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Business Intelligence - benefits of specialising

Study Business Intelligence - an article on business intelligence. Focus on core subjects, job oppportunities and career path for Indian students

Antony Chacko

With many corporates looking for well-trained professionals in this field and only a few schools offering mostly graduate level programs, there is a great demand for talent in this new field.

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When we think of higher education, and especially about studying abroad, most of us prefer to get a qualification in a subject that promises maximum career growth potential in the next few years. Now, if it is the IT industry you are targeting, given the mad competition, only a specialisation will help you reap good benefits.

Business Intelligence as a study option is becoming increasingly popular abroad. With many corporates looking for well-trained professionals in this field and only a few schools offering mostly graduate level programs, there is a great demand for talent in this relatively new field.

What is Business Intelligence?

Most enterprises now collect very large quantities of data – customer data, sales data, HR data and so on. The problem is not usually collecting or storing that data; it is finding the information buried within- which are the most profitable customers, which the least, which products are the most profitable and so on. Business Intelligence (BI) refers to using a set of technologies that are used to extract information from data. The BI industry requires professionals with a comprehensive understanding of BI and how data should be structured and handled for analysis, for the design of effective BI systems.

The new MSc in Business Intelligence that is being offered by many universities abroad trains students in this area of expertise.

How BI Is used in an organization

BI is used to help in decision making at all levels of an organization with product, market and trend analysis as the leading uses in the strategic area. In tactical uses, it is used for performance management, marketing, forecasting, and planning alongside profitability measurements. In the operational area, it is commonly used in financials and sales analytics.

What does a master’s course cover?

A MSc in Business Intelligence is designed to give students a postgraduate education in the knowledge, skills and understanding of business intelligence to enable them to operate effectively and professionally in the application of business intelligence in industry, commerce and research. The course prepares you to:

  • Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of a range of specialised theories, principles, concepts and technologies for business intelligence, including transactional processing and analysis,
  • Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to structure and handle business intelligence data,
  • Employ a range of research and other specialised techniques to plan and execute a significant research project to extract information from data,
  • Deal with complex professional, legal and ethical issues relating to business intelligence,
  • Demonstrate awareness of current issues at the forefront of business intelligence.

Industry involvement

The BI industry is huge but, in recent years, through acquisitions it has consolidated into a relatively small number of major players – notably IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Teradata. The key area which drives the BI industry is:

  • Business Intelligence Systems
  • Relational Database Design
  • Dimensional Database Design
  • Multi Dimensional Expressions
  • Business Intelligence Implementation
  • Designing Business Intelligence Systems

Entry requirements

Most universities look for a first degree in Computing, Computing Science or a related subject (such as maths, physics, engineering, IS, multimedia) which includes some software development and analytical skills; Others also accept substantial industrial experience including software development and using modern programming languages and design.

Career opportunities

At the end of the course, students are expected to be proficient in the key theoretical and practical areas in BI, including their application to building Data Warehouses and intelligent Systems, and managing a typical Analytics/Data Mining cycle.

Graduates will find opportunities as consultants or senior team members developing Enterprise Business Intelligence systems. Students can also pursue further research study in the areas of AI, Data Mining, Computer Science and other application areas requiring substantial software development.

Where to study?

Worried about choosing the right course?

Jenifer G Jenifer G,
Study abroad expert.
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