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What business intelligence (BI) skills are required for a successful career?

What technical skills and business skills are required for a business intelligence (BI) career?

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You're right to recognize that business intelligence (BI) professionals need both technical and business skills for their BI job to be successful. As far as technical skills for a BI career, I would say SQL is a core skill that companies are looking for. Then depending on your career direction, I would suggest learning one of the major reporting tools and/or ETL tools in the market. If you want to be more on the front end (reporting), try to get experience in Business Objects, Cognos, Microstrategy, Hyperion or SSRS. If you want to be more on the back end (ETL) learn Informatica, Datastage or Ab Initio. Oracle and DB2 are the major databases.

On the business side of a BI career, communication skills rule. Take a public speaking class. Good communication helps bridge the gap between business and IT.

This was first published in September 2008

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