almost impossible to remember each one of them, but, if you don’t know, you can learn and if you can’t remember, just google it (or use ChatGPT).

Bonus — Lifelong Learning Concept

Once a Professor told me that:

The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.

You’ll NEVER know every technical detail, the best graphic, the best title, the best performance.

  • Ask and answer questions in the communities;
  • Be active in the discussion forums;
  • Create content, no matter your level of experience;
  • Get involved in the development of the tools you use to work;
  • Help beginners! You’ll will never be experienced enough to stop helping. Remember that the best way to LEARN is to TEACH.

Conclusion

These five non-technical tips offer valuable insights for individuals aspiring to enter or advance their careers in Business Intelligence. Embracing these non-technical facets is key to thriving in the dynamic and multifaceted world of Business Intelligence.

If you liked this post, please consider sharing, commeting, clapping… it would help me a lot. ❤

Igor Comune | LinkedIn

Don’t forget to subscribe to

👉 Power BI Publication

👉 Power BI Newsletter

and join our Power BI community

👉 Power BI Masterclass

--

--

Igor Comune
Microsoft Power BI

An "under construction" Data Scientist with a love for numbers and analysis!