Business Intelligence Recruitment Needs Intelligence - By: Grem Smoothe

Business intelligence is used to support decision making at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels. At the strategic level, product and market analytics is the top Business Intelligence (BI)function, followed closely by strategic planning and market trends and analysis. Performance management is the dominant tactical application; but marketing, forecasting, operations planning, and line-of-business pricing and profitability are close behind. Financials and sales applications are the foremost operational BI applications, but general operational analytics and CRM applications are also widely employed.It is therefore imperative to have a flexible data architecture and design as well as effective data integration to maintain data integrity and timeliness in all BI efforts. This is particularly important since the demand for a unified information management platform for structured and unstructured data is expected to increase over the coming years. It is not surprising to see increased emphasis in the governance of both data and BI activities. This also helps explain why it is very important for organizations to have a framework for prioritizing and guiding the development of BI activities.

The basic principles of supply and demand pertain to a company’s ability to recruit and retain business intelligence (BI) professionals. Organizational demands for business intelligence capabilities are increasing rapidly and this makes BI environments even more demanding for hiring and retaining significant BI professionals. Old and new uses of business intelligence are on the rise, and enterprises of all sizes are juggling with the complexity of taking on more tools, users and advanced capabilities, according to a new BI market survey. What is driving demand for BI services? Mobile BI, advanced visualization tools, integration of social media, and to a lesser extent, development of intelligent automated decision support/BI systems top the list of expressed BI priorities for the coming years. Web-based collaborative BI, cloud-based BI, demand for SaaS tools, and use of semantic technologies to define business terms are also important undertakings. To find and keep the best people, it takes an understanding of how to match the right person with the job, and not just the one with the best technical skills. In their rush to fill open positions, managers can overlook that simple principle, resulting in a poor hire that causes more problems than it solves. There is also a tendency to hire people that remind us of ourselves rather than what the situation may really require. To get the best results, employers need a process that identifies employees who best fit their company based on facts, not just impressions.

The first step for hiring qualified business intelligence individuals is to determine where you are and why someone is needed. The answer should reflect the driving business need and your staff’s abilities. As you look at your whole team, identify the skill gaps and overlaps and the knowledge base you want in your organization.Otherwise, your organization might lose significant opportunities by not having sufficient business intelligence expertise needed to explore and capitalize on the wealth of data whichit is actively capturing.

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